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By Greg Fry, Viewpoint

Digital tech adoption in construction lags behind other industries.

As we look at ahead to 2018, it's no surprise to see that virtually every industry is in the midst of a digital transformation. Businesses of every trade are adopting new digital technologies and software to increase productive and stay ahead – and construction is certainly no exception.

That being said, it's also no secret that the construction industry lags in productivity compared to other industries. In a report by McKinsey & Company it was found that global labor-productivity growth in construction was only 1% over past 20 years, compared to 2.8 percent growth for the economy as a whole. What's more, productivity has even declined in some markets.

Underinvestment in technology is partially responsible for this slow growth in productivity, since a lack of operational and project management tools can lead to disorganization and inefficiencies for project contractors and subcontractors.

Productivity and the bottom line

McKinsey & Company's report  estimates that the productivity gap in construction costs the global economy $1.6 trillion annually. That’s a number that might feel huge and abstract, but the lack of productivity growth affects almost all construction companies.

In short, the industry could be doing better.  Only 25% of construction projects are completed on time, and those delays cost money. Projects that are completed late and over budget should be the exception, but that’s not the way things typically go.

Focusing on productivity involves a variety of approaches, not just technology. For example, companies might identify inefficiencies in their supply chains, put better processes in place for communication on jobsites, rethink their design or engineering processes, and address labor shortages that often slow down projects. All those things can lead to productivity improvements, but technology does play a large role. The right tech and software solutions make a huge difference in many aspects of a project. That’s because smooth project management helps contractors stay on track and on budget.

How does your construction technology measure up?

Many construction firms are taking steps to digitize by adopting technologies to improve communication and connect the different parts of their businesses. Construction projects aren’t simple, but technology can help simplify processes.

At Viewpoint, for example, Dylan Alford says, “It’s our goal to help construction firms improve productivity and profitability by providing a variety of integrated software solutions to connect the office, team, and field using the cloud, enable easy estimating and bidding, streamline processes, improve communication, and more.”

To assist companies in gauging how their digital technology compares to their peers, and whether the technology their using is the most effective option, Viewpoint created a 2018 Construction Technology Survey. Through it, participants can get a batter sense of where they're at, if they're heading in the right direction, and where they need to go.

The survey takes about five minutes to complete and, once results are compiled by Viewpoint, participants receive a report showing where their stand compared to their industry peers. Survey respondents are also entered for a chance to win an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset bundle.

Click the link below to get started and learn how your firm’s technology measures up.

Viewpoint 2018 Construction Technology Survey

Greg Fry is with Viewpoint Construction Software. For more insights, visit the Viewpoint Blog.

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