Productivity is a hot topic in the design and construction industry right now. Low efficiency has been a persistent drumbeat in project life cycles, adding waste and contributing to higher costs. Efforts to improve productivity have proven to be a challenge, especially in a market defined by talent shortages, aggressive procurement, and low margins.
PhiCubed looks at some of the groundbreaking technologies that have the greatest potential to improve labor in the construction sector.
Facing an Industry-Wide Problem
Meeting the productivity challenge continues to be an industry-wide problem. It is particularly acute on large-scale construction projects, where accelerated schedules, limited availability of talent, and crowded or small job sites demand increased efficiencies to meet the daily delivery goals. The situation gets even more intense with the ongoing pressure from clients demanding for lower costs.
Finding solutions is difficult at the individual organization level. Economists believe that change should be done on a bigger scale, where policymakers, clients, and supply-chain partners take part. It is important to build collaborations and employ new technologies to improve performance and achieve a degree of insulation from the pressure of the market.
Adoption of modern technology is viewed to be one of the most effective means of solving the efficiency issue. Mobile devices have been a great help since they allow staff to send updates in real time and collaborate across different job sites. However, it is the use of building information modeling or BIM that is perceived to be the true industry game-changer.
BIM is an emerging process that can significantly reduce rework and improve productivity. Many organizations that have added BIM to their toolbox have seen fewer problems with their design, as well as other areas of their business.
Combined with better management techniques, BIM is going to be a key innovation that can change the construction sector. There is no single silver bullet solution for productivity, but the industry can start using powerful tools to deliver better results.