To say that the COVID-19 pandemic has been disruptive and grueling is an understatement. This is especially true if you’re a member of the construction industry. Construction faced one of the biggest industry disruptions during COVID-19.
The construction industry is incredibly reliant on workforce, teamwork, and in-person collaboration. All of these things have been made almost impossible over the last year.
Depending on your location, about 60% of workers can return to work. Fewer active workers means that construction still faces lower productivity. It also leads to longer completion times.
Facing the ramifications of COVID-19, it’s easy to accept the limitations and commit to simply weathering the storm. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. The COVID-19 pandemic is asking you to adapt and find new ways to grow your business. You don’t just have to accept the new normal, you can strive for a better normal.
Using technology, you can adapt your construction business to the new constraints. You can use the new limitations to find ways to maximize productivity and collaboration. By upgrading and updating your business model, you can thrive during COVID-19 and beyond.
Read on to learn more.
Technology in the Construction Industry
Although technology has provided many benefits to many fields, the construction industry has yet to catch up. COVID-19 has allowed construction companies to rethink their business models and make use of some of the latest developments.
Artificial intelligence has already been incorporated into many industries. This doesn’t mean that we’re approaching a future out of the movie The Terminator, it just means making job sites more efficient. By automating basic processes, you can save both time and money.
Artificial intelligence is an umbrella term for when a machine performs basic problem-solving and pattern recognition. The potential uses for AI in the construction industry are many.
Machines can go through data and alert managers to critical issues, provide 3D models, and help avoid major safety issues. If you use AI to perform some of these time-consuming tasks, you can free up general contractors and managers to work on more important issues.
ERP and Project Management Software
If you’re like 97% of construction contractors, your current ERP system is the oldest piece of technology in your business. This indicates that most construction companies are outdated in the way that they manage employees and projects.
Technology has a lot to teach the construction industry. By upgrading your project management and accounting ERP you can greatly increase your productivity both on-site and off-site.
The term cloud-based refers to when your software runs on a cloud provider’s server. This means you can log in and check up on your business from anywhere at any time, with no extra work.
With a cloud-based product management system, you can manage your construction site without setting foot on the site. You can also initiate new projects by tracking all opportunities and client meetings. Furthermore, you can define the scope of your projects by organizing all documents and costs.
By updating your ERP to use the latest technology, you can take control of your business process at every step. You can streamline business planning, plan your finances, maximize profits, and keep in touch with your clients.
Even better, using cloud computing, you can use all these features from home. With all your project plans and information in the cloud, your team can collaborate from different home and field offices. Using cloud computing increases the potential to work together, despite social distancing.
Prefabricated construction has great potential to help the construction industry. Its potential benefits span the COVID-19 pandemic and the post-COVID world. Prefab construction can help minimize workers on construction sites. It can also maintain a controlled working environment.
Constructing building components in factories means treating construction in a modular fashion. Similar to an assembly line, each station makes different parts and sends them to the final station. The final station puts them all together.
Building components in an offsite factory keeps costs down and allows for more supervision. It also reduces the number of people on-site at any given time. Some teams can be in the factory building components, while others can assemble them on the construction site.
This is also another opportunity to integrate tech support to manage the assembly process. New software can analyze factory activities and optimize deliveries to the construction site.
Safety has always been a major concern of the construction industry. While managing so many people, it’s important to make sure that construction workers stay safe. COVID-19 has made this job harder adding a new layer of safety concerns.
Ensuring both COVID and normal safety regulations are being followed can be time-consuming. There will also be a need for new training and more vigilance on safety. These problems are daunting. If implemented inefficiently, they could result in a further loss of productivity.
Technology can help to enforce these new safety restrictions with minimal impact on productivity. With project management software you can assign convenient work schedules. Managing the site’s population avoids overcrowding and enforces social distancing.
Management software can also help schedule deliveries, and oversee new training. These features ensure workers are safe, well-trained, and productive whether they are working from home or on-site.
During this pandemic, the environmental impact of construction in the United States is actually pretty low. This is due to the low rates of construction. Despite this, it’s still a major concern for construction companies in the long term. The pandemic is the perfect time to re-organize your company and streamline your process to ensure that you remain sustainable.
Using new remote project management software, you can schedule deliveries from off-site. This is one way to lower frequencies of delivery and reduce double handling. You can also optimize equipment time. This allows for a smaller carbon footprint.
Construction in the Post-COVID World
COVID-19 has shaken the industry up. It’s had an unprecedented effect on the global economy and made us all realize how vulnerable we truly are. One of mankind’s greatest traits is our ability to adapt and COVID-19 has given us a chance to both adapt and improve. It’s forced us to make difficult choices, to lose time and productivity, and it will end up reshaping every industry.
It’s time for the construction industry to adapt and overcome these new challenges. It’s time for a technological overhaul, to ensure your companies longevity and continued success during COVID-19 as well as the post-COVID world.