How Tech Innovation is Solving the Biggest Problems Facing the Construction Sector

By: | February 1st, 2017

Flickr CC/Quinn Dombrowski

It’s no secret that our construction industry is undergoing some changes and problems at the moment. A recent report outlined how the ABCC (Australian Building and Construction Commission) is set to tackle how some of the issues relating to productivity and technological innovation in the Australian construction industry. Malcolm Turnbull wanted there to be an independent sector established to keep an eye on what he states are “dodgy” practices, and the ABCC is the governing body to do so. In the construction industry, there are ongoing disputes, productivity losses and other issues, and we have seen many businesses failing as they struggle to keep up in what is a decidedly troubled industry.

Time and time again, the construction sector is ranking in the bottom three of the innovation industries in Australia in terms of performance. Data obtained from the ABS found that there were only a third of construction industries and businesses who would be able to be classified as being innovation-active, which is very low when compared to other businesses in sectors like warehousing and logistics, media and retail.

Some of the biggest problems facing the construction industry relate to dispute resolution. The construction industry is known for loving to fight. In fact, it was found that the incidence of industrial disputes rose by 34 percent. This has led to hold-ups on builds, and has seen the loss of 44 working days in 2015 alone!

To contend with the huge amounts of problems in the construction industry at the moment, there have been a great deal of technological innovations taking place which are serving to improve the state of affairs. We’ve taken a look at some of these below.

Payments software for dispute management

A big dispute in the construction industry has long revolved around payments.

When to pay, how much, to whom and for what. Thanks to technology and certain types of contractor billing software it’s possible for companies to ensure seamless claims and invoicing which is visible by a range of project managers and clients at once. The disputes that would previously take up time and energy are now a thing of the past as companies enjoy a digital paper trail that is impossible to dispute, and that is clear and easy to understand.

Drone mapping for surveying

Many companies are reaching to technologies like drones to do mapping and surveying quickly and easily. You can also use drones for a range of applications like monitoring the progress of a build, and for planning. Managing project information and workflow is now easier than ever with drones and mobile surveying technology.

Online meetings for time and resource saving

Previously a big concern with project managing a construction project was ensuring that the project managers were able to meet in a timely manner in the most efficient way. With many project managers separated by geography, meeting was often a time-consuming and expensive process. Now, with technologically advanced meeting software it’s possible to get people together and to solve problems quickly, which means that moving forward is easier than ever.

It must be said that every construction company has a responsibility of their own to do better, to innovate more and to take the right steps in the right direction to do better for the sake of the industry and their own bottom line. Technology is making everything easier and more efficient, and it is the construction companies who take the steps and innovate who will survive and do the best in the long run.

There are numerous solutions available to businesses who seek them out, and while we have only listed three of the concerns facing the industry, there are numerous ways in which technology serves to make a difference in the world of construction.

Michael Cooney

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