Constructing the future workforce is a significant undertaking. It requires not just the right people, but also the right tools and methods to complete successfully. A digital construction team provides real-time visibility into project data and allows collaboration between stakeholders, which can improve safety and efficiency on construction sites. However, there are barriers to digital technology adoption among construction workers—and this poses an obstacle to digital transformation in the industry. What are these challenges and how can we build digital construction teams to usher in an era of digital in the construction industry?
The invisible shifts in the construction industry
The construction industry is undergoing a radical transformation with digital technologies. The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, and artificial intelligence (AI) has changed the very fabric of how we construct buildings and infrastructure.
The installed base for IoT devices in buildings is expected to increase from 14 billion in 2022 to 27 billion by 2025. This means that there will be more devices working in tandem with one another during each construction phase than before – bringing together multiple parties from different parts of the world without any physical interaction between them.
This also means that traditional roles within construction companies are being redefined; for example, software developers or project managers may need to become data scientists so they can work alongside other professionals like architects or engineers who may not have had much experience working with large quantities of data previously.
The same is true for construction companies, who will need to think about how they can make use of this data. It is not enough to simply collect it; one must analyze it to make better decisions. If a construction firm wants to remain competitive in the digital age, then it needs to adopt a data-driven approach that focuses on improving productivity and efficiency.
The current state of digital transformation in the construction industry
Digital transformation is the process of using digital technology to fundamentally change the way a business operates. It’s not just about adding new technologies, but rather changing how organizations work and interact with customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. The construction industry has been slow to adopt digital technologies. However, this is changing as companies look for ways to reduce costs while improving safety, productivity, quality, and customer satisfaction.
Digital transformation is not a new concept, but it’s becoming more relevant as organizations recognize the need to change. Companies that have successfully transitioned to a digital world are now realizing the benefits: improved customer service and satisfaction, reduced costs and increased revenue opportunities. Customer-driven and digital-first thinking is applied to every area of an organisation, including its business models, customer experiences, procedures, and operations. To use data and drive intelligent processes, quicker and wiser decision-making, and real-time responsiveness to market disruptions, it uses AI, automation, hybrid cloud, and other digital technologies. Finally, it modifies consumer expectations and generates fresh commercial prospects.
For example, digital construction management software platforms like PlanRadar allow you to access all building-related information in one place across the construction lifecycle, enabling smooth transition from one phase of construction to another. You can also streamline your project management, collaborate with your team, and collect data that provide insights about your construction projects. To learn more about how PlanRadar helps you to build a digital construction team, you can try the app for free or contact us here.
What is a digital construction workforce? Why is it needed?
A digital construction workforce is the new workforce of the future, enabled by emerging and innovating technologies, and can be monitored and managed effectively. Digital construction teams are workforces that can be trained and developed digitally. They have access to online learning platforms where they can access learning resources and work on real-world projects from anywhere in the world.
Digital teams improve operational efficiency in construction businesses by reducing travel costs, increasing collaboration, improving project management capabilities, and allowing for remote working opportunities for some staff members.
Challenges in building a digital construction workforce
- Lack of digital skills: The construction industry currently has a shortage of digital workers. To help build your workforce, it’s important to understand the skills needed for different positions.
- Lack of awareness of the benefits of digital transformation: While most people are aware that they should be using technology in their work, many don’t know how to go about doing so. Employees may not even realize they need training or support when implementing new processes and technologies.
- Lack of support from senior managers: It’s difficult to convince employees at all levels in an organization that they need training when there is no visible leadership backing up those efforts. Without buy-in from the top brass, you’re likely not going to see much change happening with your workforce anytime soon—and it won’t be because they’re uninterested in learning new things; rather, it’ll be because nobody wants them trained!
- Poor communication between IT and business leaders: There’s often a disconnect between the people who understand the technology and those who need to use it in their day-to-day work. This can lead to confusion about what exactly needs to happen when implementing new processes or technologies.
Priorities for developing a digital construction team
Developing a digital construction team is a lengthy process, as it involves both the development of skills and knowledge and the adoption of new technologies. As such, it is important to have clear goals in mind when approaching this task. Here are some things to consider when setting priorities for your organization’s digital transformation strategy:
- What are you trying to achieve? Is it about increasing efficiency or improving quality? Knowing what goal you want to reach will help define how you go about developing your workforce.
- Who do you need on board? For example, you may need more data scientists and fewer engineers if your goal is improving efficiency. Having clearly defined roles will make it easier for existing employees within these areas—and possibly even new hires—to know what they’re expected to achieve.
- How will you train your workforce? It’s important to think about how your employees will be trained for the new roles that they’ll need to take on. This could mean investing in additional training courses or sending some people off to learn from experts elsewhere in your industry.
The role of digital construction management in enabling a digital workforce
Digital construction management is the system of managing an enterprise’s operations by using technology to improve and streamline processes. It’s one of the core digital technologies and can be used in any industry that uses machinery or equipment, including (but not limited to) manufacturing, mining, and construction.
Digital construction management enables businesses in building a digital workforce by helping them to:
- Track their employees’ performance via the use of sensors on equipment or smart devices
- Monitor their workers’ safety through video surveillance systems that record their daily activities throughout the day
- Ensure compliance with state-of-the-art safety guidelines
- Enable access to all project-related construction documents, including Building Information Models (BIM), fire safety plans etc.
The digital construction workforce will play an important role in the future of the industry. This is because many of the traditional ways of doing business are being challenged by new technologies and innovations that can make life easier for both employers and employees. The key to success lies in understanding what exactly it means to be ‘digital’ and then taking steps towards achieving that goal.
Looking to transform your traditional construction teams into a digital workforce? Start your 30-day free PlanRadar trial here.