The digitalisation of the construction sector has been a growing trend for years. Significant increases in efficiency take place in all industries where digitalisation has already progressed. The construction industry has a long way ahead.
Other industries have already had the bitter experience. A clear example of a loser in this matter is the video store. Video stores were very popular. For only an euro you could rent a film and you’d have a relaxed night on the couch with friends or family. The Netherlands had in 2018 only 34 video stores left, according to research bureau Locatus. And that against 1263 stores in 2005…
The market is constantly changing and those who do not want to innovate are falling behind the competition. The pressure to change comes from various directions: the customer, new technological developments, the legal framework and the new generation.
Society is influenced by rapidly changing markets, such as business-to-consumer. Customers expect their flats, offices and infrastructure to be optimised. Customer demands are increasing rapidly and becoming more and more complex. Flats and offices are no longer judged solely on the basis of their living comfort, but on how energy-sufficient, environmentally friendly and health-friendly they are.
New technology skills
There are more technologies on the market than ever. Think drones, 3D printers and robotics. The costs of sensors, hardware and software have fallen in recent years and have led to huge efficiency gains. This leads to new innovations.
The construction industry has always been sceptical about change. But the younger generations are here, and they grew up with digitalisation. The new generation is technically skilled, learns and develops new working methods and drives the digitisation process. The introduction of new digital tools and processes will create many new, yet unknown jobs in the coming years.
Governments, especially in Northern Europe, have been tightening CO2 and energy efficiency regulations. Digitalisation can help reduce the environmental impact of construction projects. In the future, there will also be stricter requirements for data use and cybersecurity.
From paper-intensive administration to project management software
The construction industry is known for completing construction projects slowly and late. Managers and contractors used to follow the traditional, paper-intensive administration system. This caused problems. Think of poor communication, budget overruns and the loss of historical data. A clear example of the contrast between analogue and digital working methods is the purchase of construction services (construction specialists and materials) by main contractors and project developers. Hundreds of construction specialists must be provided with ever-changing plans. Prices must be compared and certificates must be requested and checked. 12Build has upgraded this process to a modern cloud solution. More than 675 main contractors from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Austria are connected to 12Build. They have sent over 1.9 million quote requests through 12Build. These medium-sized and large contractors can quickly and easily search for construction partners that are a perfect match for any type of project.
You don’t want to fall behind, do you?
The construction industry is entering the digital age. There is no doubt that major changes are ahead. The trends outlined are putting pressure on incumbents, both equipment manufacturers and traditional construction and service companies. They’re leading towards a more complex and dynamic competitive landscape. It is time to develop a digital strategy. The digital march is developing rapidly and many players in the construction industry will be surprised by the change and new technologies. They will be fearful and negative about them. Digitalisation is essential for continuing the success of a construction company and the entire industry in the years to come.