No matter what industry you’re in, your company and your job have been affected in some way by this pandemic. While some have benefited, most have been hurt. The construction industry has largely felt a negative impact in 2020 so far, and most of the evidence points to a lasting effect that could endure for months to come if not longer. There is a wealth of good information out there that provides insights into the short and long-term changes to construction and construction projects. A recent article from ConstructionDive shows eight ways COVID-19 has changed construction for near team and foreseeable future. For example, Jobsites will be cleaner and safer, projects will take longer and telework will be more common. These, and many other changes, are putting a greater reliance on technology to maintain efficiency and ensure compliance with the new rules. This has forced many construction companies to accelerate their digital transformation, and adopt strategic software solutions as part of their means of adapting to these new challenges.
A PWC survey on “Engineering & Construction in a Post-COVID world: Weathering the Storm” suggests that companies with, “the capacity to gather and analyse the data that decision-makers need, will be well-placed to pivot and seize new opportunities. Those organisations will be market leaders no matter how the post-COVID world evolves.” The takeaway from studies such as this are that the best run companies will, despite the downturn, jump at this as an opportunity to look inward, streamline operations and leverage technology tools to improve how they do business. This moment in time should not be wasted. I know that line has been used so often recently that it’s almost annoyingly cliché, but it remains abundantly relevant right now. Whatever reasons you may have used in the past to delay your operational upgrades – not enough time, concerns about disruption, etc. – those should have conveniently disappeared by now, so pivoting your attention internally to your digital transformation couldn’t happen at a better time.
According to Fortune, in spite of declining revenues, cancelled projects, and budget cuts, most mid-market contractors are either sustaining or increasing their investment in their digital transformation. As proposed in that article, “The case for digital transformation is especially strong for middle market companies.” By adopting technology, contractors can compete more fiercely with the bigger players and can do so without significant expense or risk. As they point out, “Digitalized operations improve efficiency and cut costs; and cloud computing, digital platforms, and other services can enable them to scale and grow with much less capital than before.” Adopting key technology is especially critical in the construction industry, where paper and spreadsheets are common; along with slow, outdated processes that include manual rekeying of data, old & disconnected software systems, and a dire lack of project visibility or reliable data. More than most industries, the construction industry is particularly ready for modernization.
So, while some may see this crisis as a crisis, those that will be poised to emerge on top will capitalize on this moment to accelerate their organizational technology, enhance profitability and scale their business for the near and long-term future. Looking at an integrated enterprise software solution that centralizes all their construction projects onto a common platform and aligns the efforts of project controls, field personnel, project management and construction procurement, is vital to the future success of any mid-market construction contractor.