Digitization in constructions - why resistance to change is no longer an option

Date: 24-08-2017
Author: Alina Răfoi

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Although the benefits of using IT solutions are obvious, the construction sector is among those that adopt technological innovations fairly slowly and slowly, and there are inconsistencies between data on construction sites and those arriving at offices. The acute shortage of qualified personnel and the growing demand for constructions companies to bring about the need to deeply change the way they work and to adopt technological solutions to help them improve their management of constructions projects and to increase their profits.


McKinsey announces 5 trends leading to the digitization of the construction industry

High-definition surveillance and geolocation

Geological "surprises" are a major reason for delaying projects and overtaking the budget. Discrepancies between land conditions and estimates may require costly last minute changes in the purpose and design of the project. New techniques that integrate high-definition photography, 3D laser scanning and geographic information systems, allowed by recent improvements to drones and unmanned vehicle technologies (UAVs), can improve the accuracy of the information on which the construction project is based, as well as Its delivery speed.

Designing 5D

The next generation 5D is a five-dimensional representation of the physical and functional characteristics of any project. This will take into account the cost and schedule of a project in addition to standard 3D spatial design parameters. It will also include details such as geometry, specifications, aesthetic, thermal and acoustic features. 5D design platforms allow owners and entrepreneurs to identify, analyze and record the impact of changes on project costs and scheduling.

Process digitization

Due to the lack of digitization, the exchange of information is delayed, and recipients and entrepreneurs often work on different versions of reality. Using paper makes it difficult to capture and analyze data. Process digitization means the removal of paper and online transmission of information in real time to ensure transparency and collaboration, progress and risk assessment in a timely manner, quality control and possibly better and more reliable results.


Digitizing workflows has substantial benefits. According to McKinsey, in an American project involving nearly 600 vendors, the contractor has developed a unique platform for bidding and contract management. This has reduced the time to generate reports by 75% and made document transfer more efficient by 90%. In another case, a $ 5 billion rail project, the contractor saved more than $ 110 million and increased productivity by using automated workflows for reviews and approvals.

IoT and advanced analysis techniques

Each construction project generates very large amounts of data, due to the large number of people involved, the equipment and machinery used, and the activities that take place simultaneously on the site. If it is difficult to collect all data, let's say about processing or analyzing them.


On the site, IoT (the Internet of Things) technology allows machines and equipment to "communicate" with a central data platform to capture critical performance parameters. Sensors, proximity devices (NFC) and other technologies can help monitor the productivity and reliability of staff and assets.


New and improved building materials


New building materials, such as self-healing concrete or nano-materials, as well as innovative building approaches, such as 3D printing and pre-assembled modules, can reduce costs and speed up the construction time by improving them Quality and safety at the same time.


Building materials are a world $ 1 trillion industry and are typically more than half of the total cost of projects. But new and improved building materials are also needed due to several trends:

  • Ecological construction. There is an enormous impression to adopt low-carbon materials and technologies.
  • Cost effectiveness. Given the substantial cost pressures, structural changes are required in choosing materials, in addition to weak incremental efforts.
  • Agility of the supply chain. The transport of heavy materials and equipment has massive implications as costs and time in the supply chain, especially as many new projects are located in remote or dense areas.
  • Improving durability and resilience. With increasing capital costs and increasing land in many markets, owners insist that projects have a longer commercial life.


Both builders and beneficiaries share responsibility for the transition to digitization, as the benefits of using the latest technology bring benefits to both sides. Examples from other industries have shown that those who have adopted the first new technologies have benefited from a sustainable competitive advantage. In constructions, those who will understand that resistance to change is no longer an option will be the most earned.


Until we come to use 5D, drone or IoT design techniques, we can begin step by step automating and automating processes by implementing an IT management system. SocrateERP provides an integrated solution to companies operating in the construction sector and helps to efficiently manage all business processes: procurement, contract management, cost, consumption, employees, equipment and machinery, maximizing profits through effective implementation of each project and the possibility to manage several projects with fewer resources by integrating and automating key processes.


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