Construction is an industry where the implementation of smart technology has lagged behind. However, it is also an industry where implementing smart technology has great potential benefits. As competition in the construction market has become fiercer, we can’t understate the importance of saving costs and increasing efficiency. As such, smart technology has become one of the key components that companies can use to gain a competitive advantage. In this blog post, we will give you the three most important reasons why the construction industry is lagging behind. Additionally, what the benefits are of implementing smart technology in your construction company.
3 Challenges for the Construction Industry in 2020
Before talking about why construction companies should implement smart technology, it is a good idea to understand why the industry at large has been lagging in taking advantage of the clear benefits it has to offer.
REASON 1 – FRAGMENTED VALUE CHAIN
The entire value chain in construction consists of multiple fragmented parts, where collaboration between various suppliers must work. Tight deadlines often dictate construction work. This means that experimentation in how you conduct the work can be a great risk. While larger companies sometimes can take these risks, smaller construction companies have to be more risk averse as their operating margins are much lower.
REASON 2 – COMPLEX AND UNCERTAIN PROJECTS
Construction projects are often unique and involve an ever-changing cast of suppliers and workers. There are also many stakeholders in a typical construction project, which adds to the complexity. There are also often factors that are hard to predict and the conditions for each project are unique. Experienced construction workers know to expect the unexpected.
REASON 3 – A CULTURE OF LIMITED CHANGEABILITY
This brings us to reason 3. According to the study Industrial Revolution 4.0 in the construction industry: Challenges and opportunities for stakeholders, the culture of the construction industry is known for its reluctant practices in regard to adopting new technology. This is probably a symptom of the above-mentioned reasons, as the risks of implementing new technology can seem high. However, as we will soon see, the benefits of implementing these new technologies far outweigh the risks.
Industry 4.0 – The Top 3 Benefits of Implementing Smart Technology
Let’s break down the main benefits of implementing smart technology, such as smart sensors, in the construction industry.
Improving productivity is a bit of a catch-all term. Everyone always wants to improve the productivity of their business processes. However, for it to actually mean something you need to take actual measures. By using smart sensors on the construction site, machine monitoring becomes a much less daunting task. This leads to less downtime and faster and better decision-making. This can for example include your employees having the tools to discover machine malfunction, construction errors, and missing pieces. This not only increases productivity but also reduces many risks involved in construction.
LOWER OPERATING COSTS
Since the construction industry has some hurdles to get through to implement smart technology, one area of focus is always how much it will cost compared to the risks. You can make the biggest savings in these three areas:
- Predictive maintenance
Traditionally, maintenance has been reactive, meaning that you fix machines after they break. By hooking up your machines to smart systems, they can tell you how they are doing in real-time. This effectively reduces time and money spent on repairs since you can fix them before they break. This is a huge benefit in construction as machine failure can be both dangerous and costly. This is because you need to transport the machines at greater distances than in factories or warehouses.
Automation has been a steady force in the work on cost reduction for many years now, and it keeps being relevant. By automating key processes, you can save on labor costs and improve throughput.
- Real-time monitoring
By getting access to more data, companies can now become more efficient at quality control and reduce the need for trial and error.
MORE DATA = BETTER DECISION-MAKING
Data is the key to saving costs. By integrating smart technology into the construction industry, data is generated at a higher pace than ever before. You can then use this data for many things, not least for improving strategic decision-making. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming for businesses when they start gathering data from smart technology. Information just by itself is not useful unless it is categorized and analyzed properly. It is important that your company collaborates with a partner that has the tools you need to make good use of your newfound data source.
WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS INDUSTRY 4.0?
There are many products in the smart technology market. While many of them are great, the main problem is often that they aren’t easily accessible for the average construction company. You need a solution called IOT OUT OF THE BOX. It enables shortened sensor-based application development cycles and offers a quick start for a developer to set up a network, connect sensor tags and start streaming sensor data. It is an all-in-one product containing sensor tags, mesh routers, and a gateway – all you need to get started on your journey towards being an Industry 4.0 company. Click here for more information about the smart technology that can propel your company forward in 2020 and onwards, and don’t hesitate to contact us to talk more about your technology needs. We would love to answer any questions that you may have about mesh networks and routers, gateways, and IoT solutions.