Construction productivity could increase by $1.6 trillion if it could catch up to the global economy: equivalent to about half of the world’s annual infrastructure need
Forconstructionpros.com—Remember when you had no desire to have a camera, phone and computer in your pocket but now you can’t imagine life without that cellphone? That’s how tech adoption happens. You don’t know you need something until you can’t live without it. Unfortunately for the construction industry, tech adoption is happening far too slowly and it’s impeding our growth.
The global engineering and construction sector holds the dual distinctions of being one of the world’s largest industries, yet one of its least efficient. According to a study by McKinsey & Co., construction-industry productivity growth has averaged just 1% each year over the past two decades, compared with a 2.8% growth rate for the global economy as a whole.
McKinsey’s research also found that if construction productivity were to catch up with that of the total economy—and it can—the sector’s value added would increase by an estimated $1.6 trillion, adding about 2 percent to the global economy. Such a gain is equivalent to about half of the world’s annual infrastructure need.
So why is our industry so slow to adopt technology when we know it will make our lives easier and make us more money? Contractors who are early tech adopters are using their experience to gain an edge over their competition. This should be you. This entire issue is packed with contractors who are leveraging technology to streamline their business and make more money.
If you’re looking for easy ways to start integrating technology in to your company, here are a few:
Streamline Operations: Identify your pain points and then research solutions. Telematics systems are moving to asphalt equipment and the data the technology provides can improve maintenance schedules and operations. Plant control systems on the production side can dramatically improve your processes at the asphalt plant and can help protect your expensive plant investment.
Get Employee Buy-In: Construction technology is only as good as the workers who use it. If a company or project is investing in expensive tech like software or machinery for their workers to effectively do their jobs, it’s only going to provide value if it’s used.
Provide Tech Training: Purchasing new technology is the easy part. You won’t see game-changing results until your employees are thoroughly familiar and comfortable using it. No matter the technology or software, you need to also invest in a training and support program that will take adoption to the next level.
The pressure for contractors to adopt technology is real. The scale of players in the industry compared to projects available is increasing, making a more productive system attractive to contractors who need a competitive edge. The price of productivity-enhancing technology is also falling, making it more accessible to those who consider cost a hindrance to adoption.
More project owners are demanding data behind the work which is what should be motivating contractors to change. Players that don’t rethink their approaches may be left behind and we don’t want that to happen to you. Check out the technology the asphalt industry has adopted, or should become familiar with, in the pages of this issue and let’s put more money back in your pocket by completing jobs faster and better. ■