COVID–19 has made many sectors adopt digital and remote operation. But it is hard for the construction sector to jump on the digitizing bandwagon for its hands-on nature. However, it is essential to adapt to the changing trends brought in by this pandemic.
COVID- 19 has forced us to take up new ways to work. Remote work from home and digital methods are more favorable now. The companies and sectors which adopted the new ways are faring well during the pandemic. There are new patterns of product and service demands. The construction sector is facing hardships with the changes. The method of functionality is different in this sector than others.
Physical work must be done on sites. This type of work makes human interaction unavoidable. The disruptions of supply chains and consumer demands are also hampering the sector’s financial growth.
Here are nine ways the construction sector can cope up digitally-
1. Adopt Project Managing Software
Projects can be managed by the management team remotely without going to the construction sites. This change will enable a safe work environment for some people.
In-person meetings should be avoided as much as possible right now. Therefore, video conferencing, live video streaming, and project management software have to start paying a more significant role.
Project managers should use advanced software to manage work remotely. Plans and decisions should be managed using this construction software. This move will prevent danger from the pandemic and increase work efficiency.
2. Digitize The Supply Chain
Supply chain disruption is one of the significant problems in the construction sector. This pandemic has shut down a lot of raw material generating companies have shut down.
Entire countries have gone into lockdown. Lockdowns have caused companies to experience supply chain problems. This problem also increases the time required to complete a project that is already underway. The construction and raw materials costs have also increased.
Here, it is essential to digitize the information on the supply chain as much as possible.
3. Reschedule Manual Labour
Laborers cannot work in person on projects because of safety reasons in this pandemic. Social distance has to be maintained everywhere. The projects that initially hired a lot of laborers have to cut back on the number of people present on site.
As a result, fewer people end up doing more work - resulting in reduced productivity and higher burnout.
Managing laborers on-site are one of the hardest aspects of construction work. Companies need to figure out ways to make new adjustments to managing labor.
New policies have to be adopted to accommodate the increased time consumption and cost. This function can be done remotely by the management section from their at-home office.
Managers have to ensure that only the required amount of people remain on the construction sites. So the people who can do their job remotely through the internet should continue to do so.
4. Introduce Fail-safe Policies
It is vital to introduce cautionary policies in the contracts so you can safeguard against violation of agreed-upon terms.
The extra time you needed and slow construction can cause a lot of companies to drop their contractors. Including a failsafe option in your contracts can guarantee less amount of money lost during the pandemic.
Try including an ‘Act of God’ clause. This clause clients from dropping your contracts if work is disrupted due to natural disasters, such as this pandemic.
5. Re-evaluating Cost Of Projects
You should reevaluate the costs of projects. If you reduce some ineffective costs now, it might become helpful in the long run. Try reassessing all the projects at hand. Check out the costs of each sector.
Make use of any opportunities to reduce expenditure anywhere. Try making adjustments to your policies and contracts regarding COVID regulations.
New proposals for work should be carefully considered. You should not take less profitable projects to stay afloat.
6. Using IoT And AI
A construction company naturally sees slower growth than other sectors. But it still comprises over 6% of worldwide GDP.
Looking into newer opportunities may increase the chances of generating new profits. Construction companies can look into infrastructure development projects regarding the IoT.
IoT will be all the rage in the coming times because of 5G. Building new cell towers and a network connecting infrastructure are good projects to consider. AI is already being used for designing projects, but there is much room for improvement.
7. Use Geological Survey & Geo-location
Construction companies should rely on technologies as much as possible. Using new technologies such as HD photos, 3D laser scanning, GPS, satellite imaging, and drones can be helpful to survey new locations. Using this technology will reduce manual labor and increase efficiency at the same time.
8. Use The Same Platform
Construction companies are usually not well integrated over multiple sections. There are many sections of a project: design, management, planning, architecture, and material management.
Most of the time, these sections are not integrated. Each one uses its own platforms, making the process hard to integrate. This increases the time consumption of the project and increases costs in the long run.
Construction companies can use 5D building information modeling to curb this problem. This model represents the project in the 5D physical and functional model. This technology can also be adapted to the AR and MR systems.
This technology can reduce time and increase efficiency. This integrates all the plans and projects in one platform and describes the risks, impacts, time, and cost of the entire project.
9. Wider Digital Integration
Broader digital integration will enable workers to access documents in the cloud.
During the pandemic, it is necessary to have access to work remotely. To make remote work successful, it is crucial to integrate all data and files digitally. It is important to take up software development in this case.
Cloud computing and software development are necessary to access blueprints, data, files, documents, and project plans. Engineering and management can be done remotely if the documents are available in the cloud.
The construction sector can rise during the COVID- 19 crisis if new technologies are adopted. One of the main reasons for the slow growth of this sector is adherence to analog methods. With proper strategies and planning, the construction sector can revive. 2020 is the year for the digital transformation of all industries. The construction sector can use this opportunity by expanding their investments in newer technologies.