- A survey conducted by workflow software company TrackVia revealed that despite the potential for enhanced operations, cost savings and reduced risk through digital data collection, 47% of construction managers still use manual methods to collect important project information. Another important takeaway from TrackVia's Manual Processes in Construction and Engineering report is that many companies use multiple data systems to process and store jobsite information.
- Almost 90% of the 500 executives surveyed said they spend 1,300 hours annually trying to organize information from various systems into data they can use, which is 400% more time than it takes managers using a single system. In addition, 59% of managers said they receive incomplete information about work quality when using manual systems, and 65% said they miss change-order opportunities.
- A majority of respondents (70%) said they need reliable data to identify "potential issues before they become big problems," and slightly more than half (52%) said they believe many hurdles created by manual data collection could be eliminated by digitization of processes.
The construction industry has been tagged with the "slow adopter of technology" label for many years, and the TrackVia survey demonstrates that many contractors have a long way to go toward being able to reap the benefits of digitization and other technologies. So why the holdup?
According to a 2017 McKinsey & Company report, many construction companies don’t get the expected payoff from the digital tools they implement, and/or they encounter enough problems during attempts at company-wide adoption that management's enthusiasm for digitization efforts dwindle. McKinsey said the reasons for these issues could be: Lack of commitment on the part of company leaders to see the adoption process through; insufficient explanation of the technology's benefits; not enough training; and/or lack of integration with legacy systems.
The McKinsey report said that construction companies might be able to overcome these hurdles if they take the following steps: Create a focused and organized digital strategy that includes establishment of goals and determination of gaps in the current system; make projects a testing ground for new technology; be willing to restructure business processes around digitization; and look for ways to increase investments in digital tools , such as entering into partnerships with technology companies.