Each new year presents a wave of new technologies innovating both design and construction. From goggles that alter 3D models to smart building materials that can regenerate themselves, the AEC industry is constantly being exposed to transformational innovations. As technology companies continue to offer up ways to revolutionize design and construction, in many instances, they'll find complacent AEC service providers. This scenario leads us to believe our industry is ripe for disruption. BuildingTech Insider identifies the key reasons why the construction industry is ripe for disruption.
The project process can be digitized with no negative client impact.
Generally speaking, clients have come to expect digital access to services and products. The extent of digital expectation really depends on the industry. While human engagement is a key factor towards client satisfaction throughout a design and construction project project, there are many instances where design and construction practices are significantly better if bolstered by technology or a machine. Ultimately, when there is an opportunity for the client experience to be replicated and/or improved through digitization, it will be. The idea is to be the first.
There's an opportunity to improve the project experience for all stakeholders.
Successful disruption occurs when companies seize upon an innovation that creates a more convenient, cheaper, and more rewarding experience for the client. Technologies are not only providing greater value to the client, they allow project teams to more effectively collaborate, manage and report project tasks, and evaluate the performance based upon project data and metrics. Humans have will always have a desire to seek maximum utility from minimum outlay. AEC firms who elect disregard this fundamental truth will be outdone by those who are true to this desire and capitalize on it.
Automation could undercut the cost of traditional projects.
While the cost to client is important, it is also important to address the cost of conducting business. If automation and digitization can reduce the costs to doing business without sacrificing client value, than that industry is ripe for disruption.
Cheaper, available, and easier to use technology products that increase efficiencies and shorten the project lifecycle are entering the market at a rapid pace. Industry players are slow to adopt full digitalization. This hesitation is surprising when one thoroughly considers the positive impact.
For example, cloud-based design and construction software allows for real time updating instead of having to head back and fourth between the job site and the office. Digitalization ensures complete transparency and greater collaboration over a single system. Incorporating a system like this can mitigate risk, ensure quality and produce more reliable outcomes in the project scope.
Automation can reduce costs without critically impacting the service provided to clients, it is incumbent upon any AEC executive to embrace it. Every firm should be executing an initiative to add value back to clients, and/or deliver a greater project experience for all project stakeholders.
It is important to mention, the AEC industry spends less than one percent of revenues on research and development, when compared to the 4-5 percent that industries like automotive and aerospace spend on developing new products.
If you are an AEC leader, it is high time you lead the charge in a pre-emptive strike. While there is a continued reluctance to adopt new technologies, take the time to get ahead of the competition by understanding the areas that are ripe for disruption and how could your firm capitalize on them. Get a sense on how your firm can play a pivotal role improving the client experience. Delivering value and lowering cost should be at the heart of your proposition. It's time seize the opportunity.
Do you think the AEC industry is ripe for disruption? Share your opinions with us in the comments section below.