Procore Technologies Inc has released findings of an independent survey commissioned by Procore of over 250 UK and Irish managers and above.

The survey explored the concept and potential of smarter construction give the last year has accelerated the need to better connect stakeholders, processes and data, and illustrates an untapped potential and opportunity to further accelerate digital transformation in the UK and Irish construction sectors.

The study has also revealed that visibility of performance is central to the majority of construction companies with almost all (90%) believe that they have it. However, just 32% rate their visabilty as ‘very high, ”, the challenge for UK&I construction companies is not in capturing insights but extracting value from them. This is all about collecting and gaining on-demand access to insights in an efficient and consistent way across all operations in order to provide a complete view across the business to then make more informed decisions and drive improvements.

The value gap might be caused by the fact that almost 64% of those who took part said they are still using outdated manual tools such as spreadsheets to measure performance.

With increased remote collaboration in the current context, it’s crucial that software tools are connecting the dots, not creating confusion and uncertainty. To streamline work, and save time and money, construction leaders need solutions that both create high levels of performance visibility, and which enable them to use those insights to drive future decisions. For example, to gain an understanding of how many days a particular trade or a specific team takes to resolve snags and which element of a build had the most snags to identify what the most optimal way to close out the project would be.

Extracting full value from visibility of performance

According to the research, the benefits of having on-demand access and use of insights is evident. Nearly half (43%) UK&I managers have seen overall efficiency and productivity rise since having visibility of performance. While 49% have been able to deliver higher quality projects with fewer defects. Yet, with only 32% rating their visibility as “very high”, there is still opportunity for these benefits to increase.

Furthermore, real-time insights save time and money. On average, every manager saves nearly a full day’s work (almost 5 hours) each week, thanks to having clear visibility, and businesses as a whole save £253,000 per year. In contrast, globally, those without visibility of performance lose 3.5 hours each week, at a cost of £265,000 per year to the business.

The industry is moving in the right direction. The vast majority (84%) of those without visibility, globally, state they would be likely to adopt a tool that allows them to achieve it, with the top reason for doing so being to save money (47%).

Sharing information with supply chains also proved valuable with over 9 in 10 (91%) having done so to improve project performance. The top benefits which were found included reducing downtime and/or delays and increasing overall efficiency and productivity (both 36%).

Brandon Oliveri-O’Connor, Senior Director of EMEA, Procore. said: “After a challenging year, it’s encouraging to see the transformational impact which the ability to access and use insights in real-time is having on the construction sector already, with many being able to boost efficiency and bolster bottom lines. But, while our research shows that the industry is heading in the right direction with 90% having visibility of performance, there’s much more potential to gain even greater value, given not even a third have a “very high” level of it.

“As an industry, we must look beyond manual tools and seek smarter construction-specific solutions which not only allow on-demand and real-time access to insights, but the ability to analyse and draw conclusions from it. Only this high level of visibility will help inform better decision making and free people up to focus on higher value tasks like budgeting, forecasting, and project management. At Procore, we believe that building what’s next starts with smarter construction and so, we’re committed to providing the highest level of visibility and the right technologies, such as AI, to help companies achieve even greater success as we emerge from the pandemic.”

The latest technologies point to a smarter future 

With construction sector innovators not only embracing the benefits of on-demand access to performance insights, but the latest technologies to do so, the future of the industry is positive. Over half of UK and Irish construction managers (53%) are currently using AI or machine learning technologies to assist with visibility of performance, demonstrating the clear need for those still relying on manual methods to close the gap with competitors.

UK and Irish managers additionally feel the most prepared, compared to other countries, with 36% saying they feel “very well prepared” to adopt new construction technologies coming on stream in the next five years, such as AR and 4D BIM.

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