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2020 to be tipping point for digitisation in the UK construction industry

A new in-depth research led report reveals the construction industry is stepping up to its digital transformation opportunity.

A survey of 200 UK decision makers in construction, as part of a new industry report, reveals 2020 to be a pivotal year for the uptake of digital solutions to address areas such as friction within supply chains, risk management and increasing staff productivity.

The findings show that despite 54 per cent admitting the industry has been slow to adopt digital technologies, there are green shoots of optimism with businesses operating across the lifecycle of the built environment realising the benefits of investment in new technology and seeing a positive impact on:

  • Commercial performance – with 43 per cent increasing their business win rates, 56 per cent reducing operating costs, and 54 per cent improving their workforce productivity.
  • Project and operational control – 70 per cent have witnessed better and faster flows of information and data.
  • Supply chain performance – 48 per cent have built stronger relations with their supply chain.
  • Talent management – 58 per cent have been successful at attracting and retaining new digital talent.
  • Client relationships – 52 per cent have experienced increased client satisfaction.

According to the research, this momentum looks set to continue with 81 per cent of respondents across the construction sector stating that in the next 12 months they will be taking greater leaps to improve their business digitally.

Challenges do remain however with respondents pointing to a number of key drivers that need to be addressed if the industry is to take full advantage of the opportunities of digital technology. The key themes that emerged through the research were standardising technology across the supply chain, developing a new and diverse digitally driven workforce and improving profitability to enable increased investment in new technology. To empower decision making at the front line, there is a clear need for intuitive, easy to use and deploy, web enabled, mobile tech where data is readily shared and available. 

The new report ‘Construction’s Digital Frontline; How an industry is stepping up to its transformation opportunity’ has been commissioned by the UK construction software company, Causeway. As part of the report, interviews were conducted with industry leaders such as Birmingham City University, Atkins, and Eiffage Kier joint venture. The report aims to shine a light on the emerging reality of the adoption of new innovations across the industry.

Chief Executive of Causeway, Phil Brown, commented: “Construction isn’t always the first sector that comes to mind when you think about innovation and business transformation. In fact, it is often presented as a laggard, mired in complexity and challenge.

“This can be partly attributed to the fact the industry is stuck in a vicious circle of low productivity and low profitability. Yet across the construction industry – right now – our customers and many other forward acting businesses are going beyond traditional back-office systems to harness digital technologies at the front-line. An area where, in today’s mobile and digitally enabled world, success will increasingly be found. And as a result, many businesses and clients are transforming their commercial performance by reducing operating costs, managing risk, enhancing supplier relationships increasing productivity, and boosting service delivery.”




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