A digital future awaits
The building and construction sector is way behind most other industries when it comes to digital integration of its work activities. Building Connection explains.
A recent global report released by McKinsey & Company ranked the construction sector as the second lowest, only slightly ahead of Agriculture and Hunting… nothing to be proud of.
Massive change is coming and although it is starting at the top end of the market, its benefits will over time cascade through the industry to smaller builders and contractors.
Resisting change is no longer an option, according to McKinsey’s Mukund Sridar who delivered a thought provoking presentation titled ‘Imagining construction’s digital future’ at the recent 2016 Construction Technology Summit CTS) held in Melbourne.
While you can search out that presentation on the web, one particularly interesting chart can be seen below, which identifies five trends that will shape construction projects into the future.
At the CTS, it was pointed out that Australia is playing catch-up with overseas rivals, particularly the UK, especially in new areas such as building information modelling (BIM), where there is a lack of uniformity.
The CTS was an important initiative of the Victorian Government and Aconex (www.aconex.com), the highly successful Australian-based digital document management company that is operating globally.
The two-day event provided the opportunity for smaller innovative digital solution companies and start-ups to learn more about the issues and opportunities across the sector from some experienced heads, including Paul Bassatt, co-founder of Seek and Craig Winkler, founder of MYOB.
Aconex didn’t hide the fact that it was keen to identify new product ‘plug-ins’ that can enhance its customer offering, while giving these smaller players a foot up on the global stage.
There were some interesting start-up businesses displaying their wares, many of which were business process apps; however, one that really took our eye was www.cranetime.com.au.
With a proliferation of cranes choking the skylines of our suburbs, more and more builders and contractors are working on these mid-rise sites.
Sharing crane time between the various trades to shift materials on a busy site can be a messy business. The way they are managed has not really evolved much past whiteboards, spreadsheets and email calendars.
What Cranetime offers is an online application tool which controls all crane operations through the use of an online booking system and real-time dispatch of all tasks. The market niche was identified by Perth-based Tom Fraser who had spent years in the equipment rental sectors of the building industry and identified the need to increase safety, maximise crane use and drive workforce productivity.
Digitising the NCC and Standards
Recently, Building Connection columnist Jerry Tyrrell and publisher Jeff Patchell met with senior management of both Standards Australia and the Australian Building Codes Board to consider Jerry’s long-time campaign through the pages of this magazine to simplify and convert our paper-based Codes and Standards into a digital format for easier access.
All parties acknowledged we need this digital product and hopefully we will see a pilot project undertaken which could be a forerunner to the delivery of the NCC and other documents in a form we all want. Go Team ABCB + Standards Australia!