An analysis of technology trends by Dodge Construction Network (DCN) and Smartapp.com found that most general contractors do not use technology to automate project and construction management processes.
The study, Optimizing Digital Project Management SmartMarket Brief, examined how general contractors use technology through a survey of more than 200 general contractors, construction managers and building designers. Researchers discovered that although solutions to automate project and construction manager processes have been available to general contractors for many years, adoption varies widely across processes and among companies.
The report found that 53% of general contractors surveyed do not use technology for most processes. Of the 11 project management and construction-related processes studied, the five most frequently automated processes include:
- Construction Process Management (85%)
- Scheduling (84%)
- Document Management (81%)
- Cost Management (79%)
- Bid Management (75%)
“The findings show we are still in the midst of transforming how construction projects are managed,” says Steve Jones, senior director of Industry Insights at DCN. “Technology adoption has already taken hold among general contractors, but the value they experience will be magnified as they continue to integrate their solutions together.”
Though digital engagement has yet to catch on for most general contractors, those that have embraced automation say the top improvements include scheduling, cost performance, overall data collection from the jobsite, profitability, labor productivity, quality of completed work and safety performance.
However, 76% of general contractors report experiencing data integration challenges. The three most frequent challenges are:
- Data migration;
- Difficulty exchanging data effectively with other team members’ solutions; and
- Difficulty integrating the solutions in our technology stack.
When asked to identify what strategies general contractors believe would be most effective at improving the value of technology, 77% said consolidation is vital. More than 70% of general contractors say integration is also key, meaning investing in improved integrations between existing solutions.
Companies that already optimize technology say the keys to success include senior management buy-in on the strategic importance of technology, a well-developed process for adopting, piloting and implementing construction technology and good vendor support.
Click here to read the entire report.