Navigating digital transformation in the construction industry
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, digital transformation in construction has accelerated significantly. And as inflationary pressures continue to bite, construction companies are looking at ways to improve efficiencies and protect margins.
Common areas that businesses look for improvement in include saving time, improving connectivity between people and systems, reducing wastage and managing quality and risk.
Software lies at the heart of digital transformation in construction, and for SMEs the benefits can be transformational. Many can easily streamline and automate key processes, and tools are available that suit all sizes of construction companies and types of budget. Those that proactively invest can often achieve quick improvements in areas including financial management, risk reduction and collaboration.
Digital transformation for SMEs does not have to be a case of substituting existing technology. Many analogue processes can be enhanced or even replaced entirely.
Keys to successful digital transformation for SMEs
Start with finances
Financial tools often offer a good place to start. They help businesses to easily identify cashflow issues through functions such as automatically monitoring cash in and out of the business, and the creation of simple dashboards which make information visible and easily accessible. Common problems like late payers, an unexpected increase in material costs or a drop in what’s available in the bank become simpler to monitor and allow businesses to make changes where needed.
Then move on to people
Once cashflow is sorted, effective communication should be the next priority for a successful digital transformation. Proven to help minimise mistakes and avoid costly rework or delays, it adds further certainty to projects.
Software can help here too, formalising processes like capturing customer requirements and sharing them across the project team. Progress can then be checked against this information to ensure that the project is being delivered correctly, in line with the client’s desired outcomes and expectations.
Cloud-based collaboration tools like Studio in Bluebeam Revu also bring people together in shared spaces on linked documents. Incorporating a live activity feed to keep track of comments and changes, it allows people to work in real time, bringing clients and teams together effectively, whether on-site or in an office.
Our expert guide to digital transformation
To help SMEs understand how to adopt construction software, Bluebeam has written a technical guide with the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB): “Digital Transformation for SMEs: Unlocking the Benefits.” It outlines a step-by-step process for adopting technology, finding the best solution and rolling out new software tools successfully.
Our digital transformation guide also includes case studies from contractors that have adopted new software tools and seen huge improvements in their business. Download it today to start your digital transformation journey.