When it comes to productivity, the construction industry has lagged behind traditional industries due to the lack of technology adoption. According to Erin Roberts, global engineering & construction leader at Ernst & Young, construction has been one of the last to adopt even common technologies including ERP systems.
But that has since changed. A couple years ago, an EY study asked its contractor clients what the most important innovation they needed to make their organizations successful. The number one response was ERP systems, Roberts explained in a ForConstructionPros article.
“Companies in the last few years have really embraced and adopted ERPs,” he said. “And they have started to see the future of innovation through the use of technologies and project management and building information management systems.”
For the past couple years, the construction industry has taken major strides in adopting new technologies to improve their business processes and productivity. According to an EY study, 98 percent of respondents said digital was critical to the future success of their organization, Roberts explained.
When You’re Expected to Do More with Less
Today’s new normal means construction companies are looking for ways to increase productivity while maintaining social-distancing protocols. With fewer workers on site, the need to make operations more efficient is more critical than ever. This means making investments in software solutions to equip workers and project managers with the information they need to ensure projects are completed on time and within budget.
This digital transformation has been a long time coming. Many construction companies are taking this opportunity to leapfrog competitors who are still using outdated technologies and positioning themselves ahead of the game.
While reviewing your current business process setup and searching for a new solution can be a daunting task, it will ultimately pay off in the long run.
“We realized through this crisis that we can improve our businesses without a whole lot of cost,” said Roberts. “I think companies are going to be a lot more open to change.”
PBA: The Next ERP Innovation in Construction
Construction companies have operated within many different point solutions to manage their scheduling, costing, operations, analytics, etc. Why? Probably because that’s what they’ve always done. But now is the time to start to demand more from the construction business solutions they adopt.
Project Business Automation (PBA), a term we created and now officially adopted by Forrester, is a new category of software solutions for project-based companies, particularly construction. PBA disrupts the status quo of how project businesses typically operate and integrates all core project business processes into one, comprehensive system, providing real-time project data and KPIs. This facilitates the acceleration and automation of project business processes that was not previously possible when managed in different applications.
Download the Project Business Automation Blueprint to learn how PBA creates a streamlined, comprehensive system for project-based companies.
Roberts says now is the time to make changes to adapt to a post-pandemic environment.
“We are entering this moment within nine months to a year where we’ll be surviving as opposed to thriving,” he said, should construction backlogs dry up. “I’m concerned that the window might be closing and it’s going to be two or three years from now before we pick up this drive for incremental change again. That’s the basic premise for why taking steps now is so important.”