Digital workflows make for efficient project management
By Adam FreillConstruction Software
Research findings demonstrate the shared benefits of the adoption of digital workflows across project teams.
More than ever, owners, architects, engineers, general contractors and specialty trades are using digital workflows to share project information, and there are significant benefits to the use of the technology, indicates research from Dodge Construction Network and industrial technology company Trimble.
The research, published in the Connected Construction SmartMarket Brief series, reveals that 97 per cent of GCs using digital workflows report increased efficiency of internal processes and better-informed decision making, with 92 per cent of GCs using digital workflows reporting improved project outcomes, including higher quality and faster delivery.
Despite these gains, internal connections are still far more common than external ones, with nearly half of all respondents (48 per cent) sharing at least half of their project data internally using digital workflows, but only a quarter doing so with other stakeholders on their projects.
“In an increasingly connected world and with the rapid adaptation of remote work due to COVID, construction companies are looking for ways to more efficiently, securely and quickly share data with key stakeholders,” said Pete Large, senior vice-president of Trimble Construction. “This research project with Dodge shows that teams and projects utilizing digital workflows saw a substantial increase in project quality, supported by faster delivery and decreased delays related to rework. By sharing the findings of this research, we believe these insights can help construction professionals understand how connected construction is used on a practical level.”
Additional findings the study also illustrate how different stakeholders make use of digital technologies to manage projects. For example, general contractors that focus on vertical (building) construction tend to use more digital workflows for their construction operation processes and reap greater benefits than those who largely engage in civil construction.
The most frequent use of digital workflow technology by specialty trade contractors is for administrative tasks, but they are looking to make use of the technology for construction operations and crew management.
Despite the differences in their degree of use and how they engage with digital workflows, owners, architects, engineers, general contractors, and specialty trade contractors all report the same key benefits from their use: more informed decision making, increased efficiency of internal processes, better quality and faster delivery.
“It is quite likely that the increased insight that comes with the use of digital workflows is one of the main reasons that so many report being able to make better-informed decisions,” said Donna Laquidara-Carr, industry insights research director at Dodge Construction Network. “What is more exciting, though, is that this finding suggests that the digital transformation of the industry may be able to finally help the industry achieve the productivity gains that have proved so elusive over the years.”