How construction & manufacturing can embrace digital
Typically, construction and manufacturing industries are not the ones we would associate with digital readiness. KPMG conducted a Global Construction Survey in 2016i, producing two glaring statistics:
- The industry is yet to fully embrace technology. Despite a rise in project complexity and associated risks, a mere 8% of respondents can be categorised as ‘cutting-edge visionaries’.
- Many are struggling to make sense of the rising data volume. Almost three-quarters don’t use advanced data analytics for project-related estimation and performance monitoring.
How can digital help to drive the success of your construction or manufacturing business? Let’s explore some solutions below:
“Technology plays an integral part in helping the industry realise these goals by enabling enhanced design, planning and construction. When applied effectively, technology can significantly boost a sector that for many years failed to improve productivity.”– report on KPMG 2016 Global Construction Survey
With the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM), a building project can be mapped from design and construction to operation and maintenance, all in virtual spaces that replicates real-life performance before needing to incur costs for physical models.
There are also solutions available that enable you to access essential project information anytime, whether on-site or in the office. Built for customers across diverse industries, these creative tools also enhance design, simulation and visualisation in interior design and manufacturing, to name a few.
As a business owner in the construction & manufacturing field, you may face the problem of often being out on site or in the factory all day, leaving little time to handle other matters that are seemingly less pressing, such as project and job tracking. However, poor organisation or management can lead to missing costs or losing potential business, which is harmful for the health of the business.
With the help of technology, you can use a project management software to capture all your project data, from man-hours spent to P&L figures. This also helps save you time from labouring through mundane administrative tasks that do not add real value to your business.
Companies in the industry, big and small, falter because of supply chain issues. This hardly comes as a surprise. Many individuals are involved in each project, subcontractors come from multiple companies, supplies and raw materials come from different sources. To make matters worse, the resources needed differ from project to project. Yet your company has to bring all these resources together cohesively to complete the project.
Cost overruns due to erroneous estimations or planning are not all that uncommon as a result. This can be avoided by using collaborative tools and inventory management systems. In simplifying the process, such technology can help you improve transparency and visibility of your supply chain so you can have a clear overview of the resources you have allocated for each project.
Traditionally, manufacturing required heavy investment in expensive moulds before any single product can materialise. Large order commitments are also necessary for companies to achieve the scale needed to justify the investment and allow for pricing that is competitive. And even then, the company would have just one new product to its name. This had prevented many small businesses from entering the mass-production market.
Today, 3D printing has eliminated such physical prerequisites, and continues to become more accessible, yet more powerful and flexible - with new innovations in printing techniques, and material and colour capabilities. Even if purchasing your own printing systems is a tad too expensive, there are independent providers of high-end, manufacturing-grade 3D printing services that you can consider working with. You can manufacture products with a high level of customisation from digital files, with 3D printing software even being able to detect design flaws before manufacturing.
From design, to production, to project management, digital tools increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your business processes. They can even help to identify errors that would otherwise be devastating, not just for your business but also the safety of workers and customers. A digital transformation will take your business further ahead towards growth and success.
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