The construction industry has benefited less from the digital transformation than any other industry over the last two decades. In fact, as an industry, it has seen only a one percent annual rate of labor productivity improvement compared to an average of 2.8 percent across all other industries in that time. That means the construction industry has only seen a third of the benefits of digital construction technology than other industries.
Instead of asking why the construction industry has lagged so far behind other industries, we want to talk about what the construction industry can learn from the industries that have reaped so many benefits and productivity enhancements from digital construction technology over the last 20 years.
We firmly believe at eSUB that the construction industry can realize tremendous benefits from digital technology over the next ten years. According to Boston Consulting Group, the construction industry will potentially save $1.7 trillion in cost savings through the adoption of technology by 2026.
The construction industry can radically change productivity levels, reduce costs, enhance collaboration, and ultimately grow business from the adoption of digital construction technology. It can do all this much more effectively with many lessons learned from other digitally transformed industries.
Digital Construction Adoption and Utilization
Technology that is not used regularly does not generate significant returns on investment and does not provide the foundation for digital transformation. Historically, trade contractors have been resistant to use some technology solutions. But every other industry has confronted this same resistance. Let’s look at how they overcame it.
Tips for driving tech adoption
Change is never easy. But thanks to how many industries and organizations have already begun their digital transformation, there are a few techniques that can help ensure the newly introduced technology gets used and shows a return on investment.
- Communicate – Before adopting any new technology, clearly communicate with the planned users. Help them understand why the tool is being used and what your goals are for their usage. When employees are faced with technology and change without knowing why, they tend to push back, ignore it, or work around it. Get everyone on the same page.
- Demonstrate the benefits – Illustrate how the technology will help the user in addition to the company. “This will make your life easier” is a powerful message. Show them. For example, companies adopting eSUB Cloud should explain how much easier communicating and collaborating will be and how it will shave off time spent on reporting.
- User Experience – Ensure that the solutions you choose are designed for your users and your type of business. Many companies try to get their employees to use solutions that were designed for other types of companies or generically designed for many other industries. This makes it much harder to get employees to incorporate the technology into their daily work without encountering regular challenges.
- Training – Organize training sessions to make sure users understand how to use the tool to do their work. And always look for ways to make the training accessible on-demand within their schedules. This is why something like eSUB’s library of on-demand training videos and webinars can be a powerful tool to get your employees on board with your digital transformation. Give employees a way to learn at their own pace!
- Make it mandatory – Once up to speed, build it into the work processes. If the change has been well managed and communicated the team will have an easier time accepting it as an essential part of their workflow.
- Hold people accountable – Make sure you have a clear process to track and manage adoption and utilization and that you hold people accountable to expectations that you set and adjust.
Lead the charge and champion your investments.
Digital adoption has revolutionized so many industries, and construction needs it even more than many others. Why? Construction is an industry ready for change. According to the World Economic Report, full digitization would assist the industry in generating an estimated 12 to 20% in annual cost savings.
Digital construction technology helps overcome the heavy obstacle of skilled talent shortage by showing your company as one that values its new workers and new technology. Investing in tools, like eSUB Cloud, that make the job easier helps connect teams and promotes collaboration.
Most importantly, with the right technology partners, you really aren’t alone. At eSUB we’ve single-mindedly focused on developing technology specifically for subcontractors. We work closely with our clients to understand what the industry needs and how to implement it successfully.
We also work to ensure customers who choose eSUB get the most out of their new tools. Our dedicated Client Success team partners closely with clients to not only train, but to provide insights into adoption and utilization. We believe that the best tools are the ones teams use effectively, and we’re active partners in making that happen for clients.
“Going digital” has worked for so many industries and companies, make it work for you and let us help.