Procore Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of construction management software, today released a new report that illustrates how the Australian construction industry is continuing to transform by adopting technologies and processes that help to manage both ongoing industry challenges and 2020’s unprecedented disruptions. Significantly, Australian construction companies are recognising the benefits of efficiently capturing, integrating and standardising data, estimating the business decisions made with data-driven insights could deliver a 12 percent saving on project costs.
“Digitisation is at the centre of how this historically fragmented industry is changing, and the way people utilise technology and data is leading to greater transparency, better decision making, and an increase in productivity and profitability,” said Tom Karemacher, Vice President, APAC at Procore Technologies. “With continuous pressure to deliver quality projects safely, on time and on budget, our customers tell us that more so than ever technology plays a crucial role in protecting margin and ideally finding growth in their businesses. As we prepare for an economic downturn, it is vital to achieve cost savings on construction projects where possible.”
Procore’s second annual Australian construction industry benchmark report, How We Build Now – Tracking Technology in Construction 2020 reveals an industry facing significant challenges and concerns, with business confidence dropping by 26 percent in just two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dealing with new restrictions and ways of working, many builders are turning to technology to help manage risk and increase productivity. The report also found that 39 percent are using this quieter period to update technologies, systems and processes.
While the pandemic presents a substantial challenge in 2020, there are many factors that contribute to the mounting pressure on construction companies. The top three challenges identified are material and equipment costs, managing subcontractors and complying with regulatory obligations. While 68 percent of the respondents believe upskilling their team will improve productivity, finding the right skills remains an ongoing concern for businesses of all sizes.
The respondents believe access to real-time information across all stakeholders on a project will be essential for completing a job with optimal results. Procore’s research found that better access to project information is considered critical for both efficiency (64%) and improving the bottom line (54%). Broadly, leveraging new technology is considered an effective way to unlock productivity (65%) and profitability (62%) in the face of ongoing challenges. However, ensuring the uptake of new technology is difficult, with training subcontractors identified as the greatest challenge in the implementation process.
Additional highlights from the report include:
- Rework remains a big issue – On average, the industry spends 18% of its time re-doing work or rectifying issues.
- Paper-based records persist – Businesses are still using paper for site activity records (22%), environment (20%) and safety (19%) assessments.
- Top 5 technologies driving change – Consistently with 2019, pre-fabricated parts was voted the most impactful technology (40%), with BIM/CAD (33%), digital project management tools (30%), integrated construction management platforms (28%), and 3D printing (25%) rounding out the top five.
- A clear call for federated building standards – 73% of Large construction companies (100+ staff) say standards are needed to improve quality in the industry.
“2020 has already been a tumultuous year, and the Australian construction industry has stepped up to the challenge by collaborating, transforming and advancing in the face of adversity. While this new research paints a picture of an industry constantly under pressure – it also shows an industry that is resourceful, resilient and adaptive. We hope this report will help construction companies benchmark themselves against the industry, and understand how they can use technology to support their businesses,” Karemacher concludes.
The second in an annual ‘benchmark series’, the research behind How We Build Now – Tracking Technology in Construction 2020 was conducted by independent research company ACA Research. The main survey of 260 construction companies across Australia was conducted in February 2020, with a follow up survey of 152 companies to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic conducted in April 2020.
Download the How We Build Now – Tracking Technology in Construction 2020 report here.