Thriving in a Post-COVID 19 Economy
The speed with which COVID 19 has transformed the construction industry is extraordinary. Companies are seeking new ways to work and do business to remain productive and profitable during the pandemic and beyond. The question isn’t just how to play it smart in getting back to work, but how to leverage resources and investments for the long term, and the hopeful day that the virus is no longer a threat.
Technology: The Game Changer
Earlier this year, construction’s engagement with technology still lagged behind many other sectors. Since the onset of COVID-19, the industry’s resistance to technology has taken a 180-degree turn. For companies operating during the pandemic, construction technology has offered an array of direct benefits, including facilitating social distancing and telework, allowing for greater flexibility in scheduling, and keeping teams updated in real-time as new information and requirements emerge.
In the past, reports were still on paper, maybe an occasional PDF, which meant a lot of raw data was forfeited. One of the most significant boosts to the industry as it rapidly digitizes is tapping into available information. But companies need to repair any broken processes for their data flow, whether between field and office, across teams, or with outside specialists and suppliers. While challenges remain, enterprise-wide technology makes it possible for companies to seize this unprecedented opportunity and become more agile and flexible across all platforms.
Tracking data helps deal with the most pressing problems, such as supply chain disruptions, and the need for better collaboration and communication. In addition, it bolsters predictive capabilities to forecast trends and refine financial goals and business development efforts in response to analytics. In a secure environment such as PeerAssist’s FWO, a cloud-based digital reporting system, companies can take advantage of the data that is theirs for the taking, a necessity for those who want to thrive post-COVID 19.
Here are three considerations for companies as they enter the brave new world of data management:
Even though there is panic in the air, don’t take the bait. Take time to build a tech plan, working closely with leadership and your IT, business, and operations team. Taking the long view when making choices of tools and training ensures that your tech investment will yield the highest return. Think beyond the pandemic to rework the crisis’s immediate demands into a competitive advantage.
Safe and Contactless Engagement
In addition to the convenient benefits of technology from touch-less screens, remote communications, and data tracking and analysis, modernizing operations offers an opportunity to update a company’s brand to increase both client and employee loyalty. McKinsey notes how a company responds to the challenges of COVID-19 reveals a great deal about its values, resilience, and effectiveness. Though writing about consumer-based businesses, McKinsey’s advice about caring and concern for your community applies to companies across the board: “A baseline starting point: staying true to company values and purpose. Our research shows that 64 percent of customers choose to buy from socially responsible brands, which has grown significantly in the past two years. The way organizations step up to play this role for their customers, their employees, and the broader community is likely to leave lasting memories in customers’ minds.”
Dynamic Data Insights
You’ve heard that information is power. This adage has never been more accurate. An excerpt from a study on real-time data collection in construction drives this home: “A comprehensive operations level plan can help project decision-makers and site personnel foresee potential problems such as spatial conflicts and resource underutilization before the actual operation takes place. This, in turn, will minimize the time that would have otherwise been spent on reworks, resolving conflicts, and performing change orders, and will ultimately translate into significant savings in project time and cost.”
It may have taken the COVID-19 crisis to push the construction industries out of its stagnation, but as analytics and data-driven decision-making enter into construction management, the sector is likely to change permanently. A once highly fragmented technology ecosystem will shift, with one solution to tackle problems in the field and office, making the transition to tech much more accessible and cost-effective. And as new ways take hold, we’ll see an industry transformed.
This post completes our four-part series, “COVID 19: Get Ready for New Ways of Working and Doing Business.” We wish you, your family and coworkers the very best as we move forward through the challenges and uncertainty ahead. Together, we will thrive – today and tomorrow.