The engineering, construction and infrastructure (ECI) industry is facing huge challenges as it tries to deal with increasing demand to construct, operate and maintain assets faster, at lower cost and risk and to a higher quality. The non-integrated business systems and processes used by most companies today will simply not be good enough if a company is to compete going forward.
Digital transformation in the construction industry is not just about Building Information Modelling (BIM) but means using drones, robotics, IoT, laser scanning and virtual & augmented reality. No wonder that it has been relatively slow to take off, but now these technologies are starting to take-off and the pace of digital change is beginning to hot up.
Organizations that can exploit these technologies and changes quickly will be the winners in the future. In contrast, the ones that stand still or transform too slowly are likely to decline or go out of business completely.
There are many pressure points that are impacting the industry and here I outline just a few where the right enterprise software can make the difference:
TRANSFORMATION TO BIM AND THE DIGITAL ASSET LIFECYCLE MODEL
BIM is at the heart of the digital asset lifecycle transformation. It should not simply be regarded as a 3D modelling tool, but as a part of a new set of business processes that make use of asset data and take advantage of the latest technology innovations.
BIM is a way to manage information across all stages of an asset’s life, integrating processes, information and technologies. It is about changing the way we do business and enabling continuous improvement. Companies need to move from a document-driven process to an integrated data-driven approach to manage the entire asset lifecycle. This is why IFS software allows BIM asset data to be integrated into all stages of the asset lifecycle process.
EMBRACING CONSTRUCTION-INTEGRATED MANUFACTURING
Construction-integrated manufacturing sees factory-made modules and components shipped to construction sites where they are assembled and installed. It requires integrating digital design tools such as BIM and even 3D printing capabilities into the process, so that the modules are delivered on site without the need for change. Construction is faster, more efficient and demands minimal specialist skills – important in an industry with a growing skills gap.
This is a transformative global shift, and traditional contractors who ignore it risk joining the 10 percent likely to be put out of business within five years. Modular construction requires a different business model and new skillsets. By supporting lean, agile, integrated processes, plus external parties involved in project design, manufacture and engineering, IFS software lets companies change to logistics-centric construction for a growing global market.
EXPLOITING NEW SERVICE AND FACILITIES MANAGEMENT REVENUES
Like manufacturing, the engineering and construction sector is looking to develop service activities to provide new revenue streams. Long-term service-based contracts offer a more stable and predictable order book compared to large, higher risk, lower margin capital projects.
More and more asset owners are seeking to outsource maintenance for their assets over its entire lifecycle. Service or facilities management contracts are often offered by construction companies for assets they, or another contractor have built. These new “contracting for outcomes” arrangements see construction firms having to manage complex, but potentially lucrative, performance-based contracts.
IFS Enterprise Asset Management software for construction offers proven, sector-honed capabilities to establish the robust management, performance reporting and control required to monetize this new asset lifecycle business model.
Thriving in a rapidly changing construction environment
Businesses in the construction industry are facing many challenges. There are so many variables impacting timescales, budgets, safety, risk and quality that can be fluid and have so many nuances. To thrive in this new landscape, the ability to seamlessly interrogate, manage and control contracts and projects will be paramount. Having the right software that allows an organization to be agile and adapt to these industry trends and pressure points is rapidly becoming a competitive weapon.
This is why IFS offers a world-class integrated project and asset lifecycle management solution to professionally manage and control new build construction and facilities management contracts.
For a more detailed look at how the construction industry is changing, and how the right enterprise software can help your business transform to meet future challenges, take a look at the latest IFS eBook.
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