Guest blog: Get Digital. Get Mobile. Get Productive.
What do we mean by ‘get digital’?
*Digitisation is the conversion of manual, analogue (graphical or non-graphical) information and data to a digital format – rendering business processes paperless.”
In the construction sector, achieving this has been an evolving process since at least the 1960’s.
- it’s the transfer of existing documents and drawings to a digital archive or management system
- it’s also the creation of digital graphical and non-graphical information by architects and engineers, construction technologists and others, from the pre-construction phase onwards
- it’s data entered digitally by many in the supply chain, at any point of the project lifecycle, and updatable in real-time - at least that’s the idea!
To us, it’s a first step to take to save time and to add value to become more productive. Digitisation is now possible because solutions are smarter and easier to use. This is one of the key factors in getting an IT solution aligned with the paperless philosophy.
As Script&Go’s founder and CEO Benoît Jeannin explains, “in 2000 the PalmPilot came out but the IT industry didn’t progress. The manufacturers didn’t follow. Then came iPad and a new 9.7¨ tablet. Now the industry is working together to develop the electronic ink format.”
Script&Go’s clients testify that digitisation cures the ‘pain’ they previously endured through paper-based construction management processes in the field.
What do we mean by ‘get mobile’?
“Mobilisation, is the movement of resources (people and material) and information, from one place to another.”
In the construction sector, achieving this has also been an evolving process since the industry formed itself.
- it’s about facilitating and enhancing stakeholder and technological collaboration (person to person, company to company, platform to platform, tool to tool…)
- it’s about facilitating and enhancing stakeholder and inter-platform communication (business to business, person to person, system to system, site to site… even between a person and a machine…!)
- it’s also about equipping of workers with mobile devices (tablets or smartphones) and software and app solutions that incorporate automation and even artificial intelligence features to facilitate their tasks, particularly in the field.
To us, it’s a second step to take to save time, add value and to become more productive.
As Benoît Jeannin further explains “it’s now about Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) because information is made available and data captured directly on smartphones on site, as well as on tablets or pcs at the office.”
Script&Go’s clients testify that mobilisation cures another ‘pain’ they previously endured through the ability to reduce the physical number of trips ‘to and fro’ the office and the field that remotely connected mobile devices and solutions offers them and their workers.
What do we mean by ‘get productive’?
Script&Go’s recent whitepaper “improving the productivity of the construction sector through mobile digital solutions” defined it as “gross domestic product (GDP) / hours worked.” This implies that to increase it, value should be increased and/or time saved.
McKinsey & Company estimates that digitisation could improve the productivity of the construction industry by as much as 14-15%. This highlights the imperative to enhance productivity in the construction industry today by through digital transformation. This will allow it to not only overcome not only the construction productivity challenges it faces across the world but to reap the wider societal benefits.
In other words, there is a need to convert a prevailing “vicious productivity cycle” to a “virtuous productivity cycle,” to contribute to improving sustainability and well-being, collaboration and communication within the industry as well as to save time and add value throughout a project’s lifecycle. Research by multiple industry institutions and bodies has shown that these things are particularly necessary during the construction phase and predominantly in the field but are also needed in the office workplace.
Overcoming construction productivity challenges though the use of mobile digital solutions
The principal two-part construction productivity challenge as we see it is to:
- improve control processes: including for regulatory environmental, health and safety and quality assurance compliance, auditing, reporting and certification processes
- improve quality: including for task management (defect management / ‘snagging’ and issue (non-conformance recording (NCR)) processes and successful project delivery.
This challenge can be overcome through a key opportunity: the development, investment and use of mobile digital solutions that harness the benefits of digital transformation, coupled with automation and artificial intelligence in mobility. Indeed, the developing role of automation and artificial intelligence is one of 4 key construction productivity trends Script&Go forecasted for this year.
The role of ‘intuitive’ mobile digital solutions
The more intuitive mobile digital solutions become the better, to save yet more time and to add yet more value, and so improve productivity further. In this vein, we believe user-friendly, user habit-replicating features such as handwriting recognition, symbol recognition and voice recognition will continue to play a significant role in current and future industry digital transformation.
As recently featured in PBC Today, you can discover how “intuitive mobile digital solutions play a vital part in digital transformation” and then consider implementing them, such as Script&Go’s BatiScript or Site Diary solutions, across your mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) to achieve productivity benefits today.
About the Author: Following a diverse career in architecture and the design sector, Mary Bon brings first hand international knowledge of the construction industry to the digital technology sector. She first started championing digital transformation and BIM in 2015 and joined software developer, Script&Go in 2017.
Follow Mary on Twitter (@_marybon )