Build March Issue

Build Magazine 62 he report from Virgin Media Business has suggested that in the next few years the construction industry will be particularly divisive in the UK’s economic growth as a whole - and that it is the construction companies that have embraced digital that will drive this growth. The report predicts that construction firms that successfully integrate digital technology into their everyday workings are likely to grow their revenue by around six per cent. In order to stay competitive, construction companies need to use all the tools at their disposal to secure more business and grow. And to get ahead, some forward-thinking construction companies are already adopting the latest technology. With a whole host of new digital technologies to choose from, deciding on what technology will be most beneficial to a certain business can be a daunting task. With this in mind, listed below are some cost effective technologies that tradespeople and construction businesses can easily adopt to help improve efficiency and increase synergy within an entire workforce. Cloud technology In an environment where construction businesses are under increasing pressure to cut operational costs whilst maintaining a high productivity level, adopting cloud technology is a great way for firms to become more agile. A major construction project will often involve people from several disciplines with differing skill-sets – from builders, financial advisors to admin teams. Whereas previously it was a logistical nightmare to ensure that communications reached every different faction of a project, cloud technology has allowed everyone to keep precisely to the same agenda. By saving all information remotely to a cloud application it gives all parties working on a job instant access to essential information such as plans and drawings and work schedules. With a large proportion of mobile workers within the construction industry, there are lots of cloud-based applications available which are designed to simplify operations for workers constantly on the move. For tradespeople working between sites at different locations and without regular access to a desk, cloud-based technology can completely eliminate the need for physical paperwork. Similarly, tradespeople often will have to juggle different projects and move across different locations – and to stay on top of developments at each individual site they will need access to a range of data and information whilst out on the job. Cloud-based applications such as Dropbox can help manage this information as everything can be stored remotely in one place and backed up to ensure safe and secure storage. Data transmission on the move As well as cloud technology, mobile solutions such as smartphones and tablets can be invaluable in allowing data to be relayed easily between those on-site and those based back in the office. By keeping a careful log via mobile applications of an employee’s location and working times, managers and payroll staff can electronically clock workers in and out and track production levels. In addition, tradespeople can record and share crucial information about the jobs they are working on. The real-time access to information that mobile internet- enabled devices allow for can improve return on investment by saving on valuable resources. Why Should the Construction IndustryEmbraceDigital? The rise of digital is having a huge impact on industry, and the construction sector is seeing a considerable transformation as more and more firms adopt the new technology. According to a new report from the Oxford Economics for Virgin Media Business, if the construction industry can embrace digital, then it could unlock up to £9 billion worth of economic growth and hire an additional 70,000 more digitally proficient workers. With this in mind, Colin Yates, business programmes director at WorkMobile, discusses the practical application of some of the new pieces of digital technology available. T