Failure was not an option – construction industry leaders discuss the pandemic’s digital revolution

Posted by Deltek on March 8, 2022

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In our recent conversations with industry leaders, we discussed the digital opportunities presented by the pandemic and its impact on the future of construction.

Before the pandemic, many industries were keen to fast-track digital initiatives in response to changing customer and employee expectations. But in many cases, construction remained an outlier, lagging firmly behind in adopting digital tools and solutions.

Reflecting on recent years' social and economic disruption, construction leaders now realize that the industry can change and adapt when needed. More so, it has unlocked valuable new opportunities to continue making positive changes.

In this blog, we’ll share how two industry leaders responded to disruption, lessons learnt from the pandemic, and where to take your firm next.


"The whole pandemic position has given the industry a wake-up call. We see organizations are less afraid of change and speedier to adopt and adapt. Whether that’s collaborating virtually using online conferencing tools or starting to look at their back-end processes."

Nick Nieder, Director of Product Management, Deltek

Waking up to digital transformation

Faced with changing rules around social distancing and remote working, the industry needed to adopt digital technologies to help keep teams productive and safe. And to the surprise of many, it did – fast.

Craig Finn, Head of Preconstruction at Henry Boot Construction, believes his firm adopted technology at such a pace, it ended up “around five years in advance of the natural evolution of our business.”

For example, Henry Boot Construction uses digital collaboration platforms to connect its remote teams and clients, improving project visibility and alignment.

“In preconstruction, we’re working across online communication platforms to develop proposals and progress designs,” says Finn. “We can also collaborate with clients and their supply chain to help reach contract.”


 

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Lessons learnt – and building for the future

If there’s one lesson for construction firms to take away from the pandemic, it’s that this industry can adapt to change – but firms must now put the work in to keep the momentum going.

The future looks bright for the industry though. Having seen the benefit of digital solutions in addressing immediate challenges, many firms are becoming increasingly confident in identifying and acting on new opportunities for operational improvement.

The whole pandemic position has given the industry a wake-up call”, says Nick Nieder, Director of Product Management at Deltek. “We see organizations are less afraid of change and speedier to adopt and adapt. Whether that’s collaborating virtually using online conferencing tools or starting to look at their back-end processes.”

Digital adoption has also helped construction firms address industry weaknesses that may otherwise have been left ignored. For example, the pandemic taught many firms that traditional ways of working – including siloed teams and excessive manual processes – are becoming untenable if you want to achieve resilient, long-term growth.

“The only reason we’ve been able to endure through this last year is through the implementation and usage of digital technology,” says Finn. “So, investment in resilience is clearly key – and that’s now demonstrated.”

It’s time to capitalize on digital change

Let’s not pretend that digital transformation will be an easy ride. There have been and will continue to be inevitable challenges. But there are many opportunities for the construction industry to embrace further positive change and ease those challenges.

In our white paper, ‘How can construction firms build on the opportunities from the pandemic’s digital revolution?’ we unpack three ways you can capitalize on change to strengthen the supply chain, attract top talent, and drive operational efficiency.

Or, if you’d like personalized advice on making the most of new digital opportunities, speak to a Deltek expert to explore the options available for your firm.

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