The biggest real estate construction tech story last year was Katerra’s raise of $865 million to finance the company’s explosive growth. Beyond the sheer size of the funding, the investment is notable for the bet it represents on the scalability of off-site construction.
A decade ago, construction was near the bottom of the list of industries that had adopted technology in a significant way. It was a bad rap for the industry, but it also effectively threw down the gauntlet. There’s been a huge shift in the industry as construction companies realize that technology needs to be a core part of their business.
As construction companies continue to increase the amount of data they are storing digitally, it’s becoming increasingly important to be able to sort through what is valuable information that can lead to beneficial action over what is simply noise. Using the right ERP (enterprise-resource planning) platform is critical to separating the wheat from the chaff when your company profits are on the line.
When it’s time to invest in technology for your construction project, it’s essential to focus on product benefits, rather than features. Features, as we all know, can create genuine interest and “sex-appeal,” and can even be revolutionary. But a quote I heard a few years ago sets the stage perfectly: “Innovation is rewarded … execution is worshiped.”
For the past 50 years, large capital projects have relied on the science of what is known as CPM (critical path methodology) to plan and forecast project completion dates. There have been iterative improvements to CPM, such as accounting for risk in the form of generating risk-adjusted schedules, but the fundamental approach to CPM hasn’t materially changed.
No matter your trade, we have all felt the sting of the current labor shortage. Finding skilled labor is harder than ever, which leads to the question: what can we do about it? As a construction consultant for the past 19-plus years I have seen a few things that worked and a few things that did not.
According to theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” That prophetic statement is still pertinent today—especially when it comes to design and technology.
As practitioners in the industry know far too well, construction has a productivity problem—fueled by a high proportion of projects coming in over budget and behind schedule.
The implementation of construction-management best practices is critical to good leadership. While the construction industry is replete with academic best practices, the sad reality is that the prevailing best practices in the industry are reactive and responsive to case law.
When commissioning a project, it can be challenging to select a winning bid. You want a fair price, but can’t afford to sacrifice quality, either. As more contractors are incorporating technology in their processes, the use of digital tools is an increasingly important differentiator.