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Rise in digital contractors

Digital is undoubtedly a hot topic capturing the attention of all stakeholders of engineering and construction (E&C) companies around the world from the front lines at physical locations, to the C-suite, the board, the suppliers and the customers interacting with the space.

The world around us continues to evolve as new technologies are developed, and contractors are under increasing pressure to digitize and modernize their own operations to keep pace with client demands. Cloud computing, mobile devices and apps, sophisticated and integrated construction management software, drones, artificial intelligence and many more advancements are reshaping an industry that once lagged in technology adoption. Now, a powerhouse of dynamic digital contractors is preparing to lead the next wave of innovation.

It is imperative for contractors to embrace change and digitize. Contractors are also being required to build faster, smarter and have more mobility to do things in real time at the office, at the jobsite, on the go. If you are not leveraging technology to do that, you are just not going to get the job done anymore.

The availability of low-cost mobile connectivity, including via tablets and handheld devices, has ushered in a new generation of cloud-based crew-mobility apps that can be deployed, even on remote construction sites, with real-time updates. As frontline users such as project managers, trades people, and operators adopt real-time crew-mobility apps, they could change the way the industry does everything from work- and change-order management, time and material tracking, dispatching, scheduling, productivity measurement, and incident reporting.

Contractors large and small are aware that there is a need to adapt in the developing construction environment. Now, we see a huge wave of digitisation and innovation among construction firms. With cloud computing emerging as the preferred vehicle for business operations worldwide, construction companies are upgrading their business management and operations software systems accordingly. With integrated, cloud-based construction software platforms providing the vehicle for contractors to use the same sets of data across the back office, field and entire project teams, departmental silos are being torn down and projects are being run in real time, with real, actionable data. This digitisation is also eliminating paper and manual processes throughout, saving time, mitigating risks and errors and improving productivity and profitability.

Tracecost is cloud-based real time project management software that can be used on any connected device or PC. This allows individual stakeholders; from field workers, engineers and supervisors to offsite designers, engineers and operational staff to collaborate seamlessly and exchange information on time, leading to work moving faster.

Construction projects can also be sited in difficult terrains and environments. For these reasons, the use of robots has been limited so far. However, robots are now being selectively used for repetitive and predictable activities, such as tiling, bricklaying, welding and spool fabrication, demolition, and concrete recycling.

Digitalization in the construction world is in its infancy. This is the right for the implementation of a real digital strategy in the construction sector. Digitalization is currently in a process of reinventing the construction industry, triggering an overall value migration from the central construction part of the value chain up to the engineering and design function and down to facility management and operations services. Taking quickly position, aligned with the accelerating market pace, is essential to take advantage of the opportunities and avoid future setbacks in the long run.

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