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Digital becomes new norm in construction

Engineering Procurement and Construction

During social and economic disruptions such as the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, companies turn inwards to find ways to revolutionize their systems for workplace resilience. Companies in the engineering and construction (E&C) sector that make use of this lull time to reinvent themselves will emerge stronger and go one-up on their competitive advantage.

 Rewind to the global financial crisis of 2008. Studies showed that companies that were proactive to embrace the necessary tools to adapt, found success. BCG reported that the top performers saw a 25 percent increase to their EBITDA margins, on average. Now, fast-forward to 2020. An August 2020 McKinsey & Company report found that companies can capture 30 percent revenue growth by implementing new technologies and integrating data-based tools that leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). The report also states that digital and analytics (DNA) played a critical role in addressing challenges at the start of the COVID-19 crisis, (while also boosting profit margins in the sector by three to five percentage points).

 So, what does that look like for engineering and construction companies? For starters, think automation, contactless interactions, and optimized remote-servicing abilities. To maximize productivity, construction companies are investing in automation systems to optimize scheduling, track project budgets, cost journals and invoices, and to change orders and contract trend notices. They are also investing in systems that automatically connect the field to the office with real-time access to documentation, decision-support, and troubleshooting tools. 

Implementing these systems enable leaders to make strategic decisions to avoid disruptions and improve efficiency. McKinsey & Company reported that companies can implement robotic process automation (RPA) to complete at least 30 to 40 percent of back-office tasks.

 Although contactless interactions are already quite common to the E&C industries, adding new technologies can reduce that even more. For example, an environmental engineer can use virtual conferencing and virtual reality solutions to show the project manager future environmental problems using computer modelling.

 Visualize a field technician who can diagnose a problem using digital signatures, videos and connected sensors… How wonderful such a solution would be, as they inherently prevent in-person interaction, get things done in a jiffy, upping efficiencies and cutting costs.

The success of E&C companies depends on smooth communication between the field site and the office. Using connected devices and sensors (Internet of Things or IoT) can increase remote capabilities, improve predictive-maintenance capabilities, and decrease downtime.

Futuristic leaders understand the significance of investments on digital technologies and are now evaluating how their existing processes will transform with an infusion of new technologies, data, and artificial intelligence. Executing a large-scale application of digital technologies does not happen overnight.  That is why E&C companies need experts to amplify and justify the investment on new technologies. 

CEM Business Solutions can help you drive your digital transformation journeys. Our consulting services will review and study your systems, and suggest solutions customized for your company and industry. We will also create a roadmap for your company to integrate the best digital tools. Use our construction and engineering expertise and experience to ensure your company’s smooth transformation into a bold, digital future.

We can make digital your new norm.

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