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Investing in a ‘New’ EPC Environment

Engineering Procurement and Construction

Since the start of the pandemic, companies and industries alike have raced to accommodate remote working and adopt new, digitally driven processes. With deployment of remote work on a never-seen-before scale, studies have shown that industries have jumped five years forward in consumer and business digital adoption in just eight weeks!

Despite vaccine rollouts and increased testing, there’s no denying that this digital environment isn’t going anywhere. As 2021 rolls on, remote working, migration to the cloud and investments in data security and artificial intelligence are here to stay.

For Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) companies, this should come as no surprise. Unlike other industries (which are assessing, for the first time, the potential for long-term remote work), the EPC industry is quite familiar with remote work models. This is an industry built on deploying its various assets to remote sites.

However, while the concept of remote work lines up with the nature of the work EPC companies perform, the most successful EPC companies will push beyond the pandemic with investments in tech, data and processes that reconceptualize a new remote work model that has significant benefits in terms of safety, productivity and finance.

In order to accelerate digital capabilities to keep pace, construction and project-based companies should keep the following in mind:

E-Commerce: While online consumption isn’t as obvious of a pairing when it comes to EPC companies (as may be with other industries), understanding the value of the e-commerce trend can be valuable. Accessing insights and intelligence about market characteristics, competitors, products and services, targeting hiring portals and using automated pay calculations easily allows you to customize your projects based on location in the most cost-effective way. By utilizing the various applications that come with e-commerce, EPC companies can be more efficient with proposals and planning.

Secure remote work: The obvious: The pandemic has moved millions of employees from the office, forcing companies to provide large amounts of secure data and information into employees’ homes. Finding effective mobile solutions for EPC companies, such as accessing building plans and project progress through tablets or operating drones in place of physical site walkthroughs, and refocusing models and plans to incorporate some form of “lights out” factories and supply chains highly depends on reliable remote monitoring and secure cloud computing.

AI and data: Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics within operations brings opportunities to forecast demands and needs, leading to smarter and more efficient decision-making among EPC companies. Whether using smart sensors for predictive maintenance, heat maps to show traffic on a project site or AI algorithms to create personalized training programming that focus directly on reskilling and upskilling your current and future workers, using AI and predictive analytics puts data at the forefront.

Automation: Today’s successful companies understand the importance of delivering infrastructure and buildings faster – and safely. Automating more of the construction process has proven to be vital to increasing the productivity of construction and engineering companies.

People: With rising investments to automation and AI, it may be hard to see the need to make equally as much investment in people. However, it’s vital to have people onboard who are flexible, adaptable, innovative – and most importantly, supportive of digital technologies and learning. Investing in human resources management software (HRMS) with skills assessments and learning management systems to support staff will be vital for fighting workforce turnover.

About CEM Business Solutions: Based in Montvale, NJ, CEM Business Solutions is a Microsoft Gold Partner with nearly 20 years of experience offering integrated, high performance solutions to enhance business objectives. Since 2003, our dedicated consulting team has rolled out more than 350 implementations across 20 countries and 3 continents.

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