The labor-intensive construction workforce remained untouched for several decades in terms of automation. Several challenges in the construction industry, such as vast scope, labor shortages, unskilled workforce, and safety regulations, contributed to the factor.
Over time, the introduction of sophisticated software and state-of-the-art equipment have shown positive signs in managing construction projects effectively. Due to this, more and more companies are paving the way for automation technology.
Although the results of automation-centric solutions in the construction industry are impressive, there is still a long way to go. The industry is striving hard to bridge the gap with the help of quality training, outsourcing, and automating the workforce.
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What Is Automation In The Construction Industry?
As the name suggests, automation is the application of technologies to boost productivity, accountability, and safety with minimal human intervention. Automation significantly cuts down costs, brings efficiency, and saves time.
Automation in the construction industry covers broader aspects. It solves issues related to:
- Poor workforce management
- Time management
- Construction planning and monitoring
- Workers safety
- Poor weather condition
- Productivity and quality project delivery
Automation is predicted to be the future of the construction sector due to its numerous benefits. However, automation naturally eliminates the need to do repetitive tasks or additional labor. Therefore, it poses a threat to the employment of many workers, especially unskilled ones.
Impact Of Automation In The Construction Industry
Automation has led to various tangible and intangible benefits for the construction industry.
Better human resource management
The right person for the right job is the key to unlocking an employee’s full potential. Technology has already proved beneficial in managing large employee databases in other industries. By implementing this in construction projects, stakeholders can significantly achieve:
Better scheduling of workers
Automation simplifies the opportunity to track and monitor the workforce in the construction industry. Project managers can quickly identify under-allocated or burdened employees. Similarly, they can optimize the workforce in line with the organization’s interest.
Human capital planning
Team leaders can also leverage the technology to gather inputs on workers’ skills and experience. It helps to identify the intelligent workforce and skilled manpower. Further, this data helps in better planning to suit the goals of an organization.
Automation or simply effective technology has made training simple, effective, and convenient. With technology such as virtual reality, workers get safe training in handling complex equipment and machinery.
Meeting The Organization Goals (Increasing Productivity)
Increasing productivity within a limited time frame and resources remains the biggest hurdle for the construction industry. While other sectors have successfully leveraged automation to supercharge productivity, the construction industry still lags. However, by adopting automation, many big players in the construction industry have significantly increased productivity.
Technology such as project management software provides a shared platform to managers, clients, and workers for better coordination and collaboration. When implemented smartly, automation can help in:
- Better planning and coordination
- Optimizing company’s goals within available resources
- Monitoring projects
- In-depth analysis at every stage of construction
- Accurate cost analysis and future projections
Managing the factors mentioned above systematically contribute towards better accountability and productivity.
Construction is inherently a dangerous job. Stakeholders leave no stone unturned to make construction safer for workers. In addition to human aspects, there are many aspects related to construction safety. Some of the major ones are financial and data safety.
Automation-centric culture has opened up scope for virtual reality training, distant site surveys with the effective use of drones, and several other opportunities for the workforce. Thus, modernized digital solutions have automated construction processes in a way that offers significant and real-time safety standards.
Tips To Automate Effectively For Constructions Companies
The following are the most important tips for properly automating the construction workforce:
Developing An Automation-Centric Culture
The development of automation-centric culture is the biggest roadblock in implementing smart business strategies. More often, employees are resistant to such kinds of organizational changes.
Therefore, business leaders should effectively bring forth the automation-centric culture with extensive communication with fellow staff regarding the benefits modernizing offers. Plan to reward those who go the extra mile contributing to the cause.
Choosing Software Wisely
Another tricky part is to select the right software. You need to make clear distinctions amongst applications and features offering efficient and effective processes. The sole considerations should be on software that aims to streamline workflow and lets you make informed decisions.
The criteria for selecting standard workflow intelligence software include:
- Forecast reports
- Workforce utilization rates
- Pursuit track
- Scenario run
- Skill or experience, and
- Project history
While evaluating the workforce intelligence software, the safest case scenario is choosing the one that makes processes both effective and efficient at the same time.
Standardizing Workflow & Processes For On-Site And Off-Site Staff
The leads need to keep stock of already existing data platforms, communication systems, etc. available within the company way before introducing modern software that might be incompatible with outdated infrastructure.
In this way, when modern software solutions are integrated with standard data processes and wider access, it results in the improvement of collaboration and cooperation in the company.
Starting Small But Expanding Steadily
Finally, while an automation-centric workforce is imperative, it is essential to bring forth such changes slowly and steadily that start gradually but expand with time.
At the planning stage, the business leader needs to identify the processes or tasks that could be effectively automated without putting in too much effort. Afterward, utilize this learning as you plan to expand automation and digital-based culture to improve the workforce shortly.
Automation-centric culture provides an immense opportunity to break free constraints of old and outdated communication systems and other ineffective and inefficient data collection methods.
Therefore, opting for an automation-centric culture and standardized systems, businesses could improve on-site and off-site safety, make out most of the workforce, and at the same time, monitor operations effectively.
Undoubtedly, automation-centric culture is steadily changing the construction workforce.