In a recent webinar, construction experts from IFS and Bryden Wood discussed how converging technologies can deliver: cost and time savings, the ability to meet the modern challenges of construction and a sustainable way of working. This article will look at some of the key polling conducted in the webinar and some of the insights you can take away.
Sustainability: Either a Top or Very High Priority in the Boardroom
Sustainability is not just a buzzword, a phase or a trend. It is a very serious topic that many construction and engineering companies have now got front of mind and for good reason. In a recent report it was found that 40% of all CO2 emissions in the world originate from the construction industry – which is something that cannot be ignored.
In the Digital Future of Construction webinar, the attendees on the call agreed, with 50% indicating it was their number one priority and the remaining 50% indicating that is was a very high priority. The reality is that there will always be some form of pollution when you’re developing – the industrial revolution is a good example, the switch from hand forged to fossil-fuel powered machinery drastically increased construction output, but the bi-product was an increase in pollution. Fast-forward to today and the former is still very much the same, many economies are not able to develop without polluting however this is not a feasible long-term strategy.
However, it would take time, ambition and investment to completely remove unsustainable practices, they can be improved. From electric plant and machinery to recycling materials, offsite manufacturing and robotics – there have been some significant innovations in the industry that are designed to combat these issues. IFS is placing a greater focus on sustainability in our product areas. This is being done by looking at new developments to support customers with their ESG reporting requirements and enhance the existing capabilities in line with our three strategic focus areas: ESG reporting, value chain visibility and efficiency.
Modern Methods of Construction Pave the Way
With sustainability being either the top or a very high priority in the boardroom it makes sense the modern construction methods construction and engineering companies are now deploying focus on improving efficiency, lowering cost and significantly reduce waste. Modular construction of components and panels are now being deployed by 52% of attendees, the second highest was standardization and platforms at 31% followed by assembly on site at 21% in third.
What is interesting is how these construction methods are evolving and how the earlier adopters of modular construction are the ones now more likely to be moving onto other methods such as design for manufacturing and assembly which only had a 14% adoption rate.
What this shows is that there is still huge room for improvement in the industry – from reducing waste and increasing efficiency. The latter point could be the bigger driver for some construction and engineering companies where profitability rates in the industry continue to languish in the 1-5% range. IFS have continued to support construction and engineering companies of all disciplines with their digital transformation efforts. This is being done by embedding industry specific processes that directly support these construction methods. Having all this functionality in one platform enables users to avoid having a disjointed and disconnected business system landscape that causes a fragmented way of working.
The Full Asset Lifecyle – Service Leads the Way
Over the past couple of years, we’ve been commenting how an increasing number of construction and engineering companies are turning to service contracts as a way of increasing their revenues and becoming more profitable. That is hardly surprising when a typical service and maintenance contract is 120-200% greater than the construction contract. This provides a long-term stable revenue stream.
In the webinar, we asked attendees about their operating model, to understand how far we are on this journey. With 50% of attendees indicating they were now delivering the full asset lifecycle (construction and service and maintenance) this trend is showing continued speed and puts us on par for our earlier prediction this year that by 2025 50% of all construction companies will be delivering the full asset lifecycle. In the same poll 45% indicated that they were construction only and 5% service and maintenance only.
IFS Cloud has been built to follow the needs of not only our customers but also the industry trends and demands. From modular and offsite construction to delivering service and maintenance, IFS Cloud is a single platform that enables construction and engineering companies to adopt the latest techniques and operating models that not only add clarity through a single source of truth but ensure longevity.
If you’d like to find out more about how IFS Cloud provides a comprehensive construction and engineering digital backbone, get in touch today to see if we can support you.