8 October 2020 4 min read

Modern Technology Implementation: Costs and Benefits.

 

Nowadays, the whole industry is talking about new technologies and the need for innovations. Improving existing processes is extremely important, but we cannot consider it without mentioning the main aspect - the cost of implementing innovations. Let’s discuss pros and cons! Learn about what you should take into account during the decision-making process!

New technologies are the future of construction.
Innovate or die.
You should constantly innovate your processes.

Have you ever heard similar sentences about the construction industry?
Investing in innovations and new technology is indeed important to manage on the market nowadays. Especially now, during coronavirus pandemic, fast adaptation can be even more crucial than before. However, the case of new technology and its implementation would not be complete if we did not mention the most significant aspect of every investment - the cost.

What is The Cost of Innovations?

When it comes to the cost, we should highlight three main categories.

1

Money
This is probably the first thing when we think about the cost. Innovations like drones or robotic swarms are more and more common, but they still remain a quite big expense for companies. It’s similar with software solutions: the rising popularity of construction management solutions (state of the art systems, BIM, AI models) is understandable but they are all more expensive compared to traditional methods. And many times this is seen as a problem (and a deal-breaker).

2

Time
The time is also a cost, especially in the construction industry, where strict deadlines and financial penalties for delays exist in every project. A good example of time cost would be an implementation of a software solution. Adjusting needed features, applying new procedures, transferring data, training employees - it all takes time. A crucial time during which the team is not working with 100% efficiency.

3

Physical
This category is about the physical cost for the company like problems with team management, security or workflow. For example, investing in drones can be connected with the reduction of employment, which can easily demotivate the rest of the staff. Also, construction management solutions can seem at first too complex, which can discourage the team and bring problems with the overall workflow.

So, with all those costs and risks mentioned above, why would you still decide to use innovative solutions in your company?

Why are Modern Technologies Beneficial?

Oftentimes, when companies consider investing in new technologies, they usually focus too much on costs and underestimate the benefits of the solutions. As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, we need innovations to better respond to customer needs and not to be left behind our competitors in this constantly changing market.

  • Increased Safety
    Drones and humanoid workers are a perfect solution for the labour crisis as thanks to them, fewer workers are required to operate the process on the construction site. Also, such technologies can help to increase safety by lifting heavy materials or protecting workers’ bodies. Those technologies can also support your company when it comes to building in extremely dangerous or hard-to-reach terrains - expanding your opportunities and protecting your employees.
  • Faster Delivery
    New ways of production, like offsite manufacturing, allow making parts of the structure (or even whole structures!) away from the construction site. This method, although at first seems pricey, helps to make processes faster and cheaper. Moreover, it is a great solution to avoid exposing your workers to crowded work environments (like on traditional construction sites) during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Data availability & Complete Management
    Modern construction management solutions became crucial in the construction industry nowadays. Because of remote work, all processes, communication, documentation and time management became a challenge for every company. Next-generation ERP software supports the team in daily tasks by storing all the needed information in one place with access from every computer (with an internet connection).

How to Deal with The Cost of Construction Innovation When It’s too High?

During the decision-making process, it is important to calculate the pros and cons of each solution properly. But what to do if we want to invest in new technology but the costs are too high? Luckily, there are some solutions! For example, it is possible to establish a partnership with high technology companies and receive f.ex. machines, instead of buying them. Also, the government plays a significant role in digitalizing the construction industry by adjusting the law or supporting companies with benefit programs. When it comes to construction management software, many companies offer free trials or demos that show all the possible solutions. Plus, in some cases, you can count on support in software implementation that will help you avoid the cost of losing time and the team’s productivity.

The Best You Can Do, Is to Change Your Mindset!

Not every expense is a cost. You need to think long-term. To gain something, you always have to invest first. Same goes for modern construction management solutions. However, in the future, you may find out that the benefits exceed the costs multiple times! But to see it we have to stop thinking about innovations as another cost for our company. It is the investment that will give you more control and more time. Only by changing our mindset, we can bring our company to a higher level!

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