One area that has seen an opportunity for potential growth due to the pandemic is the engineering and construction sector. All across the country, there have been a number of different construction firms that have adapted incredibly quickly to life under lockdown – which has seen them introduce and implement various different software and technologies for the office-based side of their business. One that doesn’t necessarily spring to mind immediately when thinking about a world usually graced by hard hats and hi-vis.
Typically though, in the past; construction and engineering companies have found that they have quick implemented new technologies that are suitable for the office side of their business leaving the sites to become somewhat neglected unfortunately. This pandemic though has helped businesses to redefine how they go about selecting these solutions and appears to have benefitted in more ways than originally thought.
This potential for rapid change has helped the construction industry realise that remote site management is now very much a positive reality; with business having to become agile enough to implement this quickly due to the restrictions placed during lockdown. Dont forget, many sites remained open if the project was deemed important or necessary; but this also threw up questions such as how the site would be managed safely by external; remote site management. A company that creates remote site monitoring software; Sensat, believe that this pandemic has introduced an exciting new era of using software in construction companies to make them more fluid and dynamic in how they operate. Their CEO; James Dean, professes that the growth of the company is a direct result of the growing trust and believe in the construction industry now around the use of remote and cloud software in order to improve processes.
James explained: “It’s a forcing function in this industry, which didn’t really need to change before. Suddenly things have had to change overnight. What are going to be the long term implications of that? If companies use these new technologies for 90 days and they become habits, it’s unlikely they’ll go back to the old way of working. So we could actually see a productivity boost of double digits in the course of the next year.”
As with many organizations across the world; many companies are realising that the pandemic has forced wholesale changes in the way that businesses now operate and at a rapid rate, too. Construction companies are now finding new, innovative ways to ensure the protection and growth of their business as we expect the sector to boom into growth following months of uncertainty. Companies across all sectors are understanding now that cloud tech and software is becoming more and more beneficial. The expectations for all businesses is that cloud software use; collaboration tools; video conferencing and other forms of interactivity throughout businesses; is becoming the norm and the potential for increased productivity and efficiency is proving to be massive.
In addition to this, there has also been an increase in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) during the lockdown has affected so many businesses. For example, a company that monitors urban transportation has been using its data to monitor the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on main roads and motorways. They found that during the lockdown there was a 60% reduction in the amount of traffic on the roads across the entire country. They have also started to track whether pedestrians on footpaths have adhered to the new social distancing rules – a technology that can be used to ensure that workers are working safely and well distanced on building sites in the future.
Businesses in the construction industry are also now looking at ways to safeguard the future and ensure that there are minimal disruptions to business in the future should they undergo another situation that affects workforces. Granted, another coronavirus-style disruption would be highly unlikely due to the unprecedented nature of the lockdown; but it means that businesses of all industries; not just construction companies will be better prepared for any situations.
And it isn’t just internally within construction that these measures are now affecting a new normal. With the rapid rise of video conferencing and the practice becoming second-nature to millions of people; councils are now planning digital public consultations which will allow the planning inspectorate to showcase various different materials across a video connection to a public audience. It is this growth that we are expecting to see across many different industries but it seems that in the construction industry alone; this catalyst for change and innovation was needed.
Its incredibly important now to start to ensure that your business can move forward out of this pandemic with prosperity; and to begin looking into ways of investing in cloud and remote software; bespoke to your business.