Most people speak about the future in terms of technology innovation. But there is another perspective: the business model standpoint.
When talking about the future of construction, we need to include business models. Although we speak about technology, there’s more at stake than just tech. The business model and technology work in parallel.
There is a journey to implementing any kind of changes in the AEC industry. Companies in the industry are not as slow in adopting technology for productivity improvement as we have been hearing.
Because so many people have bought into that image, there is a self-perception that AEC companies are slow to adopt tech or are simply not innovative. They may not recognize that the reality is different. There are innovative companies, more tech-centric companies, than is popularly believed. Things are actually happening, but a lot of those accomplishments are behind the scenes and invisible.
We all read the same articles; we all go to the same shows; we subscribe to the same podcasts; we all like the same thought leaders on social media. So there can be a problem of diversity in terms of thinking. We have heard many times that the vision of this industry is lagging and that things should be done differently. The reality is we already do things differently. Maybe we’re not paying attention to the right information.
It’s also a matter of mindset. You need to let go of your ordinary perceptions. You may be obsessed with productivity improvement, cost savings and business optimization. Those are “defense” mindsets. You can develop an “offense” mindset by developing a new business model. This can enable your company to grow and profit more than you currently do by stepping outside your current framework.
If things need to change and get better, it is important to look at issues from a business model viewpoint – at a conceptual level. The business model is a way to deliver value and make profit.
Margins in construction are very low. It’s been like this for 50 years or longer. Everyone is investing a lot of money in technology. However, have the margins changed even a few percent? It seems nothing has gotten better in terms of the mountains business owners need to surmount. Perhaps it’s time for companies to look at their business model, keeping in mind that completely changing the business model is not necessary to solve problems. Maybe in your situation, it’s simply a matter of diversification. Look at your situation from all vantage points and decide what makes the most sense for your company’s mission and vision.
We will see the old world disappear and the new world emerge, but it’s not going to happen overnight. There is an arc of transformation.
Tune in to episode 145 of Bridging the Gap Podcast and learn about the hyper construction framework from Olivier Lepinoy.