Technology adoption is no longer a bandwagon you jump on: it’s a race. Estimates are that at least 20% of companies are using industrialized construction. If your company is not part of that 20%, remember that a number of your competitors are. The ones who aren’t yet are relying on things that worked twenty years ago. They may be too busy to implement changes. They may be getting by and happy with that rather than innovating to get better.
Something you can do today for your company’s future outlook is consider the trends: 3D design, collaborative models, data-driven decision making. A characteristic of an innovation-centric company is considering these things and evaluating how you can use them to create more opportunities and revenue streams. It’s an elevated way of thinking.
Standardization in the industry comes from this type of forward thinking. Repeatable processes make tasks scalable – which is significant and powerful. As an example, consider the car manufacturing process. Manufacturers don’t start a car on the assembly line without knowing how the end product is going to turn out; they don’t redesign it in the middle of the build.
Business owners and managers need to be mindful of leading their company into the future and having it remain relevant. Otherwise, it may not survive. It’s important to know who your true customer is. Is it the permitting agency? or the architect? or the contractors?
For many companies, it’s actually the trade contractors. That said, maybe it’s time to figure out what you can do to make that “customer’s” job experience better. Sometimes that can be done by improving job estimates and bids. You can also mitigate risk for them, reduce job waste and reduce the gamble of over- or under-purchasing materials.
Invest in your company’s culture and employees by creating an open and trusting environment. Encourage individuals to be part of the changes and even a driving force behind your strategy. Build on their creativity. Get feedback from everyone involved and learn what their technology passions are. Rather than being a threat, technology is an opportunity to automate mundane parts of a job. Involvement in the process helps people shift that mindset.
There’s an educational component in industrialized construction. Changing an internal process requires consistency and repetition. You should also seek outside partnerships that will empower you to transition and productize.
Don’t forget about the importance of collaboration for your company going forward.
For a majority of the industry, communication among companies is currently disjointed. You might contrast that to the way we’re learning to communicate in our personal, digitally mobile lives.
When we look at construction collaboration, one company doesn’t have to “lose” in order for another company to “win.” Increasingly there is a win-win scenario. Collaboration can result in less combativeness and less confrontation. It has been proven to bring value to the people and companies you’re working with.
On episode 74 of the Bridging the Gap podcast, I had a chance to explore these concepts with Jim Tavernelli, COO of KLH Engineers. Listen today for more insights into building an innovation-centric business and the race to industrialized construction.