Why the construction industry and the construction supply industry should also make use of the opportunities of digitalisation

Our world is becoming increasingly digital. The smartphone and with it the mobile internet, the constant, fast availability of information as well as shopping possibilities, data, automated digital processes and networking already significantly determine many areas of everyday life. This is true in both the private and business environment. For a long time, however, the construction industry saw itself as less affected by corresponding developments - and even today the relevance is assessed differently in the individual domains. Although more than 90 percent of construction companies and suppliers are certain that digitalisation is important, only very few act accordingly. Read this article to find out what this means and why it is essential to embrace digital opportunities.


The current digital situation in the construction industry - an overview


As mentioned at the beginning, more than 90 per cent of companies active in the construction industry are convinced that digital opportunities are an important issue. However, only slightly more than five percent of them actually use digital tools for their intended purpose. At the same time, 100 percent of construction companies and suppliers state that they are not exploiting their digital opportunities.


These figures come from the study "Digitisation of the construction industry - The European path to Construction 4.0" by Roland Berger, in the course of which 40 construction companies and construction suppliers from Germany, Austria and Switzerland were surveyed. They show an enormous gap between awareness of the relevance of a digital transformation and actual consistent action. This uncertainty obstructs opportunities and can also be very dangerous.


Why companies in the construction and construction supply industry should seize digital opportunities


First things first: without embracing digital opportunities, it will be exceedingly difficult for construction companies of any orientation to maintain their competitiveness in the long term. The potential of digital solutions in the construction industry is huge. In the future, more and more companies as well as customers or partners will recognise these prospects for success and use them for themselves. Sooner or later, it will become part of the expectation that business-specific processes can simply be carried out digitally. Businesses that do not offer corresponding digital options will be used less and less.


There are already many successful digital application options and software solutions in the construction industry. Strongly accepted tools aimed at customers and partners are mostly very precisely geared to the requirements and needs of their target group. Mobile apps have proven to be particularly advantageous, enabling construction companies as well as suppliers to quickly and easily exchange information with their respective clients before, during and after the construction project. For a long time, sufficient customer management was underestimated in the construction industry. However, in order to be shortlisted for the next construction project, construction companies should position themselves optimally by maintaining customer relationships, and apps can be very useful in this respect.


Practice has also shown that companies can save up to 10 percent in costs with digital platforms for procurement. An immense economisation can also be achieved in construction site logistics or with the help of special supply software, which enables deliveries to be made very precisely at the times when the materials in question are actually needed on the construction site. The fact that construction workers used to spend around 70 per cent of their working time setting up, moving and searching for materials due to a lack of storage space is now history for users of such solutions. Furthermore, the networking of construction machines allows for highly efficient planning and utilisation.

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