The construction industry has historically been slow to adopt new technologies; specifically when it comes to workflow management and building performance monitoring.
A report from McKinsey suggests that the construction industry ranked as the second worst digitized industry globally.
Not only has a majority of the industry not caught up to modern day, many within the industry don’t have plans to do so anytime soon.
A 2016 study from KPMG, which surveyed over 200 construction and engineering executives and major-project owners around the world, saw only 20 per cent of the respondents say that they are are rethinking their business models to incorporate new technology.
According to Mark Bryant, the chief information officer for PCL Construction, a 40 per cent decrease in the average profit margin on constructions projects since 2008 has made it all the more difficult for the industry to modernize itself, even if there was a desire to do so.
“The pace of change (in technology) is extremely rapid. It’s hard to keep up. And that pace is accelerating, it’s not slowing down,” said Bryant. “The construction and agriculture industries are probably the two laggards in terms of technology adoption. The challenge in the construction industry, though, is that the margins construction companies realize from those multimillion dollar projects is low. So there’s a challenge certainly in being able to afford and maintain the digitization of construction.”
So while most construction companies are not willing or able to evolve to meet the demands of the industry, PCL Construction saw a chance to rise to the occasion.