Why Can’t Construction Projects Ever Be on Time?

Construction Industry Slow To Adopt New Technology

Two major questions always seem to be looming over the sphere of unfinished, large-scale construction projects: Is it on time? and is it on budget? A more pertinent question we should ask is: does it deliver?

According to McKinsey & Company’s article, “Imagining construction’s digital future”, the slow adoption of new technology is the leading cause of construction projects taking 20% longer to finish and up to 80% over budget.

Here, we sit down with one of our Partners at Aivia Group, Mahla Kafami, to discuss some of the challenges facing the construction industry today.

To answer these pressing questions, we have to ask ourselves why so many projects these days are always behind, over budget or under-spec?

It’s hard to ignore asking why mid-sized construction companies exceed budgets by an average of $2B a year. Research from PlanGrid and FMI identifies non-optimised activities, outdated data management, and poor collaboration techniques as the leading factors for construction companies exceeding their budget.

We can’t be naïve about the situation and blame it on one single factor. We can’t magically invent an instant setting concrete or train ninjas to be the only construction workers available. We have to be realistic about our physical constraints. One of the biggest challenges facing the construction industry today is the lack of effective project management through centralised, reliable and fast progress data.

It is no secret that large construction projects require faster feedback on project progress. It is often the lag in response time where we find that the effect of the initial mistakes has been compounded many times over and that we realise that we now require additional resources to rectify this. With faster project progress information, errors can be found sooner and not later, and resources can be allocated to project progress rather than undoing a mistake.

While this sounds easy enough in practice, we must realise that these large construction projects are well… large. There are many individuals at play in the decision-making process, and it is important that consensus is reached. Effective communication is wholly dependent upon consistent, reliable information that all involved parties can readily access. To ensure that project progress on the ground level is moving to schedule and that the project is not set upon any erroneous tangents, this lag time and command between management and workers must be communicated in the minimum timeframe possible. Sending information between single parties is no longer sufficient. Each additional person that this information is required to reach is only a lag in the amount of time and resources that we can save during the project. Project progress must be updated frequently, be objective, and be accessible to anyone who needs it.

Streamline Traditional Surveying Methods

The most obvious way to obtain information is to use traditional surveyors; however, this process can take up to a week and requires more time to process the raw data points into useful information. This process takes a long time, is labour-intensive, and can be costly if done frequently (although this knowledge can save money in the long term).

Now, what if I told you there was a way to obtain fast, reliable, and cost-effective progress data?

Alston Construction has achieved just this with drone technology and Propeller, a technology platform utilised by Aivia Group. Construction and project managers can now capture site data frequently with these tools to foresee potential risks, resolve issues before they become a problem, and spend more time on efficient project execution while on budget.

Aivia Group utilises drone technology and digital visual analysis tools to streamline the traditional surveying process. It is a perfectly safe and highly intuitive way to understand how large construction projects are progressing, even to the most minute detail.

According to Propeller, Construction directors who use collaborative digital visual analysis tools can expect to spend 90% less time interpreting data.

Contact Aivia Group today to discuss a tailored and transformational solution for your business.

Author: Jessica Yuan

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