The construction industry no doubt has been crucial in the global fight against COVID-19.
The construction industry has played a critical role in responding to the pandemic—from building hospitals and isolation centres in just a few days or months, to donating lifesaving equipment.
The spread of COVID-19 generated a boatload of uncertainty across various sectors, including the construction industry which is going through an immense struggle in sustaining the project pipeline and workflow.
However, the Coronavirus pandemic has catalyzed novel processes and protocols which have impacted every personnel in the construction industry, ranging from construction workers on construction sites, contractors and subcontractors, to even project owners.
Many of these processes are likely to subsist long after a COVID-19 vaccine is developed and life slowly drifts back to normal.
Here are some dynamics to expect over the next several months and, possibly, years.
Continued Health Precautions:
As construction sites are gradually reopened as a result of easing lockdowns in many countries, contractors will adopt a lot of safety measures and protocols to prevent future shutdowns due to COVID-19.
These include mandates to always wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and the taking of construction workers' temperatures at the start of a shift.
Some larger construction companies, with their respective IT departments, have created custom apps for digital check-ins, health screenings and contact tracing.
These are practices that are likely to continue long after the pandemic is over.
A year from now, we are not likely to see daily temperature taking. It is more likely that we will see digital thermometers used, especially during the flu season or in response to isolated incidents on construction sites.
On the other hand, masks will continue to be worn more frequently.
More Reliance on Technology:
When construction sites first shut down in the first quarter of the year 2020, construction projects were stopped and contractors gravitated towards construction-specific technologies such as drones for real-time construction site monitoring to comply with the social distancing policy.
While these tools were in existence before COVID-19, their usage surged during the worldwide lockdown, and is projected to continue long after the pandemic is over.
In fact, 80% of construction leaders predict a seismic post-Coronavirus technology shift.
Here are some ways by which technology will be used post-coronavirus:
Taking Advantage of the Internet of Things (IoT)
The tech world is leaning heavily on the idea of improved connectivity through the Internet of Things (IoT) for both customers and industry. The entire idea behind the use of IoT is connecting devices or machines using the power of the internet.
IoT can be used to drive operational efficiency and improve safety at the construction site by reducing costs.
Of primary concern to most contractors is workers' health, construction site safety, costs control. To that end, there are many wearables with functions that help achieve these. Over the past few years, the trend of revolutionary wearable devices is becoming increasingly popular.
These devices not only help with biometric identification of construction workers but also monitor their health status via metrics like heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, etc.
It is projected that more construction managers will embrace this technology to track the health and safety of workers on the construction site. These devices can be connected to a single software to record the health data of all the workers and check their fatigue levels.
There are also wearables that can be used to warn construction workers whenever they are at risk of coming in contact with hazardous construction materials or heavy construction machinery.
To Improve Supply Flow
There will likely be more reliance on technology to improve the flow of supply.
This can be achieved by the introduction of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) technology – software built to manage day to day operations like accounting, procurement, project management, risk management, etc.
From the procurement perspective, an ERP application can be used to streamline the supply chain as well as help managers align with project schedules for precise deliveries of construction materials and equipment when they are needed.
In addition to the obvious efficiency to be gained, the value of cost savings from using such an application cannot be overstated in the hard-hit post-pandemic economy.
LiveVend Bulk is one such software that provides logistical ease for project owners, builders, contractors, and project managers. This web app will boost the efficiency of your construction projects’ procurement process.
It also allows for better financial accountability, analysis, and reportage.
Cloud-Based SaaS Technology
This has many benefits that range from advanced analytics, powerful data processing, high data storage, real-time view of construction sites, etc.
The use of intelligent construction management and accounting software will help project managers to keep a check on all the activities, resources, as well as deliverables with greater ease.
This will also be of great benefit in sharing data between project owners and subcontractors with the ease of access to data available on servers, which is not possible with on-premise solutions.
One such resource is LiveVend Pro which allows for remote tracking of multiple construction projects via real-time data, while helping project owners, real estate developers, and project managers keep progress according to plan.
LiveVend Pro provides efficiency that births, accountability, time savings and costs reduction.
Online Purchase of Construction materials
There is no doubt that the Coronavirus has also affected consumer behaviour globally and across all industries. In fact, online merchants are reported to have gained an extra $107 billion due to the pandemic.
This shift towards e-commerce is set to be sustained post-pandemic, even in the construction industry where usage of such technology is demonstrably low.
There's already an increase in the percentage of project owners who procure construction materials from e-construction vendors.
The LiveVend Price Index is a trusted web application which provides real-time price indices of construction materials, gears, and equipment.
Its striking feature is that it enables buyers to simultaneously compare prices of construction materials displayed by myriad vendors across various markets.
After arriving a decision, buyers can also contact vendors directly from the LiveVend web application with phone call, WhatsApp and email options.
It is an excellent resource for both small-scale and large-scale construction projects.
As lockdowns get relaxed worldwide and life generally eases back to normal, these developments will likely continue in the construction industry post-pandemic.
As highlighted, we will likely witness sustained precautionary health protocols and a heavier reliance on construction-specific technology.
This is the reality of the future, and CutStruct Technology Limited is pushing the frontiers of our new normal.