“Always do what you’ve always done”
In today’s construction environment it is becoming best practice to use online construction collaboration software that all interested parties can access regardless of where they are in the world. There is, however, still an element of resistance in introducing new ways of working.
Whilst the savings can be demonstrated in terms of cost, time and risk, the initial investment can take many months or years to repay.
What is Construction Collaboration Software?
In simple terms online construction collaboration software provides disparate teams and individuals with the ability to securely share project information via a central store with control and audit-ability. Why use a Construction Collaboration Software?
The construction industry is one of the biggest industries in the UK, employing more than 2.1 million people and annually contributing over £103 billion in economic output, representing 6.5% of UK GDP. Productivity analysis has concluded that the industry, on average achieves less than 50% productivity. In July 1998 the Construction Task Force chaired by Sir John Egan published their report “Rethinking Construction”. The report identified that the project process can be radically improved by fostering innovative methodology such as improved project implantation and partnering the supply chain. By using online Construction Collaboration Software
to control the design and build process can contribute significantly towards this goal. Print costs alone can be significantly reduced, but the hidden costs of errors in communication are eliminated by allowing for faster dissemination of information allowing a wider group to have access to pertinent changes in the design and supply process. The overall aim is to improve collaboration, standardisation and management of information enable the whole team to realise the benefits. What costs arise by implementing collaboration software?
The costs of Construction Collaboration Software implantation can be divided into 4 main groups;
- System costs – setup and running costs.
- Resistance to change – teams continue to use old systems in parallel.
- Training – new technology, protocols etc.
- Infrastructure – investment in new technology and connectivity.
Many of these costs are unavoidable but could be reduced in magnitude by careful planning and selection of the system which must match the team’s needs. Resistance to change is likely to be the costliest issue as it will effect most companies and results in significant waste both in terms of time and cost. Yet the costs associated with culture change can be significantly reduced with foresight and adequate planning which can result in a fast return on investment.
In the next instalment we look at the biggest threat to successful collaboration, “Cultural Change”.