How E&C Businesses Can Set Their Workforce Up for Digital Transformation

The construction industry has struggled with the consistent challenge of low productivity. Globally, the construction sector has seen annual productivity improvements of on average just 1.0 percent over the past two decades.

In comparison, the manufacturing sector averages around 3.6 percent globally. It’s clear to see the industry has been outpaced by others.

What low productivity really means to the construction industry is low output, late project delivery, reduced profits, and costly delays.

The sector is highly complex with fragmentation at its core and continual challenges around low margins, adversarial pricing models, financial fragility, and skills shortages.

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The dichotomy of BIM

Dichotomy of BIM modelThere’s no doubt that BIM is seen as key for the engineering and construction (E&C) industry as it looks to digital transformation to tackle some seemingly inherent challenges such as budget overspend, project delays, and quality control issues.

In fact, a Zion Market Research report predicted BIM market value would reach $10.36 billion by 2022, up from $3.52 billion in 2016.

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Three BIM trends shaping how we’ll build the world

Three BIM trends were discussed at BIM World 2018.

BIM World 2018 in Paris isn’t fooling around. One of the largest building information modeling events in the world, the March 2018 event attracted almost 8,000 attendees, 174 exhibitors, and more than 90 conference and workshop sessions.

This year’s overarching theme was digital transformation. International experts revealed three key trends unfolding within the BIM world:

  1. You can’t do BIM without a common data environment (CDE)
  2. Artificial intelligence (AI) is now a reality in construction
  3. Everything is connected

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Five essential corporate trends: Set yourself apart from the competition

E&C professionals discussing corporate trends in the office.

In Part I, we discussed how company culture impacts team members. In Part II, we’ll examine how five corporate trends help organizations distinguish themselves from competitors and gain a leading edge.

1. Corporate trends: The biophilia hypothesis

E&C organizations have also created many new and innovative approaches to redeveloping their physical workspace. The biophilia hypothesis proposes that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life.

Connecting workers in office environments with nature certainly isn’t new, but it’s getting a lot of recent traction. I visit many clients who’ve added courtyards, gardens, beehives, and natural light to their work spaces.

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Part I: What’s company culture and why are we paying more attention to it?

E&C professionals discussing company culture onsite.

Part I: Company culture has become a marketable brand— and organizations within engineering and construction (E&C) are no exception. That said, the definition of workplace culture depends entirely on whom you ask.

What’s company culture, anyway?

The workplace shouldn’t be a place that employees dread. Annual workplace market studies rate the best companies to work for, and the ‘why’ is often largely determined by company culture.

The Harvard Business Journal’s ‘When to Fire a Top Performer Who Hurts Your Company Culture’ suggests company culture acts “as a moral compass by teaching employees to not only do the right thing, but to do it the right way.”

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