The construction industry has not kept pace with other sectors in terms of productivity.

According to McKinsey & Company’s 2017 report, Reinventing construction through a productivity revolution, the lagging construction industry is costing the global economy $1.6 trillion a year.

For example, where manufacturing productivity has nearly doubled in recent decades, the construction industry’s trajectory has remained flat, according to McKinsey & Company’s 2015 report, The construction productivity imperative.

What is contributing to poor productivity?

The construction productivity imperative identifies a variety of factors leading to poor productivity and cost outcomes. Among them are:

  • Poor organisation. Decision-making and procurement processes do not have the speed and scale required.
  • Inadequate communication. Inconsistencies in reporting mean that subcontractors, contractors, and owners do not have a common understanding of how the project is faring at any given time.
  • Flawed performance management. Unresolved issues stack up because of lack of communication and accountability.

One major stumbling block to achieving better productivity has been the difficulty involved in measuring it effectively. Traditionally, this data is captured on paper and in spreadsheets during the construction process. It’s a cumbersome and inefficient mode of measurement, because even when meaningful information is captured it’s usually too late and has already cost time and money.

Finding solutions

Mobile and cloud-based technology, such as is helping drive improvements in productivity across the construction industry. Moving away from paper and spreadsheet based cost capturing methods to innovative technology allows project teams to track costs and achieved quantities in real-time. By offering an efficient real-time solution; construction companies have the ability to improve their production rates and avoid major cost blowouts before they happen.