It’s no secret that the construction industry is a risky one, from the huge fines that can be doled out to the very real possibility of devastating workplace accidents. Technology holds the key to mitigating construction risk across the board - here’s why investing in tech tools to mitigate risk can really pay off.
- 1. Minimising double-ups and oversights
Accidental double-ups and oversights create unnecessary work for your team and might also cost you in the form of unnecessary re-orders. Installers, manufacturers and suppliers are all at risk of potentially being penalised or fined for these oversights as well.
This is something that happens frequently in the construction industry. Let’s say two bench tops are sent to a site. The installer grabs the bigger bench top first, but then realises it’s too big to be installed in the particular apartment they’re working on. So, they cut it down to size. They only realise that this was a mistake when they see that the second bench top is way too small for the next apartment they’re working on!
Rather than own up to the mistake, they might tell the manufacturer that they never received the large bench top in the first place.
Without proper recording of the manufacture, packing and shipping of materials, the manufacturer is not able to prove that they did in fact send the correct bench tops. They’ll not only have to pay for a replacement, but may also cop enormous penalties for missing deadlines.
Construction tech can help you keep a log of when and how an item was handled. This will help you prove that your materials were shipped exactly when you said they were. Depending on the tech tool you choose, you might also have the option of attaching photos at any stage of the process, demonstrating the quality of materials at the time of install or that materials were packed securely before shipment.
- 2. Keeping on schedule
Construction projects run according to a sensitive timeline, with recent shipping and logistics issues globally throwing another spanner in the works. It can be difficult to tell if your ordered goods were actually shipped out on time - even locally sourced materials can be delayed!
Too often, you’ll only find out that there were issues with production or distribution on the due date itself. This leaves you facing huge penalties for the late delivery of work.
Without real-time visibility of your upstream subcontractors, it’s impossible to be sure that the right materials will be there when you need them.
Construction tech can be used to provide end-to-end visibility, showing you in real time where your products are. You might also like to see what you currently have available in storage, at the docks, or at any other location to give you the surety you need that you’ll be able to deliver your project on time.
- 3. Reducing issues during the warranty period
You completed a build some time ago, but are now being chased up for items that were later discovered to be faulty. This could have a huge impact on your business, particularly if it wasn’t a one-off issue but actually a problem with the manufacturing or installation itself. This could lead to you wearing more costs down the line, unless you’re able to provide full visibility.
Construction tech can help to provide full visibility of every action that took place on every material, even after project handover. HVAC system breaking down? You can quickly find out who installed it, who inspected it and which manufacturing batch it appeared in. With this knowledge, you can proactively identify and fix items before they’re handed over.
Companies like SRG Global are going even further - they’re using construction tech to put QR codes on their windows. This allows the homeowners to look up critical operations and maintenance information about their windows, further reducing the risk of issues during the warranty period.
- 4. Avoiding liquidated damages
Liquidated damages has squashed more companies than any other risk in the construction industry.
Say you just completed the construction of an apartment building, but realised afterwards that you were missing one of the fire doors. This would mean that the entire apartment building would be declared unsafe. Now imagine that particular fire door had been manufactured overseas, meaning it would take a few weeks to manufacture and ship it to you. All the would-be residents of this apartment building would now be unable to move in when they thought they would, resulting in huge liquidated damages being levied against the builder.
Thankfully, such a catastrophic scenario can be avoided by having the right tools in place.
Construction tech helps you keep an eye on the status of all materials throughout the entire supply chain. If an item hasn’t been shipped, you’ll be able to see it in the system right away. This means both suppliers and builders can proactively prevent liquidated damages from occurring by seeing what’s missing or defective well before the project deadline rolls around.
- 5. Managing competitive risk
Construction is massively competitive, meaning it can be incredibly hard to stand out from the crowd. Builders and clients also tend to default to the cheapest tender, which can leave companies in a race to the bottom.
At the same time, builders appreciate working with companies or subcontractors that can commit to the entire project, and can also demonstrate their trustworthiness and reliability.
By using state-of-the-art construction tech, you can show the world that you have proper processes and systems in place to manage your projects and can provide greater transparency to your clients. This demonstrates that you can proactively manage upstream and downstream, making sure the right materials are at the right place, at the right time. Given that many companies in the industry are still relying on spreadsheets and diaries, your business can quickly put itself ahead with some construction tech.