Covid-19 brought with it numerous challenges for the global construction industry, including project delays, productivity loss, supply chain disruptions and more. These impacts have accelerated the need for digital transformation in the construction industry. While some enterprises in the sector claim to be digitised, many continue to suffer collaboration issues and lack of access to all their company data. The major issue identified is that several systems are not integrated with one another, albeit being used simultaneously. This results in company data being dispersed across multiple sources which, in turn, makes it difficult to access data and make proactive data driven decisions impacting efficiency and overall productivity.
According to Andrew Skudder, CEO of RIB CCS, a great deal of construction data remains unstructured and unused due to outdated processes or the use of tools that are not integrated. “According to an FMI Whitepaper, 96% of all data captured goes unused in the engineering and construction industry, 90% of data generated is unstructured, and 13% of engineering and construction working hours are spent looking for project data and information. That translates to a massive waste of time and budget.”
The engineering and construction industry is one of the main economic sectors where robotics and automated systems have the potential to address inefficiencies and low productivity. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a driving force in identifying patterns in data to automate processes and uncover insights.
“The engineering and construction industry is turning to technology solutions that utilise artificial intelligence to solve significant and longstanding challenges,” he says. “Extracting meaningful insights efficiently can only be possible if data sources are integrated and managed correctly. Better decisions can be made by businesses utilising their own accumulated data and implementing machine learning and deep learning”.
“With the potential that AI offers, the time is now for companies in the engineering and construction industry to begin thinking about how their businesses can be transformed to establish a competitive advantage.”
RIB CCS is able to provide its customers with industry-leading solutions to drive transformation. This ability was especially enhanced when Construction Computer Software was acquired by multinational RIB Software SE, to form RIB CCS. The partnership has provided its customers with a wealth of opportunity to benefit from industry-leading software, and ultimately ensure accelerated growth and business sustainability for the company.
Skudder explains that the partnership also offers significant investment in R&D, access to new technology and innovative solutions, new channels to market and partnerships with other RIB companies.
“As a software vendor, RIB CCS is continuously enhancing and extending its software offerings to meet and exceed user requirements, as well as comply with the ever-changing construction and engineering technological landscape.
Enhancing and extending our software requires investment in R&D and we are delighted that RIB is supportive of our ongoing investment in Candy and BuildSmart, but also in new products that will position RIB CCS for the future,” he says.
Further, the partnership has provided extensive access to a vast range of software solutions from the RIB Group, including site management, document control, business intelligence and facilities management solutions.
Skudder says that the company’s primary focus now is to introduce RIB’s flagship industry solution, MTWO, to the Southern African, Middle East and UK markets. “As a complete construction cloud solution, MTWO is an integrated 5D BIM enterprise cloud-based platform targeted at contractors, asset owners and developers with the aim of accelerating their digital transformation.”
The platform helps customers move away from a conventional toolset digitalisation mindset to a platform mindset. In doing so, it enables all construction project teams to perform their day-to-day work and collaborate throughout the project lifecycle on the same platform.
“With over 50 years of experience in the construction industry, RIB focuses on IT and engineering and has become the pioneer in construction innovation, exploring and bringing new thinking, new working methods and new technologies to enhance construction productivity,” explains Mads Bording, CRO at RIB Software SE.
“This is most evident in MTWO, where our deep industry know-how and innovations such as 5D BIM, cloud, business intelligence, artificial intelligence, mixed reality, IoT technologies and more, have resulted in it being the most complete, integrated and intelligent solution for the engineering and construction industry.”
“RIB’s innovation resonates well with our clients, who share a vision of digitalisation as a core strategic imperative to enable improved productivity, safety and efficiency and ultimately to create competitive advantage.”
Tom Willemen, CEO of Willemen Group, and a RIB client based in Belgium, captured this sentiment recently by explaining: “We strongly believe that innovation is the most important thing to live and exist as a construction company. We need to use digital technologies and even AI to improve and manage the business, and to tackle all the challenges in the construction industry today.”
Skudder emphasises that the local industry is ready to embrace platform solutions and virtual projects, saying that the company is seeing forward-thinking firms in the industry investigating implementation of practical solutions to stay connected, increase their efficiency, improve productivity, and ensure long-term competitiveness.
“We believe that solutions should prioritise connecting people, data and processes, and that a single cloud platform allows for easy enterprise-wide collaboration. The continuity of data between different teams and different partners is ensured, and participants have unfettered access to accurate and consistent data. This platform should also be open and can easily be integrated with other software solutions to connect teams, unify data and standardise processes,” he explains.
RIB CCS believes that adopting new software is not only about a transformative shift in technology, but also a change in the overall planning and workflows of a business. Before implementing software solutions, RIB and RIB CCS’s expert teams help clients establish a clear digital roadmap for the change management process. The aim of this will be to define expectations including how the company will benefit from the digital transformation, what results are to be expected after the implementation of new technology, how the implementation process will work, and what the milestones and schedules will look like.
Skudder says RIB CCS assists construction companies by delivering significant and lasting change in the way a business operates. “It is crucial to ensure that new software implementation is supported by senior management members, who have the ability to allocate appropriate human resources and time to this new undertaking.
“After all, change management is a leadership-driven process, and senior management plays a central role in the overall success of its deployment. If senior management involvement is lacking, team behaviour and uptake will not evolve,” he concludes.