The construction industry has benefited from the explosion in new technologies that aid the transfer of vital information. With our series of SmartMarket Reports on Building Information Modeling (BIM), Dodge Data & Analytics has explored the impact of information flow on the construction industry. These studies demonstrate that mobile devices on the jobsite, improved communication and visualization tools, and increased use of BIM all contribute to improving construction information management and making the construction industry more productive.
To achieve the full potential of these new technologies, it is critical to understand how effectively project information is flowing between project team partners, between the jobsite and the main office, and between systems within the company. The results of this study of information flow demonstrate the gains the construction industry has been making, but they also reveal the critical gaps that must be addressed to support the ongoing shift to a more collaborative approach that is currently taking hold in the industry.
The results of this Dodge Data & Analytics study reveal that 67% of general and specialty trade contractors have seen significant improvements to information flow at their firm in the past two years. Most of the respondents reported significant benefits resulting from these improvements:
For collaboration to succeed, there must be a seamless flow of information to all partners on a project. Tracking project information flow is vital to creating a seamless workflow, but only 20% of respondents track the flow of their project information to other firms, which is less than half of those that track information flow within their companies. Another opportunity to increase the benefits of improved information mobility is improving access to information on and from the jobsite. Only 37% of respondents find that their workers can access project information outside the trailer, which not only creates potential productivity issues but also limits the potential for tools like BIM to be effectively used on site. Overall, better software, more training and increased attention to this issue has the potential to offer significant productivity benefits.
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