Jun 28, 2022

From ‘Bricks-n-Mortar’ to ‘Clicks-n-Smarter’

  • digital
  • construction
Bricks n Mortar

By adopting digital technologies rapidly several industries from Fintech to Telecom have evolved significantly. However, construction, the real ‘brick and mortar’ industry stuck to the ‘age-old’ technology and outdated business practices, resulting in a plateau of production efficiency and lack of swift progress.

A recent McKinsey report on the global construction industry highlights that huge projects take 20% more time than scheduled and are plagued with around 80% cost overrun. It also highlighted that the construction industry is one of the least digitised industries and the pandemic had only amplified the problems that mandates the need for change.

Moving from ‘Archaic’ to Future-Ready

The push to adopt digital technologies is slowly overtaking operational challenges and is taking root in the construction industry. It  is revamping itself slowly, albeit at a faster pace than ever before. Digital tools and technologies today play a significant role in the ongoing metamorphosis of the industry despite it requiring multiple platforms and solutions for each project undertaken.

Some of the technologies that have proven to be beneficial for the construction industry are Project Management systems enabled with real time Progress Tracking and Visualization tools, Drones, IIoT(industrial internet of things) , CIoT (Consumer Internet of Things) on Home Automation and digital technology applications, use of AI for Safety & Security, automation for smart homes and offices, Technologies like Enterprise Resource planning, Building Management Systems, BIM (Building Information Modelling) is extensively used by professionals in the construction industry to fortify planning, coordination and monitoring the various construction project phases that further improve the quality, delivery and productivity of the projects.

RPA – Robotic Process Automation -Amid thin margins and a shortage of skilled labor, construction companies are continuing to turn toward robotics and automation as solutions to help their businesses. Beyond bricklaying robots and 3D-mapping drones, the use of robotic process automation (RPA) has become very common place in many tech-savvy construction companies.

The Power of Digital

Digitization isn’t just about technology but the organisation’s mindset too. The paradigm shift demands a change in thought process and practices. Keeping digital at the heart of the processes is the way several companies today have transformed their approach and functioning which has led to better productivity and returns.

  • Enhanced Productivity
    Achieving optimal productivity within the budget has been one of the major challenges for the construction industry. This is overcome through the amalgamation of technology with the workflow that has enabled to fast track the processes of selection, implementation and delivery at considerably lower costs.
  • Seamless Collaboration
    The use of digital technologies helps to keep collaborators on the same page in real-time keeping them updated on every phase of the construction process. With information readily available online, the data can be accessed from anywhere thus doing away with gatekeepers and the need to travel to offices to avail important information.
  • Improved Precautions and Safety
    As per a recent study by the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, a total of 38 fatal accidents within the construction industry take place in a day in India. Electrocutions, fall from heights, collapsing walls and scaffolding are a few of the major causes that lead one out of four construction workers to lose their life. Integration of digital tools and technologies can aid in putting an end to the carnage and offer a secure environment and practices for the workers.

The Godrej Experience

One of the early adopters, Godrej Construction, a business unit of Godrej & Boyce has efficiently used digital tools and technologies in several projects. The development of the Godrej Khalapur Industrial Project were aided by the use of drones for topographic survey that yielded faster results at lower cost. Subsequently drones were used throughout the entire construction process to keep a check on the external facade of the buildings that ease the work of engineers to access and monitor the quality of work. Pre- Engineered and Pre-fabricated technologies were used to accelerate speed of construction and also to improve safety at the project site.

Godrej Construction leveraged the power of mobile applications by integrating it into the work process. Godrej ‘iReport’ App is used to ensure the safety of the workers that identify the potential hazards and highlights near-miss incidents. These initiatives helped us prevent accidents during the entire execution stage of the project which involved over 5 million safe working man hours.

Further on, Godrej Construction, considering the difficulties faced by customers, introduced a mobile application named as GODREJ GoTUFF App to address issues in the order to delivery phases of ‘Ready to Mix Concrete’ industry.

Going all the way digital, the phases of construction- planning, coordination and monitoring is done via a customised project management software system. Despite several projects ongoing in various locations across the country, the software system allows monitoring each project efficiently. The inspection is done via the timely status updates given by the onsite project team members. The data received help in analysing the performance, the possible delays and offers essential insights that can help improve the scheduling and planning of future projects.

In the construction of high-rise buildings, like Godrej Platinum, cutting edge technologies were used.  Precut and bent reinforcement steel, drones for exterior quality inspection, use of IoT sensors for gauging water levels, CIoT (Consumer Internet of Things) for home automation etc. created a differentiated experience for the end user.

A report by the International Data Corporation reveals that 66% of construction organizations in India are prioritizing digital transformation by adopting the best practices and taking inspiration from developed nations. By embedding these digital adaptations, various construction companies have reported speedy completion of projects, ease in management leading to efficiency, and workforce safety.

By considering benefits of digitization, Godrej & Boyce is helping drive groundbreaking innovations that help the construction industry to move from the analogue world to the digital at an accelerated pace.