Insights into work winning productivity and digitisation

Modernise or die: insights for the Pre-Construction sector from the Farmer review

Modernise or die: insights for the Pre-Construction sector from the Farmer review

Wednesday 18th April 2018

The Farmer's Review is a wakeup call for the UK construction industry to embrace change and move into the 21 Century, or risk being left behind.

This applies across the entire industry, and I am fully prepared to join the discuss about the potential that digitalisation is bringing to pre-construction, to ensure that this part of the Built Environment economy is not left behind either.

"The prognosis for the industry, if action is not taken quickly, is that it will become seriously debilitated." Farmer says.

The report, an independent study commissioned by Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, clearly spells out the risks and also the opportunities for the construction industry.

Although the review focuses on the housing problem in the UK and the make-up of the construction industry labour force, the stark messages it contains are applicable across the industry, including the pre-construction sector.

The industry today: a picture of decline

The review discusses the state of the construction industry, describing an industry in decline. "Put simply, much of the industry does not make enough money, or, where money is being made, feel enough confidence it will stay profitable into the future."

The industry is 'chronically under invested,' which has led to the current downturn in profitability and productivity. When Farmer states 'continuing as we are is not an option,' his message that the current path is untenable could not be clearer.

Recommendations for improvement

Of the 10 areas of poor performance highlighted in the review, five are applicable to the pre-construction sector:

1) Structural fragmentation
2) Leadership fragmentation
3) Lack of collaboration and improvement culture
4) Lack of R&D and Investment in innovation
5) Low Margins, Adversarial Pricing Models & Financial Fragility

Teams, businesses and clients need to work more collaboratively. When the bid process is transparent and all team members follow the same processes, bid teams become more successful. Our research with Reading University in 2014 proved this to be fact; over a third more time is spent on relationship building in successful bids.

Technology as a solution

By leveraging technology and engaging with digital solutions, businesses can align practices and procedures. myConsole takes the data created in the bidding process, and uses algorithms to improve each team members' performance, at each stage of the bid process. The result is a more tuned, more cohesive and more profitable bid team.

Technology is the future

Far from being doom and gloom for the future of the industry, Farmer sees real opportunities for change with technology and innovation. He believes that the 'stars are aligning' and it is the right time to seize the opportunities that digitisation offer.

Technology is advancing at a rapid rate across all areas of business and lifestyle. We are at the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution where all successful businesses will be powered by big data. This change represents a clear pathway to improve productivity.

It's time for strategic leadership

Change needs to happen now.

Taking a critical path approach to implementation, and acting quickly, will be the key to provoking a competitive advantage.

Farmer calls for industry leaders to step up and take a strategic role 'driving investment in technology'. Modernisation is being held back by a lack of forward-thinking from industry leadership.

Read the complete Farmer review.

Tap into the data revolution and change the way your pre-construction team works with myConsole.

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