Insights into work winning productivity and digitisation

Embrace Industry 4.0

Embrace Industry 4.0

Wednesday 11th April 2018

The opportunity that digital transformation gives the Construction Industry is immense.

If you are concerned with the future prosperity of your firm; driven by a need to win more work with a greater level of certainty, an ever-increasing level of efficiency, then my informed blog series are designed to inform your thinking.

An industrial revolution is happening right now, its number 4.0. Just as the first industrial revolution enabled unheard of power to be easily harnessed, the same transformational change is happening now. 250 years ago, we drove all sorts of previously manual or horse powered machines from printing presses, jack hammers, water pumps and looms, into machines and processes to aid delivery and process.

This new revolution is following these exact same principles, albeit digitally. The new power source is not steam or electric, but instant access to immense quantities data.

We have potential to change every area of modern business behaviours, processes, and culture.

Once we realise that today's digital transformation is history repeating itself, we can use this understanding to shape - and understand - our journey into the future. The first cars 'cut and pasted' bicycle technology to drive rear axles with a chain and sprocket; engineers developed efficient methods to transfer engine power via drive shafts, universal joints and early rudder based steering mechanisms, that quickly rehashed rack and pinion technology from ancient water clocks circa 270BC. This same technique reworked differential gearing invented in 1720.

Innovation clearly drives change, but doing so is reinventing and reshaping what went before. Steve Jobs did exactly this with his products, by combining tools that already existed in exquisite, user friendly, and efficient ways.

That being said, the parallels between both revolutions are clear. Either you embrace change and try and get a competitive advantage, or get quickly left behind. Just because a firm already has the latest computers, and larger accessible servers supported by full internet connectivity, does not mean together they combine and align to leverage leading edge thinking.

90% of the worlds data has been captured in the last 2 years. This source of power is immense, though without the tool of pattern recognition algorithms, this power is meaningless.

Further, with the innovative onset of existing digital tools and data analytics, valuable knowledge is available to your staff. Unfortunately, often existing behaviours, processes and culture limit access to such data, through silos that stifle collaboration and creativity.

What is more, key information is often delayed, important feedback on performance and practices may take weeks and months to be uncovered. When this is combined with poor behaviours - such as cognitive dissonance - the value of accumulated knowledge is masked or denied, allowing the collective culture to carry on much as it always has done.

So, we are asking an important question. What if all teams, and all individuals in those teams, could have instant access to analysed data that immediately informs their own decision making in an aligned, collaborative way?

What if whilst doing their job, they could access data via dashboards that provide recommendations, suggests adjustments and offers or prompts and improvements to their behaviours instantly? What if this information could enable instant efficiencies that previously were simply impossible to compute, synthesize diagnose or conceive, let alone access or act upon. It is this logic leap that fundamentally underlines this industrial revolution; the digital transformational revolution.

Clearly, there will be a great deal of best practice information on digital transformational information exploding out from other industries. As I see it, we need to play 'catch up' on how to apply these to our own Construction industry.

I feel fortunate to be in a unique position. Because for me, I totally get it! Change is hard, revolution is harder. I understand the challenges of digital change from the blood, sweat, and tears I have spent over the last two years developing a digital collaboration platform. This is why I feel that I can contribute to help others. To help them understand the changes and opportunities that are to come, and the immense opportunities that are to come from it. It is in this void, where I will share my own hard won insights from my efforts to navigate the challenges of constructing myConsole, (our own digital collaboration platform) for a wide range of clients.

So I hope these briefings will prove to be helpful and informative in shaping your own digital journey. Please do contribute your own thoughts and experiences so we can communicate and collaborate together.

Please contact me on 07973 501 599 or if you would like to discuss this in more private detail.