Construction Tech Trends to Watch in 2021


Ynomia technology in action. Credit: BuiltWorld

Construction in Australia has traditionally been a risk-averse industry when it comes to the adoption of construction tech.

This has started to shift in recent years as construction companies seek new initiatives to improve workplace safety and operational efficiency, and reduce overhead costs of projects.

COVID-19 forced many companies to accelerate integration of systems into their processes. Reducing manual entry and human error of time-intensive tasks is the easiest way to identify an opportunity to adopt new technologies.

Reduction in headcount onsite post COVID will also require more support from technology in the form of project management and estimating software, to ensure jobs are delivered on time.

Which areas of construction will see the biggest adoption of tech this year?

Project Management Software

The HammerTech platform is one example of technology that saw a huge uptick in use in 2020 with restrictions influencing a widespread digital shift for onsite health & safety.

Construction tech already in use that’s set to integrate further onsite includes Aconex for managing information, processes and workflow, Payapps, a progress payment software and Conqa, a locally-owned quality assurance software that is helping Builders digitise this traditionally manual process.

Matrak, a Melbourne based start-up, is technology to track material shipments and create interactive site drawings. They raised $3 million in convertible note funding in 2019, and the technology has been adopted by leading builders Multiplex and Icon.

Ynomia is another technology which aims to address on-site challenges of visibility and transparency to ensure efficient use of personnel, equipment and materials on large building sites. The Melbourne based start-up who raised $3.6 million in seed funding in late 2019, and plans to expand the technology into overseas markets.

Subcontractor Management Platforms

Subcontractor management platforms are also set to take off thanks to the effects of the pandemic. A more streamlined process that takes into account the entire project team will improve site productivity as well as profitability, and allow sites to say goodbye to the fragmented platforms of the past, adopting an integrated approach.

Tendering & Procurement Software

While paper-based tendering isn’t a thing of the past just yet, in a post-covid world, the industry is heading toward being digital first.

Switching to an online process not only cuts time out of the process, but procurement platforms such as EstimateOne also allow builders to connect with subcontractors they may not already work with.

Buildxact is another technology focused on estimating efficiencies for home builders. Benefits include cutting the time doing takeoffs by up to 80% and streamlining administrative processes.

Recruitment Software & Marketplace

In 2021 and beyond, tech is set to play an important role in attracting new hires, especially graduates and Generation Z who are digital natives.

Construction companies who adopt technology early stand to benefit by integrating digital natives into their workforce more seamlessly.

Recruitment can often be a long and costly process, so platforms such as Conecta allow builders to speed up the process, while ensuring the quality of new hires. Conecta isn’t just software, it’s also a marketplace for Builders to find & interact with construction professionals directly, without the need to use traditional advertising boards or recruiters. Conecta uses smart matching to help shortlist potential candidates, a simple drag and drop process through the application to hire procedure.

Conclusion

To be successfully adopted, technology needs to serve the people who use it and make their lives easier. People using the technology will be pleasantly surprised at how it benefits their on-site work life once they make the transition.

We’re sure to see big things with ConTech in the coming years, given its ability to enhance workflow in the construction industry.

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