Hardly any other sector has managed to defy the Corona crisis as well as the construction industry. In 2020, it even achieved a clear increase in turnover and employment compared to the previous year. The share of construction investments in Germany's gross domestic product also makes it clear: the construction industry is and remains one of the key industries. It is therefore all the more important that the sector remains as crisis-proof as it is at present. An important building block for sustainable resilience is further digitalization.
Because where there is light, there is also shadow. The crisis has also left its mark on the successful construction industry. Last year, residential construction increased by 7.6 percent compared to the previous year. But commercial construction fell by 4.8 percent. This shows: Even the so far crisis-resistant construction industry must not rest on its laurels.
Digitisation as a resilience booster
Digitalisation offers many opportunities. Companies that rely on digitalisation are more resilient. The industry itself sees it that way, as a recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows. However, it also reveals that digital expertise is often lacking in the company. While 86 per of respondents recognise the great potential of cloud technologies and platforms, only 43% of construction companies see themselves well positioned in this area.
The intelligent construction site of tomorrow
The potential of digital solutions to optimise the processes of the construction industry from A to Z is immense. Transparent, paperless and efficient - that is the networked construction site of the future. Some examples:
- Often employees on construction sites or in raw material plants do not know where relevant machines or tools are located. Valuable time is lost in the search. Smart and precise localisation through tracking provides a remedy - and that "indoors as well as outdoors".
- Unfortunately, theft on construction sites is a well-known problem for the industry. Intelligent anti-theft systems and geofencing prevent this so that valuable material does not go missing.
- With the help of predictive maintenance, the condition of important machines (on the construction site or in silos and industrial plants) can be monitored. Shutdowns can thus be prevented in good time. If things get serious and expert help is needed, it can be provided quickly and easily remotely with the help of augmented reality.
- Important raw materials and supplies can be checked via level measurement and automatically reordered if necessary. Equipment inspection is often a lengthy and manual process. But this can also be done easily and digitally. This also applies to the incoming goods inspection - both in the warehouse and on the construction site. When the raw materials and other operating materials are on their way from the warehouse to the construction site, intelligent fleet management ensures optimised routes and a sustainable driving style.
Sharemac, the specialist for construction equipment and project management, shows how the intelligent construction site of tomorrow can look in practice. Construction equipment is often not fully utilised and sits unused on construction sites or in warehouses for a large part of the time. Sharemac has developed the SAM (Smart Asset Manager) software with which equipment and projects can be planned and managed. In this way, the utilisation of the fleet of construction companies is optimally utilised. Live location, operating hours, power voltage: everything at a glance. A telematics module on the construction equipment records all the necessary status data. Telekom's NB-IoT network transmits the data to a central platform. The system sends status information automatically.
Time recording also works digital
But there are not only digital solutions that make the work of employees on construction sites less stressful and more effective. Employee management is also made easier. For example, employees can easily record their working hours digitally - on the construction site, in the warehouse or in industrial plants.
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