JBKnowledge released the year-end Construction Technology Report. Sponsored by MCAA, the survey interviewed nearly 2,700 construction professionals across the industry to research technology, processes, spending and R&D. Not all of the reports’ findings were intuitive. While trends on BIM adaption and mobile devices continued to rise, the number of different applications contractors are using declined. The most surprising finding came from type of software contractors have recently replaced and implemented.
This year, the report specifically asked which workflow software contractors most recently implemented. Nearly 26% of respondents indicated that they had most recently updated their accounting software. Considering the impact on business and the intensity of the training, this is a very surprising result. The report also indicates that part of the reason for the trend was the correlation to new ERP software, indicating that smaller companies maturing into ERP systems could have accounted for a portion of the results.
Two other trends that are important for our industry involved prefabrication and BIM. The two concepts are intertwined as many MCAA members begin using BIM to improve their fabrication productivity and capabilities. Prefabrication use has risen over 12% from 2016 (19.9% total in 2017) making it the second highest trend that all contractors are experimenting with. For MCAA members interested in learning more about maximizing their fabrication operations, register for the 2017 Fabrication Conference on January 15.
In 2017, contractors are becoming more confident in maximizing their BIM capabilities. More companies are reporting that they now have BIM/VDC departments of more than two people. Kelly Doyle, JBK’s SVP of Consulting summarized it, “Based on the responses, the breakpoint for a full VDC team is about $20 million in total revenue. This is similar to the breakpoint for IT departments as well. Once contractors hit that revenue volume, their overhead has the capacity to add more full time staff to productivity improvements.”
A startling trend however is that even with the increased adaption to BIM, 28% of the respondents still said that they do not bid on BIM projects. 52% of respondents have some in-house BIM capability and roughly 20% simply outsource the process.