Challenges On The Horizon For The AECO.
During a recent AEC Business Podcast episode, Aarni Heiskanen asked ProjectReady CEO Joe Giegerich to share a few tips and best practices business owners could implement in advance of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). In addition to the influx of projects that are set to take effect in 2022 as a direct result of the IIJA, Joe noted how legislation will compound many of the challenges that are already being felt on the job site. To prepare for the increased workload, he offered the following tips:
Embrace The Digital Transformation
You can’t depend on a physical filing system to operate your business and you shouldn’t be tracking things in spreadsheets. These methods are “old school, and not in a good way,” said Joe. These practices not only put your business and its data at risk, legacy business practices, like maintaining servers, are just expensive.
“The AEC’s most important asset is its people. Unfortunately, one of the biggest challenges the industry is facing today is a shortage of skilled labor. Therefore, the AEC must make better use of their people’s high value skills by removing the brute force, manual efforts generally associated with managing project information,” he continued. “AEC firms must provide their professionals with a way to collaborate on content that is user-friendly, simple, and efficient.”
Joe went on to say that to extend the value of a company’s team and, ultimately, drive greater profits, AEC companies must make a concerted effort to move forward in their digitization journeys in 2022.
“Adopt cloud platforms. Integrate. And provide your teams with a way to work together in ways they are used to.”
Consider the success the retail world has realized since moving to the internet and how easy it is to fill an online shopping cart. Joe explained that collaboration across the AEC can pull inspiration from this type of model. In fact, ProjectReady’s document control functionality already takes advantage of this type of user-friendly functionality.
Focus On The User Experience
Don’t over-complicate your systems, Joe warned. Instead, make it easy for your employees to communicate and to work together. If your employees can’t easily adapt to your systems, they will find a way around them.
“If you get [your] people a complex system … next thing you know, they’re emailing, or they’re chatting with people on Facebook to get the project done. [Then you’re left with] no governance, no control, and no functionable data at the end.”
Begin your Digital Twins Journey
It’s all about bringing the incredible amount of information about a built asset and making the experience and usability intuitive in a way that never existed before, explained Joe. A digital twin is every piece of data you think about as it relates to that built asset – from the moment of inception to close-out. This includes the history of human interaction which is compiled as people collaborate on content and data.
“[Digital twins] will help with efficiency in a huge way. If you start collecting and collating net new data, it becomes historical data. And historical data allows you to learn and work more efficiently while driving your bottom line.”
If you would like to hear Joe’s interview with Aarni in its entirety, click here. You can also learn more about how ProjectReady is positioning the AEC to preemptively address IIJA challenges by checking out the resources below.