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Architecture, Engineering, & Construction

The AEC sector is being squeezed between market demands for beautiful, unique spaces and client demands for affordability and efficiency. Compressed schedules and thinner margins have become the norm, and sustainability is the new twist on tried-and-true materials and approaches to building. To remain profitable, AEC organizations need collaboration, seamless communication, a way to save institutional knowledge, and an end to information silos. Some innovators are also finding success by emulating mass manufacturers and productizing configurable, repeatable, and scalable building modules. Whatever your goals, the key to enabling every one of those capabilities is a digital transformation.

Challenges

While AEC can take cues from useful solutions implemented by mass manufacturers, AEC operates on a different playing field where every single “product” is unique. In addition, every part of the project value chain is isolated, meaning every segment of information is siloed. Each project’s supply chain is fundamentally different, due to regional supply, delivery, and labor conditions—which means the industry is significantly more localized and fragmented. Add to these challenges a growing shortage of skilled workers that results in critical knowledge gaps, and it’s clear AEC would be wise to retrench to ensure they remain relevant in a changing industry.

AEC organizations must provide customers/owners with unique products, but they also want to ensure they aren’t forced to reinvent the wheel for every project. To eliminate trade-centric information silos, they need to digitize institutional knowledge so that best practices can be shared. To operate at scale and at peak efficiency, they require a platform that makes project information and knowledge accessible, transferrable, and instantly available at every point of the project lifecycle.

Benefits

The most efficient and effective way to share and preserve information and enable trades and siloed workers to work together is by digitizing, automating, and optimizing data and processes. A fully digital organization supports and promotes communication and collaboration throughout the project lifecycle, ensuring everyone has access to the accurate knowledge they need, when and where they need it. A centralized database of all institutional knowledge can also promote sustainability, helping you optimize the carbon footprint of your project by making use of local suppliers.

Digitizing also enables the creation of construction digital twins, or virtual representations of real-world projects. These construction twins allow virtualization, simulation, optimization, and analysis, which can boost efficiency and reduce costs by problem-solving in the virtual world. Digitized models are also the foundation for productization, allowing you to create a library of configurable models and shapes. This sustainable, flexible, and multi-trade approach can help you reduce costs, increase speed, and allow for scalable mass-production.

Every organization in the AEC sector wants to do more with less. Those that embrace a digital transformation are the most likely to succeed at meeting customer demands at the speed the market expects in the most cost-effective manner possible.

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