Property Australia

Technology manages risk amid pandemic uncertainty

PROPERTY AUSTRALIA May 12, 2020

Nearly half of all Australian construction companies are using technology to manage risk during the Covid-19 crisis and 39 per cent are updating their systems and processes, finds fresh research from Procore Technologies.

One of the world’s leading providers of construction management software, Procore Technologies has published its second annual benchmarking report to shed light on the current state of play in Australia’s construction industry.

The research behind the report, How We Build Now 2020, was conducted by ACA Research. The survey of 260 construction companies across Australia was conducted in February, with a follow up survey of 152 companies in April.

Confidence in business conditions has fallen to 34 per cent, down from 69 per cent at the beginning of the year, the report finds.

Small businesses with less than 10 employees have been the hardest hit, with just 30 per cent still feeling confident. Large businesses with more than 100 employees appear more optimistic, with 57 per cent confident about the year ahead.

A massive 33 per cent of builders surveyed said that they would consider closing their business if conditions do not improve over the next 12 months.

While business confidence has plummeted, Procore’s research also found that 39 per cent of construction companies are using the slowdown to update their technologies, systems and processes.

Dean Willemsen, managing director of Prime Build, says his company has “undergone a significant change management exercise” and is thinking about “how we can better leverage the people, processes and technology we’ve got more effectively”.

The report finds 48 per cent of construction companies are now relying on technology to help manage risk on site, and 38 per cent are applying technology to increase productivity. Furthermore, 30 per cent are using technology to reduce the volume of materials held on site

The Australian construction industry continues to transform and adopt technologies and processes while facing new challenges, says Procore Technologies’ vice president for the Asia Pacific region, Tom Karemacher.

“While this pandemic has brought significant challenges to Australian construction, it is a resilient industry that has weathered its share of economic downturns.”

Karemacher says the full How We Build Now 2020 report will reveal detailed insights into how builders are securing their businesses, and using technologies to boost productivity and profitability.

“I’m so impressed with the camaraderie we are seeing in the industry, and how quickly companies have pivoted to make the most of technology to support their businesses.”

The new How We Build Now – Tracking Technology in Construction 2020 report will be launched at a virtual event on Thursday, 4 June 2020. Register now.