One construction management software firm offers a small snapshot of tech adoption, business sentiments and operational challenges in three SEA countries.
Through an online survey conducted between 31 Jan and 22 Feb 2023 among 876 construction-industry decision makers and influencers across Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore on business and technology sentiments, some trends were observed.
Firstly, 99% of the construction professionals that participated in the survey shared their sentiment that better data management can bring benefits to their businesses. Respondents also estimated that on average, 22% of total project spend could be saved through more efficient data management.
However, despite a high awareness of how data can be used to their advantage, the percentage of respondents that had laid the foundation for a data strategy was at 6%. Additionally, although 77% were planning to design and implement a data strategy over the next 12 months, 52% cited they were only “somewhat confident” in their ability to do so.
Secondly, respondents cited the benefits of technology adoption as:
- improved cost management (42%).
- reduced reliance on human labor (39%).
- resource efficiency through fewer errors or less rework (38%).
- improved build quality (38%).
- improved ability to handle more projects (38%).
Correspondingly, 77% of respondents cited that they were looking to increase their spending on construction technologies as a proportion of their annual budget. Respondents whose organizations were less than 10 years old were found to be more likely to embrace technology (81%), compared to businesses aged over 10 to 20 years (71%) and those over 20 years (68%).
Technologies perceived by respondents to be the biggest drivers of change in the next three years included construction management platforms (55%), payments technologies (38%), pre-fabrication (34%), big data (33%), and next-generation building information models (30%).
Thirdly, the respondents shared optimism in the industry’s market conditions over the next 12 months. Driving this optimism was expectations for the increase in both the number (73%) and value of projects (71%) over the same period.
Respondents also placed a larger emphasis on risk management to protect their bottom line. About 39% were rethinking contracting models to protect margins or considering new payment methods, such as early payments at reduced margins (37%).
The increased cost of raw materials and equipment (44%) and winning competitive bids and tenders at a sustainable margin (32%) were areas cited by respondents as persistent aspects of risk management that had become more important.
- 40% of respondents reported that they preferred to wait until technologies are more established and proven before adopting them.
- One in five project hours remained, on average, wasted on rework, according to the data.
- Woman constituted executive-level roles (25%), site manager (24%) and team leader (27%) roles — considered a minority of the construction workforce.
- 51% of respondents believed that the construction industry needed to do more to adopt more environment-friendly and sustainable building practices.
Said Tom Karemacher, Head of Region (Asia Pacific), Procore: “While construction professionals (polled) in the region had a strong understanding that data and analytical insights can help drive better business outcomes and protect their businesses, many struggled with developing clear data strategies… Software vendors undoubtedly play a critical role in assisting construction businesses in this transformative journey, (and) more can be done. (They) will need to clearly demonstrate the returns on investment, justify the indispensability of construction technology and data management, (and) help drive the adoption of innovative solutions.”