AEC Productivity: How to Start Fixing It


By Brett Young at LinkedIn


Many people have talked recently about the McKinsey & Company report”Reinventing construction through a productivity revolution,” which does an in-depth study of productivity in architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC). One of the primary recommendations of the report is for the wide-scale implementation of production control systems. Yet how can we convince AEC, an industry that’s slow to innovate and driven by our own complicated market dynamics, to implement new systems?

We think the answer has two parts: subcontractors and money.

Let us explain.

A production control system is a software system that provides a digital workflow for the procurement, production, and delivery of components to a jobsite. When you hear about the “underdigitalization” of AEC, the way that we currently manage production control is a prime example. We do not have a digitized process for managing the flow of material and personnel that goes to our jobsites. We most often use meetings, meeting notes, and a collection of documents, such as schedules, subcontracts, and emails. Some enterprise resource planners (ERPs) provide information storage, but they fall short of what we need. Here’s a specific example. In a coordinated building information model, you should be able to look at an element and know the supplier/installer, current approval status, current location, projected date to be on-site, and final install date. These capabilities exist in piecemeal (it frankly isn’t hard to connect a model element to a database), but not in a complete, systematic way of production control.

Read the Report



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