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Connecting the future of construction

The construction sector is embracing digital transformation to become more efficient and deliver better projects.

Australia’s small-to-medium sized construction businesses are feeling the squeeze, with cost increases and significant shortages of raw materials and labour1 on the rise. Construction and Trades are doing more with less, from volatile timber, metal and concrete prices to the use of fixed-price contracts. Additionally, increasing compliance challenges, such as changes to NSW industry rules3, are also providing increased challenges.

While the construction industry has historically been slow to adopt new technology2, these pressures are forcing the industry to rethink the way it does business. Digital transformation is helping the construction industry by improving build quality and controlling costs through a new generation of construction tools. These have been designed to manage paperwork and compliance, and engage with clients in new ways to help unlock new opportunities.

Building the case for change

Whether small, medium or large – many construction businesses are still relying on manual backend processes to manage their operations. This often leads to businesses being slow to quote on jobs, which can drive frustrated customers to selecting more tech-savvy offerings from competing organisations.

Part of this delay in quoting comes down to a lack of visibility into the true cost of materials, labour and sub-contractors, which makes it difficult for builders to produce accurate estimates, track project costings and manage overruns. This also affects the ability for businesses to calculate progress payments and be slow to invoice, which can strangle the cash flow of even the healthiest builder.

The rise of cloud-based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tools, means organisations of all sizes no longer need to rely on manual backend processes to manage their operations.

This can be hugely beneficial for businesses, as monthly billing for cloud services frees up capital by converting upfront costs into far more manageable ongoing subscriptions. Cloud-based services also alleviate the challenges of managing software, so businesses can spend less time struggling with technology and more time getting the job done.

The right digital tools for the job

Cloud applications help construction businesses access the latest design and engineering tools. That makes it easier to design and plan safe, efficient and compliant buildings, and can help lower development costs. For example, better quantity surveying and ordering can minimise waste and keep costs in check, while better organised deliveries can help jobs stay on schedule. 

Once building work gets underway, cloud-based construction project management platforms can make it easier to work with both customers and suppliers, helping builders stay on top of paperwork and tasks such as quoting and invoicing – making it easier to issue a quote or invoice on the spot.

When it comes to people, improved labour management systems can help construction businesses make sure they always have the right people at hand to get things done and avoid delays. Cloud-based tools can also provide better documentation and training to improve safety and meet updated compliance requirements.

A woman uses a tablet computer in a café.

Building foundations for the future

Beyond streamlining existing operations, technology can also unlock new opportunities and capabilities for the construction industry.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) for example uses technology like 3D modelling to help plan and construct new buildings, as well as maintain them once they’ve been built. BIM can help transfer knowledge between different parties like builders and property managers and may help make buildings cheaper to run and more sustainable.

Digital twins, which allow designs to be accurately digitally modelled and assessed before they’re built in the real world, and augmented/virtual reality systems also offer new ways to visualise building information. They can help builders engage with suppliers, partners and customers in new ways and help to bring ideas to life. For example, such systems can help support customers through longer-than-expected builds, through features like virtual tours.

A woman uses a tablet computer in a café.

Connecting with the future of construction

A fast and dependable fibre connection can be the cornerstone of any construction business' efforts to embrace technology, whether they’re connecting to virtual tours, transferring large design files, or using project management tools based in the cloud.

A business nbn® connection doesn't just offer the option of fast upload and download speeds^. Being fibre-based and designed for business needs, it also grants businesses access to a robust and reliable broadband service which can handle peak demand, the option of priority customer service and support to help maximise uptime is available through business nbn Services, as well as the ability to prioritise data for critical applications, to help ensure that cloud-based software and services are responsive.^

With high-speed, reliable fibre products tailored for everyday business internet needs to data-intensive operations, business nbn helps ensure that construction businesses can depend on the cloud when building their future.#

Find support for your business

Talk to your provider to learn more about how we can help transform your construction business.

^Your experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn network, depends on the nbn access network technology and configuration over which services are delivered to your premises, whether you are using the internet during the busy period, and some factors outside nbn’s control (like your equipment quality, software, broadband plan, signal reception and how your service provider designs its network). For business nbn Enterprise Ethernet, if your provider has not selected Class of Service – High, the speeds you experience may be affected by contention on the nbn network, particularly in busy periods.

#business nbn is not available on the nbn Fixed Wireless network. Not all providers offer plans based on the full range of wholesale business nbn products, product features and services. Availability of wholesale business nbn products, product features and services depends on your access technology and area. Ask your preferred provider if they offer plans based on these wholesale business nbn products, product features and services in your area. These wholesale service features are offered to service providers. The service options providers make available to their end customers depend on what they have productised and the retail solutions they offer.