29 Jul Heading To Mars Or Extinction?
Is your company heading to Planet Mars or extinction?
It came as no surprise when we heard a recent announcement that the UAE plans to build a colony on Mars by 2117.
Dubai is already on its way to becoming a Smart City. A forward thinking, progressive country where no dream seems too big. Buildings being constructed are innovative, incorporating the latest technologies and are futuristic in design.
The building Developers use a variety of words and phrases to market and promote their futuristic buildings and their company, such as “Iconic developer” “high Quality products”, “Extraordinary Service” “Best in Class” “innovative”.
So with this in mind we pose the question why so many construction organisations in the UAE, are still internally working with paper based systems? This is despite constructing buildings incorporating the latest technologies? There are also some organisations who have no systems and procedures in place, at all.
The majority of construction companies’ in the UAE, hold antiquated operations in paper processing. Often placing one or two full time administrators. Their role is to:-
- a) Process the project documentation and quality inspection records
- b) Collate and prepare the hardcopy inspection documentation,
- c) Gather the approved documentation following the inspection
- d) Photocopy and scanning each document after signature and inspection. This is for eventual final distribution and filing.
The project documentation and records are crucial to demonstrate compliance with contract requirements, not only during the construction phase. These documents may be required at a later date for the Facility Management teams, the building occupants for planned work including an extension or refurbishment and for safety.
They may also be required in the event of a fire, flood or structural issue that prevails on the building after handover, to confirm that all aspects of the design and build were complied with and that the building codes and UAE civil defence requirements were followed. These records need to be available for 10 years to cover the decennial liability legislation in place.
Multiply the paper processes stated above by 30,000 or more inspections, (based on a mid sized building). Request retrieval of that same document three months or even a year later. You can see that this is a huge operation which cannot be easily controlled and maintained.
Don’t you think that this is an issue for an organisation to continue to operate based on such disorganised and unsystematic models, especially since the current market climate is demanding and forcing businesses to streamline their operations, squeeze operational costs and reduce their profit margins to compete with their competitors. Why are their systems still in the dark ages?
Why is the technology not being utilised?
There are many reasons, but two of the most common reasons, are due to …
FEAR & DISTRUST
Fear? Ssssh.. never use that word in the construction industry. We are made of sterner stuff. But the truth is that having worked with construction organisations for many years, it appears that fear is one of the prevailing factors, in why an organisation and its people, are not using the technology available. Fear of the unknown. Fear of change.
There is also apparent distrust. Employees worrying if the system will work and save their data, or if the technology implemented will be somehow used against them and they will be monitored, or in fact that their role will be taken over by a computer.
A variety of statements by personnel for supporting paper systems include “We have always done it this way” “It will never work on this job” “we don’t have time for that” “the cost will be too much” “the data won’t be safe” “I’ll be monitored”.
Is this the result of a past circumstance experienced, perhaps on a previous site? Maybe a technology failure which led to a missed deadline or a loss of data?
What if these are tricks of the subconscious mind and are false beliefs? Are these statements based on reality or just a fictional story?
What route will you choose for your organisation? Provide leadership to navigate through the technological developments and promote a progressive forward thinking culture or lead your company to extinction?
In our next blog we look at 5 ways to take small steps to start working smarter introducing technology…