As we start 2016 a favourite topic within the construction press continues to be the digital revolution and building information modelling (BIM). Recently published cross industry reports confirm that the UK is at the forefront of this technology and the potentially huge financial benefits of being an early adopter.
At MGF we have pioneered the development of BIM for temporary works and invested heavily in digital technology. However, it is difficult even for us to articulate what it’s all about.
What is clear to us is that it is here and having a huge impact. In particular the government and major clients are switched on to how crucial it is for their future financial performance within the global economy.
Major players within construction are now not just thinking about BIM and off-site manufacture, they are also thinking more about their digital strategy as a business. In particular how they work smartly B2B using digital technology to plan better, encourage off-site manufacture, minimise blue tape (business to business red tape), improve health and safety and reduce environmental impact.
As a provider of specialist temporary works solutions, this means that we have to supply state of the art business to business digital services to our customers. This can be referred to as digital business intelligence whereby you simply ask yourself what would make us easy to work with in the digital age.
Already we have seen many major projects where the benefits of early temporary works involvement utilising digital platforms has been impressive. These benefits include identifying clashes with the permanent works and other temporary works systems, the identification of safety and constructability issues and cost saving opportunities achieved by often simple changes to the permanent works design.
However, we see far greater scope for cost savings within common digital supply chain and innovation processes. The benefits of forward workload planning, establishing common goals and open data exchanges, the promotion of off-site manufacture together with modularised temporary works systems and collaborating horizontally across the supply chain remain largely untapped at present.
This for us is just the beginning of the revolution as we continue to develop our digital service offerings. We are looking forward to the challenges but have one simple goal which is to be the easiest supplier to work with within our sector.
- Steve Hesketh is MGF engineering director
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