Across the Asia Pacific region including Japan (APIJ) and indeed the world, as with many industries, the construction industry has been heavily impacted since last March as construction sites ground to a halt due to COVID-19. Although vaccines have brought some hope, the end of the pandemic is still uncertain. Construction businesses across the region have all found themselves in the same place – responding to sudden lockdowns and ongoing distancing requirements. Since the start of the crisis, the construction industry has ensured business continuity through increasing the use of software and online tools, moving to virtual collaboration, and doing what they can to remain operational and competitive.
As uncertainty persists, construction activities remain limited due to ongoing health and safety concerns and social distancing measures, causing labour shortages and project delays. Despite this reduction in activity, high costs in construction remain unchanged and companies are seeking ways to remain operational to mitigate losses, while observing health and safety compliance.
Since it is difficult to predict when the crisis will be fully resolved, companies must take the necessary steps to build resilience for the future through the use of digital technologies. The construction industry is still in the process of adopting these digital technologies, but it is evident that the companies investing in digital transformation (DX) are becoming more resilient and able to adapt and future-proof their businesses.
A recent IDC Infobrief, sponsored by Autodesk, Road to Recovery: Overcoming COVID-19’s Impact on the Construction Industry with Digital Technologies, takes a closer look at where APIJ construction companies are in their recovery journey, the steps that they must take to overcome the COVID-19 crisis, and the technologies they must invest in to aid their recovery and return to growth.
Those that embraced digital transformation were better prepared
Before the pandemic, 80% of APIJ construction companies were in the earliest stages of DX but most of the initiatives were tactical, disconnected and only had short-term focus. COVID-19 has exacerbated the industry’s challenges, and companies that had embraced DX were better prepared to face the crisis.
Companies across the region are in different stages of recovery
- 17% of APIJ construction companies are still deep in COVID crisis mode, trying to establish business continuity, focused on cutting down costs in response to a slowdown in revenue, and are experiencing a prolonged decline in revenue. These companies have focused their efforts to build business resiliency as they endure recession.
- 31% are slowly starting to see revenue return and are aggressively investing in new technologies to fast-track their recovery.
- 19% have already successfully adapted to the ‘next normal’ and stabilised their businesses. These are the companies that have made pre-pandemic investments in digital technologies, which allowed them to be the most adaptable.
How construction companies are building resilience and remaining competitive through technology
Technology is supporting streamlined workflows in a new era of convergence where industries, processes and teams are embracing innovative ways of making and have new challenges. In 2021 and beyond, teams, data and workflows will be increasingly connected.
Streamlined workflows are possible through software such as the solutions within Autodesk Construction Cloud; an integrated cloud-based portfolio of products used to manage construction projects. Autodesk Construction Cloud offers a single platform to store all data, connecting workflows throughout the different stages of a project, from design to operations. It removes the barriers of disconnection and uncertainty that plague construction projects of all sizes and dramatically increases the depth, breadth, and connectivity of solutions across project teams.
The unified technology offered by Autodesk Construction Cloud is going to become increasingly important for companies to support COVID-19 recovery. Here at Autodesk, we’re speaking with more and more companies across the region looking for a fast-tracked digital transformation journey, and we are supporting them to achieve this.