This month we have released the Hong Kong and Singapore findings from our new, global construction study, The High Cost of Low Trust that explores technology adoption and the role it plays in improving trust and collaboration within the sector.
Commissioned by Autodesk Construction Solutions, FMI surveyed 2,500 construction professionals around the world who ranked trust within their organisation–ranging from “very low” to “very high." The rankings were assessed against how an individual or an organisation views and relies upon other individuals and organisations across the company or project team; and how technology helps facilitate it.
Organisations with the highest levels of trust experience lower voluntary staff turnover, worth savings of up to USD 750,000 a year in replacing employees. High trust firms also miss fewer deadlines, gaining up to USD 4 million a year and have higher levels of repeat business, potentially driving gross margins between two and seven percent higher.
External trust is particularly important in construction where it’s normal for a large number of firms to work together and depend on each other for success. When working with other firms, the most trusted organisations make use of integrated technology solutions to share information openly and easily.
“Our research demonstrated that, regardless of country improving trust and collaboration between a company, its employees, business partners and external project teams is invaluable. Digital construction solutions can play a key role in improving collaboration and fostering trust, by providing a single source of truth for projects and enabling fast, simple communication between teams, the site and the office,” says Tomy Praveen, Regional Director, Autodesk Construction Solutions Asia Pacific.
In Singapore, trust and collaboration have always been at the heart of construction. And, technology plays a critical role in building trust and improving collaboration, which is why the Singapore Government mandated Building Information Modelling (BIM) eight years ago; and has in place several incentive programs to encourage technology adoption on site including: BIM Fund, Integrated Digital Delivery (IDD) and the Productivity Innovation Project (PIP).
With this in mind, it was no surprise to us that over half (54%) those we surveyed have a single data source for project information and sharing on projects. This is higher the global average of 50%.
Singaporean firms are also slightly less likely than their international peers to encounter issues on projects because data hasn’t been shared in a timely manner (49%). On-par with the global average of 50% and providing added benefits such as the ability to receive and track RFI’s more quickly and hear about problems sooner. Further, (57%) of those surveyed were confident that they will meet both project schedules (57%) and project budgets (41%).
Higher levels of technology adoption in turn support greater trust and collaboration within construction firms. That is in part due to the role that digital tools play in increasing visibility. As outlined above, creating closer, more trusting relationships with stakeholders also delivers a number of benefits. Not only is it easier to overcome the mistakes or surprises that are almost inevitable on a project. Organisations with the highest levels of trust and the highest focus on collaboration are also the most confident that both the schedule and the budget will be met.
In Hong Kong our findings took us in a different direction. Hong Kong is one of the most recognised, dynamic and vibrant cities in the world. It is also one of the most populated areas in the world with 6,300 people per square kilometre – and relies on a complex, but highly effective, infrastructure that, until recently has played a central role to everyday life in the enclave.
Technology and innovation adoption have been high on the Government’s agenda since the launch of Construction 2.0 two years ago. An initiative that outlines the advancement of the industry through innovation, professionalism and revitalisation. The enclave has had its share of disruptions though–between mega-project complications, civil unrest and a global pandemic–you would expect a slowdown. But this is not the case!
Our research shows that optimism has not slowed with almost all those surveyed (95%) reporting that emerging technologies will fundamentally change the sector.
Firms in Hong Kong are also less likely to encounter surprises because project data hasn’t been shared on time (46% compared to 50% globally). This is most likely due to over half (54%) of recipients saying they find it easy to use a single data source for day-to-day operations, compliance and collaboration than multiple sources–also above the global average of 50%.
This technology adoption plays an invaluable role in building trust and increasing collaboration within project teams. It also provides confidence for all parties that projects will be delivered on-time and are less likely to go over budget or fall prey to mistakes caused by a lack of communication.
Further, 43% of respondents strongly agreed that data and information necessary to ensure a successful project outcome flows freely and without hindrance on their projects.
The construction sector in Hong Kong has an ambitious future, whether it’s the high standards set out in Construction 2.0 or the bold infrastructure projects on the horizon. By taking the time to focus on trust and collaboration with the help of some industry specific technologies, firms can help to recharge the sector and support a return to growth.
For more information about how trust and collaboration influence the construction industry in Hong Kong, Singapore, as well as other countries, download our report today.