digital transformation

Digital transformation is the new catchphrase in the global economy – but it’s not a one-size-fits-all silver bullet.

In small to medium construction companies in South Africa, a nuanced, slowly-does-it approach is needed to get started with digital transformation.

Barriers to digital transformation

It has to be accepted that digital transformation isn’t always financially feasible for small to medium businesses.

And, when you consider the industry’s soaring unemployment rate, it’s not always practical.

Upskilling and low-cost solutions

That said, upskilling workers and adopting key technologies in byte-sized chunks can help businesses achieve the efficiency and competitive edge required for long-term survival.

Adopting some low-cost solutions can strengthen core construction processes and digitise existing work flows. Here are some of the best.

Takeoff and cost-estimation software

Takeoff and cost-estimation software is a collaborative tool that provides a quick, accurate and automated alternative to the cost-estimation process.

Electronic construction blueprints, built-in calculators and cost databases are used to precisely quantify costs on a shared platform, enabling multiple users to edit drawings and add notes and mark-ups.

Project management software

Project management software promotes efficiency, accountability, transparency and high levels of productivity in the construction process.

It provides real-time communication between stakeholders, enhances trackability and streamlines day-to-day tasks to maximise delivery of projects.

Collaboration tools

These tools bring all the teams involved in a project onto one digital platform.

This provides instant collaboration across the team, from project managers and engineers to field workers and sub-contractors.

Productivity is enhanced, wastage is reduced and workforce performance is optimised.

Collaboration software displays data on the progress of the project and discloses problems that arise in the workplace. It provides solutions to these problems from remote locations.

Features include chat channels, file sharing, video conferencing and shared calendars.

Scheduling software

Scheduling software is used to organise, allocate and forecast tasks on construction projects.

It can slash completion times and drive up cost savings by enabling the precise planning of a project and optimising the pace of work.

The best scheduling software has inter- and intra-team communication tracking capabilities, customisable scheduling templates and charts for determining task inter-dependencies.

Cloud computing

Cloud computing underpins the most powerful construction tools and software solutions.

Anyone with a mobile device can generate progress reports, update orders and track schedules in real-time, either remotely or from the jobsite.

The benefits of cloud computing include secure data storage, advanced analytics, powerful data processing, seamless access to data and heightened mobility.

Migrating to the cloud needn’t be expensive. There are multiple third-party service providers operating in the cloud-based data storage space.

Reliable construction machines

Getting started with digital transformation is key for South African’s construction companies.

Nonetheless, construction projects, from large to small, still depend on reliable, traditional heavy equipment – and that’s not going to change any time soon!

At KH Plant, we supply tough, hard-working Caterpillar motor graders, reconditioned to OEM specifications. Our precision-engineered graders offer the performance and durability you expect from the Caterpillar brand, at a fraction of the price of new machines.

Call KH Plant on 083 274 4882 to learn more about our Cat 140G, 140H and 140K motor graders …or drop us a line via our online contact form.

Do you need expert assistance?

Call us now on +27 83 274 4882 or email us.

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