Are you interested in construction? Would you like to know what is the impact of industry 4.0 on the construction industry value chain? Read my article to know more about this topic.  

The Construction Industry Supply Chain

Even though most of the key stakeholders are the same, every construction project is different on the market, because the project participants and locations change project by project. For example, every construction project includes designers, owners, suppliers, general contractors and subcontractors or segmented trade contractors. The supply chain: flow of information, flow of funds and the flow of materials are almost the same in most projects. Still who work in this industry know that it is a complex process. I have been working in this industry for 7 years, but I have never seen two similar projects. The construction supply chain is even more complex in the core industry. Why is it so complex? Just look at the following figure for 2 minutes and you are going to understand. (I created the picture based on Coordination mechanism for construction supply chain management in the Internet environment.)

What is the key to success in digitalisation?

Companies who realised the level of complexity have become the industry transformation leaders by now. The core of the solution in the industry is very simple. A HUB where all stakeholders are connected. (Now we call this hub a common data environment.)

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People often believe this refers to BIM. Based on my experience, I can firmly say it means more than BIM. In my previous article I introduced several ConTech companies.  I can reveal the secret now. There was one commonality in those companies: the information HUB (now we call it CDE), which connected project stakeholders and information. This HUB can be a simple application for health and safety monitoring or a complex project management software. 

What is changing?

Transformation is happening. Industry 4.0 expects a complete digital integration in both horizontal and vertical directions, where a digital service integrates all industry processes simultaneously.

  1.  Simulation and modelling changes the tendering and briefing with simulation tools / models, BIM and AR/VR/MR.
  2. Digitalisation and virtualisation changes the briefing, design and planing with Cloud Computing, Big Data, Mobile Computing, Social Media and Digitalisation
  3. Smart Factory changes the planing, construction, and maintenance with Cyber-Physical Systems, RFID, Internet of Things and Services, Automation, Modularisation / Prefabrication, Additive Manufacturing, Product-Life-cycle-Management and Robotics.
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If you are interested more about this topic, read this amazing research: Understanding the implications of digitisation and automation in the context of Industry 4.0 from 2016 written by Thuy Duong Oesterreich, Frank Totenberg. 

Follow me if you would like to know what the market opportunities in the construction industry digitalisation are. 

About the author

I have been working in the construction industry for 8 years. My mission is to generate value for the construction industry through introduction of new technologies. I passionately follow the industry’s new digital solutions. I believe, the companies need to prepare with appropriate professional skills and digital technological solutions for the digitalisation of the construction industry. My goal is to facilitate this transformation.

I am curiously looking forward to the new developments in this new industry. 

Orsolya Nagy

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