It has always been much more than just reducing paperwork (which is still valuable in itself). The right digital tools for construction can effectively capture and store valuable information or replicate processes and procedures in a more efficient and transparent way. For example, having a set digital process for collecting and presenting information, that is done automatically rather than manually, can minimise variances in how an individual may approach data capture or interpretation, which helps improves consistency and continuity. Overall, approaching the capture of information digitally not only helps save time and boosts productivity and quality but can also – crucially – help ensure compliance and establish digital records, on site or at group level.
COVID-19 has certainly accelerated the use of digital tools and shifted the mindset of many from being a ‘nice to have’ to a ‘need to have’. Without the ability to digitise some processes, we understand that for many sites, it would have been extremely challenging to strike a balance between remaining operational and maintaining site safety guidelines.
There are many ways digital tools help sites respond to coronavirus: carrying out operative inductions online helps reduce numbers on site; digital training can manage briefings off site; mandatory health and safety training can be linked to site access permissions and completion rates monitored; tools to manage workflows digitally and enable mobile collaboration between colleagues on and off-site can help maintain project progress when some team members are working from home. Capturing workforce and process information digitally also means you can monitor data in real time – whether that’s looking at shift patterns, the number of people on site at any one time or checking project progress remotely.
Watch our explainer video to find out more about Biosite’s Online Induction system.
Following the initial upheaval of adapting to new ways of working and a forced reliance on technology, many now have a different view of digital tools and systems and there is an encouraging feeling of optimism that the accelerated transition to digital in recent months is permanent.
This mindset is more important than ever as we consider what’s next for the industry and as the focus shifts from survival mode to upcoming legislative changes. From the Building Safety Bill to the raft of accompanying standards and guidance in development, the focus is firmly on the capture of information in a digital format.
So whether a want or a need, there is a clear direction of travel towards the adoption of digital tools in construction, which is something to acknowledge and applaud. For our part, we will continue to support our customers on the journey of digital adoption by developing digital tools for construction sites and practical solutions that help meet their needs; working with them to understand what works best for them and their sites.
Managing Director at Biosite Systems Ltd
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