Pandemic has transformed the business model of many industries, especially the construction & real estate industry significantly. This has resulted in shifting the focus more towards modernizing and digitizing the business processes.
Pandemic resulted in supply chain disorders and bottlenecks in transport. Many companies implemented business process automation to help maintain productivity.
One of the most significant effects of business process automation has been the elimination of human error and achieving 20% to 30% cost reduction by automating the “right business processes”. Companies have realized business process automation (BPA-RPA) is the path of the future. There are many companies that have come up with digitized products, processes, and services that have changed the way we work, live, and play. Digital transformation is a process in which an organization uses digital technology, such as cloud computing, big data analysis, and other technologies to improve customer experience, as well as operational efficiency and business performance. This helps them stand out from their competitors by providing better products and services at a lower cost, thereby increasing their market share.
Besides material, two major cost components in the construction industry are labor and operational process cost. Streamlining and optimizing these two components should simplify business operations with reduced costs and increased productivity. Automation (BPA and RPA) delivers benefits to a business not only in terms of time and cost savings but also helps in an in-depth understanding of processes across the organization
We are talking about BPA & RPA, so let’s understand what it is
Business Process Automation (BPA) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are currently two of the hottest buzzwords in the business world. While they seem to be one and the same, they actually have very different meanings. Business process automation takes an entire business process and automates it from start to finish using software applications and services. While RPA makes use of software bots to streamline and automate individual processes. BPA improves existing processes and makes them more efficient. RPA on the other hand streamlines the processes that are redundant or inefficient. The biggest difference between BPA and RPA is in the implementation. BPA can be implemented by an individual who knows how to use a computer, while RPA is usually implemented by a team of programmers.
Need of automation in the construction industry
McKinsey Global Institute estimates that more than 81 percent of predictable physical work, 69 percent of data processing, and 64 percent of data-collection activities could feasibly be automated across industries.
The construction industry is manual labor-intensive related to building development and construction. In many construction companies, the back office business processes which are responsible for a lot of operational activities do involve manual work. It means there are ample opportunities for optimization and automation of business processes and aiming for reduced process costs. Thus Business Process Automation is very critical to remaining efficient, effective, and profitable.
Examples of business process automation in construction
Construction and real estate companies always had a shortage of skilled labor and hence can look forward to processing automation BPA-RPA as solutions to complement their businesses. Automation goes beyond bricklaying robots, 3D-mapping drones, and the Internet of Things. RPA involves the use of Virtual Bots – a software program that mimics human actions and automates repetitive, low-value activities.
BPA can streamline and automate business processes and activities like tracking the progress of ongoing projects, resources management, inventory management, renewals of agreements, tasks, document management, approval management process, and sign-off processes. BPA can automate operational activities like drafting and sending invoices and payments, digitization of documents, emailing out the necessary financial documents to get paid on time, accounting documents, human resource, and other administrative tasks, project management processes, and similar other tasks.
Benefits of automation in the construction industry
Organizations can achieve immediate savings of 20% to 30% by implementing automation solutions for manual, tedious, and repetitive tasks.
Digitization is a one-time investment of time and money, but it can result in long-term benefits for the organization. Below are some of the benefits of Automation in the Construction Industry.
- Employee Engagement: Automating repetitive tasks frees up employees to focus on tasks that are challenging, intellectually stimulating.
- Business Process Improvements: BPA provides insights into current workflows, thus helping in improving the processes over a while.
- Operational Efficiency: Automation leads to a reduction in time taken to accomplish a task
- Save Time and Money: When things move along their path automatically, it eliminates wastage like back & forth between parties, errors, misses. This inherently saves time, improves operational efficiency, and results in money saved.
- Reduced Compliance Risk: One of the important benefits of business process automation is that it helps to reduce compliance risks by accurately and consistently recording audit trails.
- Reduced Human Error: Automation tools provide very high accuracy rates, thereby reducing human errors. This is undoubtedly a very important benefit of automation in any business.
- Satisfied Customers: BPA-RPA implementation in the form of chatbots and other forms of automation, consistently helps to meet SLAs, deliver quality products & services.
The streamlining of processes and modernization of operations is vital for any business and so for the construction business. BPA-RPA can help organizations to automate processes, adapt quickly to changes in the market, and provide a better experience to their customers, partners, and employees.
For the construction and real estate industry, the ability to free up staff to work on other tasks by using this technology could make a significant difference to a company’s bottom line and add agility to the organization with reduced cost and increased profitability.