Yukti Arora, Co-Founder & CPO, Buildsys

Yukti is the Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Buildsys, a construction productivity application that reduces paperwork and makes field to office communication faster, trackable, and mobile. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design from Ohio State University. She has over six years of experience in industrial, service, and digital design, as well as user research and business strategy. She is passionate about storytelling, design strategy, visual thinking and creating experiences that make technology human and emotion centred.

 

  • What was the impact of the pandemic on the construction industry? How has it changed the industry?

The pandemic brought with it unique challenges; we had to figure out how to work remotely. The construction industry, like many other sectors, took a hit during the pandemic – site work came to a standstill. Projects were delayed indefinitely, and supply chains were disrupted. However, the industry has taken a promising turn towards technology to meet these challenges – a shift that is predicted to have a lasting impact on its future. By using digital solutions to connect teams, minimise conflicts between various disciplines, ensure worker safety and receive precise feedback on design strategies, construction is all set to be a more resource-efficient and productive industry in the next few decades.

  • What role is Technology playing in easing the workstyle of construction professionals?

The popularity of cloud-based collaboration platforms, especially construction management softwares, has shot up since the pandemic began and remote working became the norm. Construction managers and building project managers have been using them to manage projects. These digital solutions are quickly gaining favour for many reasons. Firstly, centralised project information in the place of scattered sources gives stakeholders easy access to real-time project information. The cross-device compatibility of these solutions makes working on the go easier than ever, as they can be used from a desktop, tablet or smartphone. Moreover, they automate workflows and digitize processes, reducing paperwork and time lost in manual documentation.

In the Post-pandemic world, the construction industry will gain the upper hand when it comes to communication management and coordination. The focus will be on fast-tracking digital adoption and cloud based technology. In the Post-Covid 19 world, the construction industry will benefit immensely from focusing on fast-tracking digital adoption and cloud based technology.

  • What impact do cloud technology and apps have on the construction industry?

A significant aspect of construction management will always require on-site staff,  but with cloud based software all the project stakeholders can stay up to date with the progress of the site without being physically present, it also minimises gaps in communication and lapses due to misplaced paperwork. Cloud-based applications also ensure that valuable project data is always stored in a repository and can be accessed at any time.

  • What are the major challenges faced by the construction industry?

The construction industry was upended by the novel Coronavirus pandemic – halting work on-site, disrupting supply chains, and leading to delays and disruption of funds. Prior to the outbreak, GlobalData predicted an increase in the pace of growth in the global construction industry, from 2.6% to 3.1%. However, given the disruption in the world’s economies following the outbreak, the forecast for growth was revised to 0.5%

Practising the 2m social distancing rule and the safety and health policies has been one of the most difficult site practices. The Pandemic has resulted in an unwanted domino effect which has led to massive productivity losses, poor project performances, rising costs of materials and technology, and a skilled labour shortage. A collective of these challenges has disrupted the preset sustainability goals for most of the organizations pertaining to the construction sector.

  • How has technology promoted team building, while working remotely?

Working remotely was all about coping and innovating with communication to carry out tasks in an efficient manner. Working from home in isolation, away from like minded people can get daunting and overwhelming at times. A solution to this productivity disrupting problem was making a switch to comforting virtual team meetings to generate the feeling of being with someone.

Messaging systems like Whatsapp were used for professional communication with clients and amongst the team members to keep everyone involved and updated about any developments to their tasks.

  • Can you throw some light on how technology has eased collaboration and communication in tough times?

Using digital solutions to connect teams, minimise conflicts between various disciplines, ensure worker safety and receive precise feedback on design strategies, construction is all set to be a more resource-efficient and productive industry in the next few decades.

The potential of smart solutions on construction sites is being explored through a variety of products. Smart wearables are being used to ensure social distancing at sites and monitor worker health, along with giving workers ready access to information and connectivity to design teams. Wireless drones are being employed for their possible applications in site surveying and in monitoring construction progress remotely.

With construction sites around the world gradually resuming operations, these digital tools will be part of a new hybrid system of work, bringing remote collaborators and physical construction activity together in a seamlessly managed model with the help of technology.

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