The heavy upfront price that companies have to pay for a new digital solution is a big factor in the slow adaptation of digital tools in the construction industry
Everywhere you look, there is something about the benefits and challenges to digitalisation in construction. Many conferences, trade shows, articles and webinars all trying to hit the message home for the urgent need for change.
However, people in the industry are still very slow and reluctant to adapt to new technology. Why is that? Here are some of the reasons experts believe causes this slow adaptation.
- It is because tools are not integrated so data is duplicated (create more work).
- Digital tools are not simple enough to be easily adapted.
- There is no standardisation so people have to learn what “blue” means in every tool.
- Construction people are too risk-averse.
- Companies don’t have the human resources to implement a digital strategy.
- Construction workers just don’t want to use digital tools.
- There is no clear ROI on digital tools, except the commonly used “save time”.
Even though all of these are very strong points, there is one point that I believe is a key barrier. That is the mindset that all of us has about the price. The notion of “price”, in my opinion, is the biggest barrier to digitalisation in construction.
I took some time to study the questions that prospects normally ask us about all our products and the number one first questions are always what is the price. The vast majority of the time, the person asking for the price doesn’t really know what value that will be getting by using an app like ours.
We have products that range from £8 per month to £100+ per month and the answer by the user is always the same: “That is pretty expensive” – even for £8. But expensive compared to what? Netflix? KFC? Microsoft Office? Paper?
Even though there are many case studies put out by construction software providers about the huge cost-benefits their clients are getting, many companies are sceptical.
Construction companies are more focused on what they have to pay now versus what they will obtain in the long run by using digital tools.
The more digital tools we can get in the hands of more people (even to just try), we will have a greater opportunity to convince them to continue using such tools and don’t go back to paper.
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