The Future of Construction Project Management with AI

Notorious for being slow to adopt software, construction project management has now come some ways in not just embracing tech, but looking for options that greatly move the needle when it comes to efficiency, accuracy, and financial growth. It is now at the cusp of widely adopting the next generation of technology, namely Artificial Intelligence (AI).

In fact, between 2020 and 2022, companies in the AEC sector invested over $50 billion in construction management software, which indicates that AI in construction will see greater adoption and innovation.

The Need for Change:

Construction faces significant challenges. McKinsey reports a staggering  80% average cost overrun for projects . Worker safety is another major concern, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics highlighting construction as having the highest number of injuries  out of all private industries in 2021. Schedule delays and labor shortages further hinder project success.

With all this said, construction companies have started adopting software to mitigate some of these issues and are seeing results. AI is now aiming to take this to the next level, making it even easier for construction professionals to do their work better.

Let’s take a look at some use cases where AI in construction can make processes more efficient.

AI Copilot: Real-Time Data Access for Informed Decisions

Copilots act as intelligent digital assistants, integrating with multiple data sources across construction projects. They can retrieve and process data acquired from different functions like daily reports, time cards, and document updates, and present them in an easy-to-understand format.

Think of it as a ChatGPT that exclusively works for your company. Construction manageers no longer have to gather data from different projects or individuals to prepare reports. In fact, copilots can do all this and provide construction managers with the report itself, allowing them more time for analysis and decision making.

The same holds true for finance teams. All key financial information is available with a simple prompt, which speeds up their payroll and invoicing cycles, ultimately leading to better cash flow.

Voice-Powered Field Updates with AI Transcription

AI can also help bridge any language barriers in a construction company, especially when they have field crew members who are non-native English speakers.

They can record their daily updates in their own language, and AI can translate and transcribe them into English and send over a concise and digestible report to managers in the office. This is a very effective way of eliminating communication gaps between crew members and improve overall project collaboration.

Intelligent Anomaly Handling in Time Cards

AI can improve timekeeping workflows by automatically flagging anomalies in employee timesheets. This eliminates manual verification processes and frees up valuable time for project managers and finance teams.

Companies can set rules for overtime and breaks, and AI can flag anomalies as well as issue alerts by informing managers about a project where employees are clocking abnormally high overtime. This will enable managers to focus only on the problem areas and arrive at swift resolutions.

Enhanced Safety with Predictive Analytics

Instead of solely relying on cameras, AI can analyze historical safety data to identify sites with a higher risk of incidents.

For example, if work is scheduled to be done at a site which has historically thrown up safety issues in the last 12-15 months, AI can alert project managers to this fact in advance, allowing them to to ensure that all safety measures are ready by that particular date.

Improving Estimations and Budgets

Over the lifecycle of a construction project, a lot of data is collected from daily reports and time cards that can be used to make sure that future projects are performed more efficiently both with timelines and budgets.

AI can pin-point specific phases of the project which caused either major delays or excessive spending. Based on this data, construction companies can make the necessary tweaks to their workflows and greatly reduce budget and timeline deviations

Ultimately, the future of AI-powered construction project management is one of higher efficiency, productivity, and safety. As the technology continues to evolve, it will undoubtedly transform the industry, enabling construction professionals to tackle increasingly complex projects with greater precision, ease, insight, and confidence.

July 4, 2024

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