Insights and best practices for construction management technology and project delivery

  • February 13, 2018

The pathway to success: Standardization in the E&C industry

Manufacturing and process driven industries, such as oil and gas, have been standardizing their processes for years. On the flip side, the construction industry has historically struggled to develop and implement standardization given the sheer variety of their projects. For example, John Holland, one of Australia’s leading engineering contractors, has managed projects ranging from a children’s hospital, to a prison, to a regional rail link. That’s a considerable array of projects for a construction company to grapple with.

Download: Five Keys to Unlocking Digital Transformation

Why is standardization important in the E&C industry?

Standardization is a common challenge across the engineering and construction (E&C) industry, and a key topic addressed in our latest report on digital transformation. Technological advances will continue to impact the way businesses operate and industries advance. The construction industry is not immune to these changes. Now is the time for the E&C industry to embrace digitalization and standardize. Data is at the core of digital project delivery, connecting processes, standards, and systems. With so much variance across markets and industries, standardization is an obstacle that most organizations will face—including those in E&C. Industry standards are critical to ensuring safety and quality, efficiencies across processes, and data capture. These processes are instrumental to capturing insights necessary to make informed decisions. Standardization also sparks innovation. Many of the most successful companies in the industry are maximizing productivity and improving quality by implementing consistent process improvements. These organizations follow the same processes from one project to the next before developing benchmarks to help validate their findings and mandate compliance.

How the digital ecosystem plays a key role in standardizing projects

The digital ecosystem is often overlooked in the standardization process. Organizations can gain a better sense of overlap and redundancies hindering their data flow by auditing the tools, platforms, and applications they have in place (also known as “the ecosystem”). Once an audit has been completed, organizations can standardize throughout the entire lifecycle of their project—beginning from the early phases through operations—to ensure the quality of data is maintained. The transparent flow of information is critical, whether it’s leveraged for big data, insights, documents, models, approvals, or decisions. Capturing data using a solid structure (i.e., standardization) is crucial for project success. John Holland, one of Australia’s leading engineering contractors, has achieved significant time savings by standardizing their projects.

Developing a data management plan

A comprehensive master data management (MDM) plan is a good starting point for standardization. The MDM plan includes: Processes, governance, policies, standards, and tools to define data management both within an organization and across stakeholders. Organizations should consider the following before developing an MDM:
  • Processes
  • Data Capture and Harmonization
  • Centers of Excellence (CoE) 

Our customers’ pathway to digital transformation

Chiyoda Corporation and TAV Construction both focused on standardization as part of their digitalization journeys. Chiyoda, an EPC company working on high-risk oil and gas projects, has worked closely with project participants to improve data management across the project lifecycle. TAV, an airport construction company, utilized the MDM plan to promote and consider the importance of facility management—even during the early stages of a project. Read our latest report, Five Keys to Unlocking Digital Transformation in Engineering and Construction, to learn more about these organizations’ successes and how you can create your own MDM plan. Standardization, collaboration, and leveraging data to gain insights are equally important aspects to how Aconex empowers organizations on their path to digital transformation. We’ve helped numerous organizations standardize processes on Aconex and reap the benefits, including: Reduced RFI cycles, improved quality, and significant budget savings. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your organization.

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