With an unwavering focus on high-quality customer service and a continuous drive for efficiencies for clients, Horizon Construction has successfully implemented a new digital strategy across its commercial and financial functions to deliver improvements in the management of construction projects.
The digital state of the UK construction industry
Firstly, to be able to talk about our digital strategy, we need to highlight, what we believe, are the key factors which have been affecting our industry.
With regular news of construction projects not being delivered on time, on budget and on quality, reports by McKinsey and FTI Consulting point towards an “unsatisfactory” or “low” level of industry-wide performance. Their research shows operating models within construction companies have lacked sufficient change and have not adopted digital strategies to enable greater efficiency, productivity and profitability. When compared to other industries, the implementation of technological solutions to improve performance in construction has been challenged by the very nature of the industry’s characteristics, such as people-intensive and ‘design & build’ bespoke projects.
The UK construction employs 3 million people and is the key focus by the Government to assist with the economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the added impact of the pandemic, construction companies are finding it difficult to secure profitability. Insolvency, mergers and acquisitions are taking place on a more frequent basis.
The opportunity to embrace new and emerging technologies to generate greater efficiencies within the construction management process is viewed as the critical area for construction companies to secure their survival.
Digital strategy at Horizon Construction
Over the last 12 months, a dedicated team has steered a programme of utilising advances in technology to react to the rapid growth of the business and to ensure the (IT) system architecture is matched with the expectations in modern construction and aligned with further growth plans. The implementation has also been independently recognised as part of our recent success in achieving ISO certification (9001, 14001 and 45001) in construction management systems.
The drive for efficiencies and innovation through the use of technology has our customers at the centre of development. Seamless synchronisation of data through the integration of applications and processes within commercial and financial functions enable improvements in all areas of construction, including cost/price and financial management, project and site management, supply-chain management, client reporting, external auditing and general administration.
The new level of transparency over the entire construction process allows for additional controls and oversight of performance in construction projects. On-demand monitoring between our offices and our sites enable a more dynamic response to any issues and assists with timely decision-making between us and our clients. Site teams relay real-time digital information, normally through mobile devices, back to financial, estimating and surveying teams.
We are proud to work with a wide range of sub-contractors and our system reinforces our approach to ensure the credentials of each sub-contractor are suitably managed and maintained. In conjunction with automated processes between teams, supply-chain invoices can be validated and settled more efficiently, which has a positive impact on resource, supply and cash flow management.
These improvements to our construction management systems and processes have been essential to our business strategy. They are now positioned to suitably support the growth expectations of the business and further demonstrates our leading position in the region for high-quality and dependable construction services. We always challenge ourselves to continuously improve, innovate and differentiate ourselves to our competition. Our digital strategy roadmap continues and we look forward to passing on further benefits to our clients.