In 2018, Bluebeam partnered with Construction Manager magazine to host a roundtable of a dozen technology experts to explore digital technology for construction. Businesses represented included Bluebeam, Arcadis, Allplan, Gleeds, Sir Robert McAlpine, Royal HaskoningDHV, Digital Node, Sumo Services, WSP, Berkeley Group, and Aecom.
Topics included onsite experience, recruitment, technology adoption, digital communication, retraining, technology implementation, and how gaming skills can be transformed into digital construction tasks. The Bluebeam StrXur video Confronting the Skills Shortage explains what varied industry leaders are doing to confront the labor challenge. Through open discussions, a wide array of disciplines can influence the direction construction technology is proceeding.
Some of the discussion centered around one of the major challenges for the industry: the generation gap. The Small Business article “Managing Five Generations at the Construction Site” identifies those generations as:
- Traditionalists (born 1927-1945) – strong work ethic, resourceful, loyal;
- Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) – hard workers, confident, good policy enforcers;
- Generation X (born 1965-1976) – comfortable supervising and mentoring staff and using computers;
- Millennials/Generation Y (born 1977-1995) – technology-oriented, champions of sustainability;
- Gen Z (born 1996 and later) – rely heavily on technology, entrepreneurial, good at multi-tasking.
Of course, the descriptions are generalizations based on life experiences during those historical decades, but the similarities, especially among the traditionalists and baby boomers, are uncanny.
Members of the younger labor force can drive digital processes, but on the whole are not getting the necessary practical experience. The people in the labor force who have the experience usually cannot drive the technology. A vicious circle forms when promoting innovation is a challenge with the experienced workforce, yet the company’s lack of digital innovation repels tech-savvy job seekers.
Because innovation is more than just purchasing software, Bluebeam is finding a way to blend the two ends of the spectrum using collaboration through Revu products. The video above, Transform the Way You Build, demonstrates how workflows can be standardized and made more efficient. The technology-savvy employees understand the “how,” and the employees with field expertise understand the “why.” When they can collaborate in real-time with Bluebeam Revu, that collaboration becomes crucial to improving the construction process.
One of the processes that companies can employ includes virtual construction. The roundtable discussion also pointed out that technology tools need to be made a part of the way companies do business – not simply be thought of or used as gimmicks. Besides attracting talent, companies need to find ways to retain that talent. The goal needs to be that one day the tech-savvy employee will also be the one who has seniority.
If you’d like to explore first-hand the ways Bluebeam Revu can simplify collaboration for your staff, try Bluebeam Revu for yourself. You can download a full working version of Revu Standard, Revu CAD or Revu eXtreme on a 30-day free trial. When it’s time to convert that 30-day trial to a subscription or perpetual license, contact Applied Software and talk to a Bluebeam expert about your firm’s specific needs. Applied will help you champion innovation at your company.