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Australian construction leads the recovery to new normal

The Victorian Government has credited its Big Build as one of the drivers of its job creation boom.

Australian and New Zealand construction companies are leading the regional COVID-19 recovery, with 30 per cent prepared for the “new normal,” followed by Japan at 20 per cent according to new research.

InfoBrief, sponsored by Autodesk, released the findings in the report, Road to Recovery: Overcoming COVID-19’s Impact on the Construction Industry with Digital Technologies.

Autodesk Construction Solutions Managing Director, Asia Pacific operations, Tomy Praveen said construction companies across the Asia Pacific region including Japan (APIJ) region are in different stages of recovery against COVID-19

“Respectively, 17 per cent of construction companies in APIJ are still deep in COVID crisis mode, trying to establish business continuity, and are focused on cutting down costs in response to a slowdown in revenue. However, a notable 32 per cent of construction companies across the region are already making aggressive technology investments to secure future business viability.”

Praveen said that prior to the pandemic, only 19 per cent of ANZ construction companies had committed to a long-term approach to digital transformation. This was on average with the region pre-COVID-19.

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“Now, ANZ construction companies are leading the regional COVID-19 recovery. However they are not yet well placed to manage digital transformation, and there’s still a huge opportunity for innovation,” he said.

“For example, 41 per cent of ANZ construction companies are still using paper drawings for projects, while just 5 per cent are currently using a software solution for construction drawings.

“There’s still a way to go before we see the full digital transformation we anticipate in the industry. However, this is accelerating. ANZ construction companies have identified the opportunities for innovation, with 29 per cent increasing the use of digital solutions by 41-50 per cent during 2020.”

The report also found the top construction phases for planned investments are design development for ANZ (49 precent) and Japan (60 per cent), testing and commissioning for India (64 per cent), and handover or turnover for Singapore (60 per cent).

“Although the ANZ construction industry is in recovery, companies are more cost-conscious than ever and are looking at ways to improve and develop efficiencies to remain competitive, just like the rest of the region,” Praveen said.

“Technology is supporting streamlined workflows in this new era of convergence where industries, processes and teams are embracing innovative ways of making and have new challenges. In 2021, teams, data and workflows will be increasingly connected.”

The InfoBrief found that the top three technology investments in ANZ to support the COVID-19 response and recovery phase include electronic forms (34 per cent), video conferencing applications (32 per cent), and PC/laptop/module devices management and security (27 per cent). One of the top three tech investments across APIJ included dedicated health and security applications for employee communications and contact tracing.

“The unified technology offered by Autodesk Construction Cloud is going to become increasingly important for companies to support COVID-19 recovery. Here at Autodesk we’re speaking with more and more ANZ contractors looking for a fast-tracked digital transformation journey, and we are supporting them to achieve this,” Praveen said.

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