Takeaways from 2023 Field Solutions Tech Specialty Report

The AEC industry is akin to a dynamic ecosystem with numerous components that interconnect and thrive together between various stakeholders. When considering all of the moving parts within this space, innovative solutions are a key organism towards binding and optimizing AEC operations. The BuiltWorlds Benchmarking Program is a valuable resource for AEC professionals to measure the strength of their tech adoption. Within the BuiltWorlds Benchmarking Program are five key categories:

  • Preconstruction
  • Project Management & Oversight
  • Field Management Solutions; Tools, Equipment, & Robotics
  • Offsite (Modular) Construction

With five comprehensive surveys offered annually, BuiltWorlds is able to benchmark the current state of tech adoption from users around the world.

BuiltWorlds has created Technology Specialty Reports to supply members with an agnostic view inside leading and emerging tech solutions that are driving innovation across the industry. Within this piece will the key takeaways from each subcategory within 2023 Field Solutions Report.

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Reality Capture

There are high rates of adoption and implementation within reality capture, currently holding the highest adoption rate of any tech area in the Field Solutions study. In 2022, the rate of BuiltWorlds’ surveyed firms implementing reality capture across every project was 0%, while in 2023 it has risen to 19%.

Survey results have indicated high rates of satisfaction among respondents that adopted reality capture technology, with the highest satisfaction rate within visualization/communication of site conditions, and as-built documentation/modeling functionalities. The lowest rates of satisfaction were identified as adoption/utilization and ease-of-use, which suggests that although users are overall pleased with this tech, they may still be learning to optimize these solutions.

Materials Management

Materials management solutions play a crucial role within the AEC tech stack, especially amid the supply chain issues that emerged in 2020, further complicating the volatility of the space. Despite its significance within the industry, almost 70% of 2023 Field Solutions survey respondents admitted to lacking a dedicated materials management solution.

Among the minority of respondents that embraced a materials management solution, satisfaction ratings were remarkably low among the board, both in isolation and when compared to the other tech specialties. Satisfaction levels are at a declining trend, showing that those that are adopting materials management solutions have yet to find an ideal solution to address their needs. With the growing demand for supply chain visibility and procurement process improvement, it is foreseeable that the adoption and implementation of materials management solutions will be on the rise in the coming years.

Workforce Management

Workforce management solutions witnessed impressive adoption, with over 75% of surveyed respondents noting their implementation in various capacities. Although satisfaction rates remained average this year, it is crucial to highlight its noticeable decline since 2020.

Given the fluctuations in the adoption and satisfaction levels of workforce management solutions, it becomes evident that addressing accessibility issues within these tech solutions is necessary for improving workforce management. This will enable optimized collaboration efforts with stakeholders and lead to enhanced overall performance.

Safety & Risk Management

This year, safety and risk management solutions received remarkably high satisfaction ratings, achieving an industry-leading average of 7/10 in overall satisfaction among all tech solutions. Among the tech solutions surveyed in the Field Solutions Study, these safety and risk management solutions stood out with the highest rate of satisfaction.

Around 55% of the respondents indicated their consistent use of safety and risk management solutions for every project, leaving nearly 40% either not utilizing any solution or being uncertain about their usage. This finding suggests that companies tend to either consistently adopt safety and risk management solutions for each project or refrain from using them altogether.

Quality Assurance & Quality Control (QA/QC)

Quality assurance & quality control (QA/QC) solutions have a notably high adoption rate of 72% using these solutions in some capacity, with nearly 35% using them within every construction project. This is a large leap from 2022, which reported only a 48% adoption rate within QA/QC solutions. It is clear that the value of these solutions is important to its users, helping to ensure safety, functionality and efficiency within the AEC space.