MANCHESTER, N.H. (Oct. 28, 2021) — Three out of four companies in the architecture, engineering and construction industry continue to struggle with manual administrative tasks associated with moving data between systems, and more than half report that processes and systems make it difficult to collaborate and share information, according to a new study by Newforma, the leading provider of project information management (PIM) software, and Dodge Data & Analytics, North America’s leading provider of analytics and software-based workflow integrations.
The two companies surveyed 220 architecture and engineering professionals on the current challenges they face with project information management (PIM) for a new white paper titled Project Information Management 2021: Current State and Future Direction for the A&E Industry. Their insights will help firms benchmark their practices against others in the industry and develop comprehensive strategies for project information management (PIM) and supporting technology.
“Newforma pioneered the PIM software category in 2004, but since then the landscape of project delivery has changed significantly,” said Slater Latour, chief marketing and product officer at Newforma. “Construction projects and delivery methods continue to increase in complexity, which introduces and amplifies the challenges of managing project information. In addition to exponential growth in the volume of project data, the increased number of applications generating new project data and the multiple options for data storage, the COVID-19 pandemic has added another level of complication.”
The survey identified three top challenges:
- Respondents recognize the importance of collaboration and data-sharing, both internally and with partners. But 75% of companies report difficulty managing data across multiple systems.
- More than half (56%) of respondents report that industry processes and systems interfere with collaboration and information-sharing. Document control and inability to track the status of items outside their organization were the most common disruptions.
- 53% report regular difficulty finding the information they need to make informed decisions.
These challenges result in decreased productivity, poor communication, schedule delays and rework, according to the survey. The pandemic and remote work have added to the problem, respondents said. The main factors contributing to such issues are where data is stored, who owns the data, and how the data is shared.
Maintaining silos of project information is expensive and inefficient. And as the industry progresses towards increased digitization, the volume of data generated and managed by design, engineering, and construction teams will continue to grow significantly. But many respondents are eager to make immediate investments in technology.
“Companies in the A&E industry are looking to tap into the full brainpower of the project team by supporting the ability to access and share information across systems, applications and organizations,” Latour said. “Solutions like Newforma offers a more flexible and agile way to manage information in today’s complex project delivery environment. As firms plan their technology investments for the next year, laying the foundation for effective management of project information will pay off. Having a PIM strategy and a common platform in place to effectively manage this information is crucial.”