Elizabeth Manning is the managing editor of Construction Business Owner magazine.
Autodesk unveils construction health check for business owners
Ever wonder how you measure up to your competition in terms of technology adoption and data usage? Benchmarking is used in many different industries to better understand a company's health, and you would be hard-pressed to find a benchmarking process that doesn't use key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge a company's strengths and weaknesses.
Autodesk recently partnered with Dodge Data and Analytics to produce a report, The Key Performance Indicators of Construction, surveying more than 200 construction companies (55% general contractors or construction managers and 45% specialty trade contractors or subcontractors) about their processes for planning and executing projects. The report identified seven KPIs construction companies should consider using to measure their performance.
Today, Autodesk took the report one step further and launched a construction health check meant to be used as a first step in finding out how your company compares to its industry peers. The free, 15-minute survey allows you and your team to get a better idea of where your company is excelling and what issues it still needs to work on in terms of tech adoption.
According to Kristen Sylva, manager of customer marketing for Autodesk Construction Solutions, the Autodesk team created the survey with user friendliness in mind. It's meant to be a tool for anyone in a construction company—from a chief executive officer or president to a project manager or superintendent in the field—to use to start the conversation around improving a company's performance using the copious amounts of data it is likely already collecting on a daily basis. The health check measures your responses to the survey against respondents in the Dodge study, breaking your company's score down into seven key areas:
- Construction documents
- Logging requests for information and responses
- Documenting change orders
- Updating the project schedule
- Safety and inspections
- Labor productivity
- Quality and closeout
Read on for more about what Sylva and the rest of the Autodesk team hope users gain from the health check, as well as what Autodesk hopes to learn from the tool.
What are Autodesk’s key goals with the health check?
KS: The idea here is to provide data that enables users to take action. We want to enable our customers and others in the industry to improve by providing a resource that helps them get a baseline understanding of where they are today. This is by no means a prescriptive report.
Our intent is to give people a tangible starting point for a companywide conversation that stems from data. For these companies that are in the process of massive digital transformations, this tool is a starting point for comparison. With the Dodge Data report, we had 200 people respond to a very similar survey to this one.
We’re not trying to set industry standards, but we are aiming to provide more data to back up company initiatives and changes.
Is there any specific data that Autodesk is interested in learning from the survey?
KS: To garner data and actually put it to use, we need a relatively large amount of it. We are always interested in having a larger sample set. We want to see if there are any emerging patterns and then create our own report based off that. We’d like to give the tool a bit of time, and then make modifications as needed.
We got pretty granular with the persona taking this survey—country, region, type of company, etc. Our main goal with the KPIs survey is to drive companies to consistently and frequently capture data in a meaningful way. Many of our customers are already using the technologies mentioned in the survey across their companies, but we want to make sure they are using them in the right way and are truly benefitting from their use.
Wondering how your company measures up? Take Autodesk’s short assessment here. Click the infographic below to learn more about the seven key performance indicators used in the health check.