Technological advancements in the construction industry can dramatically improve productivity, as found in numerous studies. Utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no different. For many construction companies, scheduling is a pain point. It’s a manual, error-prone process that affects your bottom line. If done poorly, the domino effect can lead to costly Liquidated Damages and decreased site safety. By incorporating AI into your construction scheduling process, you can manage your risk, improve workflows, increase safety and ultimately finish jobs on time and within budget. If you’re looking for accuracy and efficiency, AI is undoubtedly the answer. Here’s how AI solutions can streamline your business from the get-go.
[Read more: How to analyze the causes of construction delays]
What Is AI, And How Does The Construction Industry Use It?
By definition, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines. We use AI in expert systems, language processing, speech recognition, and machine vision.
How does this translate to the construction industry? Businesses use AI in four core project phases or optimization opportunities; planning and design, safety on site, autonomous equipment, and monitoring and maintenance.
Today's construction companies can use AI to develop safety systems for work sites, track real-time interactions of workers and machinery, and alert supervisors of potential issues or errors. More often than not, these issues can impact construction timelines, meaning they affect the overarching budget. That's where utilizing AI to streamline scheduling comes in. Think of scheduling as the fundamental pillar to your project health, allowing you to plan and forecast more accurately for your business.
Why Is Scheduling Important In The Construction Industry?
Proper planning and scheduling are the fundamental pillars in construction management. Correct scheduling affects everything from resource management to site risks and overarching communications. Any construction project tracking requires a project plan, a timeline, and a budget. Scheduling efficiently and accurately is the only way to ensure you get all three right from the get-go.
Comprehensive construction schedules mean better quality, allowing project managers to control the sequence of work to produce the optimal result. Better yet, utilizing AI in construction scheduling enables project managers to surface the most efficient solutions with regard to labor, equipment, and material utilization. With labor shortages becoming more and more of a reality, managing resources is a full-time job but one that is perfectly suited for an AI solution.
A tight construction schedule allows project managers to have everything on-site when and where needed, reducing delays. It ensures the team achieves the highest level of productivity possible, reducing the possibility of wasted time (and money). Your construction schedule directly correlates with your bottom line and your employee satisfaction. It’s no wonder it should have the top spot on your priority list.
The Benefits Of AI In Construction
Avoids cost overruns
Businesses can use AI to predict the factors that will likely lead to cost overruns based on the project size, contract type, and other specificities. AI can then suggest ways to course correct and avoid these cost overruns. As the software builds up historical data, these predictions will only gain more accuracy.
Construction comes with many risks. Whether it’s safety, quality, time, or budget, they all have serious consequences. Perhaps one of the most severe risks is failing to meet a schedule. It exposes your business to financial risks like liquidated damages for missing your designated schedule. Contractors can use AI solutions like ALICE Technologies to monitor your schedule, flag delays, and plan around them to keep the project on track.
AI-powered construction simulation software can help you “build” complex projects virtually, many times over, before having ever to break ground. It allows you to identify the best plans that meet your project goals and to account for potential contingencies before it’s too late.
Some businesses are already incorporating self-driving construction machinery to eliminate repetitive tasks that take up valuable labor time. Tasks like excavation and prep work can now be performed by semi-autonomous bulldozers, preparing the job site in record time.
Productivity doesn’t only speak to machinery. By utilizing project scheduling software for construction to assist with efficient scheduling and planning, you can drive productivity with your resources. An AI solution like ALICE Technologies can help with efficient scheduling, allowing your team to operate effectively on all fronts.
Assists with labor shortages
The construction industry continues to struggle with labor shortages. Workforce management is one of the best ways to manage deficits, incorporating AI to distribute labor accurately. By continuously evaluating a job’s progress in conjunction with the location of workers and equipment, project managers can run tighter schedules despite smaller teams.
AI Opportunities In The Construction Industry
For decades, technology has been used in the construction industry to streamline projects, building efficiency, and productivity. It’s only in more recent years that the construction industry has embraced AI, driving a new level of innovation.
Unpacking some of the ALICE Technologies Case Studies highlights just how much AI can assist your construction business with scheduling and tracking. A general contractor in Silicon Valley was able to drive millions in labor savings. Thanks to ALICE’s efficient scenarios, he could unravel the various project constraints their original scheduling tool created. The result? An accelerated construction schedule by 45 days.
Creating a competitive construction schedule can be a deciding factor in the bidding process. Parsons used ALICE to explore scheduling options when preparing for a bid on Edmonton’s public transportation system. The project faced enormous time constraints given the Canadian winter, but ALICE helped to create a schedule that not only required less crew and equipment but accelerated the rail portion of the project.
It’s no question that scheduling and planning play a crucial role in construction project management. Where the opportunity lies is using AI to optimize this piece of the puzzle. Not only does it benefit the productivity of your team, but it maximizes your output as a business, creating more opportunities. There’s no need for today’s project teams to schedule anything manually. With solutions like ALICE, you can streamline the fundamentals, creating a positive domino effect.