Learn from Manufacturing - Introduction
Phase 1 - 2017
Since the industrial revolution, productivity and performance of manufacturing industries have been on the rise, whereas the construction industry’s efficiency remains relatively stagnant. The Global Leaders in Construction Management (GLCM) set out to perform an in-depth analysis of the 3 major manufacturing industries; namely the automotive, the aerospace, and the shipbuilding to identify best practices and lessons learned that can be leveraged to improve construction productivity and profitability. Below are an overview of the studies developed.
One of the most thought-provoking discoveries made was that manufacturing plants of automakers exhibited vast improvements in the 3 dimensions of structure, technology, and process by utilizing 3 key enablers to realize these enhancements.
Automakers have become the biggest investors in Mobility as a Service (MaaS) firms such as Uber and Lyft; whereby this technology disruption has shifted business models of automakers from selling as many cars as possible to securing an operational profit over time by
Furthermore, the GLCM team’s effort examined the disrupting impact that technology and digitization have in re-shaping mobility and the automotive industry.
“selling” the same car several times through on-demand mobility services. Additionally, through digitization, vehicles have become centers for collecting big data. By leveraging this data through analytics MaaS and tech firms are improving their algorithms to enhance mobility services. More importantly, the cycle of harvesting and analyzing this data is the key enabler for the gradual development of autonomous vehicles and for improving infrastructure, vehicle design, and road safety.
The Aerospace industry was also studied by the GLCM team to understand the growing economy of the aerospace industry.
What appear to be one of the most important take away for this industry is the very high Research and development spent. The Aerospace industry as its nature has a strong need of R&D. Every year a part of the company’s profits with the hope to revolutionize the company. An example would be that by decreasing some metal percentage in the construction of an aircraft in order to get a more efficient material consuming less oil.
The GLCM team also realized that this type of development is due non only to the nature of the industry but also of its market situation: Today two main players own the market, pushing each other to always improve their discovery under the scare of being surpass.
The GLCM team also found a clear correlation between the oil price and the economy; A similar exercise to be conducted in construction, to help understand where could R&D in construction could be spent.
Finally, very similarly to the construction industry, skill labor is missing, which is why digitalization and automation is highly developed in aircraft construction.
The objective of our research was to identify the major reasons why the construction industry has not seen significant improvements to its productivity and profitability levels in comparison to the manufacturing industry. Our goal was to learn from the shipbuilding industry’s profitability journey by trying to break it down into different components that would allow us to better understand its growth or decline and assess how we could use our findings to improve the construction industry if applicable. To do so, we intended to look at macro vs micro economic trends, the effect of national and international regulations, industry drivers and noteworthy disruptions. By thoroughly analyzing the shipbuilding industry, we hoped to extract the key factors of success that could potentially contribute to improving the construction industry.