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Blueprint for Post-Pandemic Transformation in Engineering and Construction

Nov. 3, 2020
New cloud-based project management technologies offer ways to create the kind of change required.

Wrench Solutions, the pioneer in integrated data and process management solutions for the engineering and construction industry, has announced a White Paper "Post-Pandemic Workforce Transformation Potential in the Engineering & Construction Industry". The paper gives these firms insight into how they might leverage pandemic-instigated changes occurring worldwide to strengthen their operations and build stronger cost-to-delivery ratios, in a rapidly-digitizing economy where the geographical location of the project and the people working on the project need no longer be a factor in successful project completion. 

The paper is a collaboration between Shayne Smith (Strategy Advisor) and Varghese Daniel (CEO, Wrench Solutions). They revisit the idea of 'getting back to normal' after the pandemic; whether 'normal' is something to hope for or whether the changes we've seen already should be the first step in a longer, more transformative journey. They use their combined 50+ years industry experience to condense ideas on business models, workforce, technology, costs, risks and profitability into a paper that engineering firms can use as a starting point to future-proof their business.

The paper builds on the premise that, having successfully virtualized its process and enabled work from home in response to COVID-19, the engineering industry must now accept the fact that expectations have changed both in the workforce and with customers, that these changed expectations will affect the entire process of the company, and therefore this is the perfect time to build a lower cost flexible platform for growth. It raises and answers questions like: Can you decentralize your workforce and rebuild it to leverage freelance and non-full-time talent? Can you pare back manpower and operating costs even more and put the savings into growing your business into new geographies? How can companies use technology not just for collaboration but as a planning and monitoring business tool? 

Stating that this is the time to increase reliance on technology, in the midst of unavoidable change, companies should not lose sight of the bottom line but aggressively pursue ways to get more control over their cashflows. They show how technology can 'connect the dots' by linking budget to schedules, deliverables to quality, and other hitherto-unexplored integrations of technology with process.

In making the case for workforce re-engineering, they put the situation in context: "Your most valuable asset may no longer want to walk through your doors each day. This could be due to personal reasons including safety and commute, or job security fears (can I work remotely for more than one employer?). How were different groups within your firm treated, and how were they affected? Working from home hasn't been easy, but the experience might have changed their expectations and perceptions forever." 

The paper is presented as a series of ideas in an easily readable format and includes real-world examples and references.