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Top reasons to adopt multidisciplinary digital workflows

How are architects keeping up with the rest of the construction industry when it comes to digital workflows? New research from Trimble and Dodge Construction Network spotlights where architects win, where they plan to invest, and where they can stand out amongst their peers.

Benefits frequently experienced by architects from using digital workflows

Designers need to be able to share data effectively for better project outcomes. This includes sharing between departments within one company and across multiple companies. Having the proper digital workflows in place is critical for individual project success and for advancing the design and construction industry. New research published in the Connected Construction SmartMarket Brief series suggests that architects can help lead the building industry in a digital transformation and offers insights into adopting these workflows.

“In an increasingly connected world and with the rapid adaptation of remote work due to COVID, construction companies are looking for ways to more efficiently, securely, and quickly share data with key stakeholders. This research project shows that teams using digital workflows saw a substantial increase in project quality, supported by faster delivery and decreased delays related to rework.”
- Pete Large, Senior Vice President, Trimble Construction

Change since 2019 in number of software systems used for digital workflows

Key findings

  1. Architects lead the industry in using multi-company digital workflows, with one-third employing these workflows.
  2. Engineers are increasing engagement with workflows for specific design practices, with 83% of users planning additional investments in digital workflows.
  3. General contractors that focus on vertical building construction use more digital workflows and see higher ROI than those in civil construction.
  4. Specialty contractors use digital workflows most frequently for administrative tasks, but their most significant planned investments are in workflows that will improve construction operations and crew management.

"These findings suggest that the digital transformation of the industry may be able to finally help the industry achieve the productivity gains that have proved so elusive over the years."
-Donna Laquidara-Carr, Research Director, Dodge Construction Network

Satisfaction with the level of connectedness with stakeholders

Top takeaways

Owners, architects, engineers, general contractors, and specialty trade contractors all report the same benefits from implementing digital workflows: more informed decision-making and more efficient internal processes. Nearly half of all respondents share 50% or more of their project data internally using digital workflows, and nearly one quarter do so with other external stakeholders on their projects. While architects use digital workflows more than other AEC professionals, they could expand multi-company workflows to streamline collaboration with all project stakeholders. Wider acceptance and standardization across the industry will lead all sectors to embrace digital workflows for improved quality and faster project delivery.

The full download

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About the Author

We’re the folks who work on SketchUp, so we spend most of our time thinking about how to make drawing in 3D better. We also enjoy nerf gun wars, disc golf, board games, coffee, beer, donuts, and looking at mountains. A few of us eat quinoa.

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