In his forecast for 2016, KPMG’s Head of Infrastructure, Building and Construction Richard Threlfall predicts that 2016 will be a good year for the construction industry. He goes on to suggest: “2016 is therefore the year for businesses in the construction sector to invest and build the capacity and capability to take advantage of this strong domestic market.”

He notes that there is strong underlying demand, particularly in the commercial and civil sectors, and while outputs are currently low this is set to change with an increase in demand through the coming year. This is predicted to lead to steady growth in order books and gradual improvements in margins.

The challenge for construction companies, therefore, is where to target their investment so that they are best able to exploit these opportunities. In doing so, they need to take a close look at every aspect of their business and identify those areas that might struggle with an increase in workload. Having done that, they need to identify how they can strengthen those areas while maximising return on investment.

With skills shortages continuing to hinder productivity and the ability to add value for increasingly-demanding clients, one obvious area to explore is how technology can help make more efficient use of the skilled personnel available.

For many companies this requires a sea-change in how they view technology. Historically, it has been the back-office systems that have been prioritised for investment – but it’s the front office tasks that deliver the profits and meet clients’ expectations (or not).

Digitising the front office therefore needs to be a priority for all companies in the construction sector, be they Tier 1 contractors involved in buildings or infrastructure, specialist sub-contractors or maintenance service providers.

It also makes sense to engage with specialist technology providers that have expertise in the built environment and are committed to working with each customer to deliver tailored, integrated solutions. Causeway is ideally placed to meet these requirements.

Richard Threlfall’s predictions can be read in full here.

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