The Construction Industry does not consider itself technologically minded. It was shown recently that Construction companies invest the least in IT Security for this reason. Despite giant companies in the industry such as Travis Perkins having been successfully targeted in the past couple of years, there has been no significant shift to invest more highly in technology across the industry.
Part of the reason is difficulty and cost. Contractors often operate in different places and in unwelcoming environments for laptops and tablets, taking on a range of tasks within a project. Often devices are not used properly, hard to track and require training to use. In many cases the technology out there and the cost to business just doesn’t seem to viable with the way it works.
Some tasks have certainly seen improvements through technology, such as surveying equipment and project management tools. There have also been improvements to intelligent inspection equipment with drones now capable of performing exterior checks on the sides of buildings, securing huge time savings. Tablets are now also more resistant to dust and water, with bigger batteries, more memory and better applications.
The truth is though, for smaller sub-contractors, while technology exists and it is sometimes used, often they feel that the core of their business is not technological. Technology is expensive and time consuming. With margins getting smaller and smaller, it seems harder to justify increased spending on a part of the business which just isn’t that critical.
The GDPR and Construction
The GDPR is a new set of data protection regulations which take effect in May 2018. It defines the way that businesses need to control information within their business, and threatens fines for those who do not take the necessary steps.
Fines begin at 2% annual turnover for businesses under £2 Million and 4% for businesses whose annual turnover exceeds £4 Million.
More than that, if a company belongs to a group, it exposes the group to the same fine. This is a big problem for the construction industry which has large groups which by-and-large sub-contract to smaller firms which specialise in particular projects.
The regulation means many things, including many that affect smaller companies. For instance: any company that holds customer information on any device needs to show that they have taken the correct steps to protect that information through encryption. Any device such as a laptop which holds customer information but is not encrypted would mean a breach of the GDPR.
To solve these issues, companies need to either invest in this technology or setup partnerships with the contractor with an agreement they will put certain measures in place to work with that contractor. It will largely depend on that company as to the checks and controls, but any company which does not take the required steps to meet the new rules will be prosecuted under the harsh new guidelines.
NEW Quality Assessment Systems
Following the recent assessment of apartment buildings which do not meet the required building standards, the need for proper Quality Assessment checks is now much more important. Any company not seen to be taking the correct precautions may be prosecuted under harsh new regulations which are set to come through.
It seems clear that construction companies will face much more scrutiny in terms of their employees, qualifications and sign-offs. All Quality Assessments must be stored in line with the new GDPR standards and be fully auditable following an investigation.
Making the Updates Simple
KJL offer a single solution which meets many of these key criteria directly. It brings Project Management, Client Management, Contractor Payments, CIS Tax, Data Protection, Procurement, QA’s and Contractor Document Checking (for registrations) all into a single, secure place.
With one single web-portal PROStruction gives the tools that Site managers, Quantity Surveyors, Contractors and Back-office Employees need to work together effectively.
It can even connect with ievo biometric systems to help companies manage document checking and notify managers of specific workers on site for HSE and emergencies.
To book a consultation on how you can meet the requirements for the GDPR or book a demonstration of our powerful Construction Solution, call 01268 627111 or click here to learn more about how PROStruction can help you.