Construction is recognised as one of the least productive sectors and productivity in construction in Ireland is below that in other similar sized countries in Europe and further afield. One of the key factors in this is the under investment in technology and digital solutions.

While there is a lot of talk of BIM and the benefits it can bring, there are many other forms of technology that are more relevant to the vast majority of construction companies in Ireland – the 47,000 SMEs that make up over 90% of the industry here.

With Covid, companies transitioned quickly to remote working and introducing technologies to enable them to continue working while remaining safe. The need was obvious and this, for many, was their first step to going digital. There are many apps and technologies out there that, at relatively low cost, that can make doing business much easier. But for most SMEs finding the time to find the solutions that are available out there and then working out which one is best and best value is just too much. Where do you actually begin?

The Construction Professionals Skillnet can work with you to see where you could save time and effort and then identify possible solutions. In addition, there is funding available to assist SMEs introduce a digital solution to their company. (An SME employs less than 250 people and has a turnover of less than €43m).

Digital technology can help the management of information, finance and material, enabling companies to have better information and control – and it need not cost a small fortune! In fact, one of the things that should be investigated before investing in technology is the Return on Investment. If it is not going to save you time, give you better or more accurate and real time information and thus save you money or give you the opportunity to earn more, then there is no point in investing in it.

A number of companies have already taken advantage of the funds available. What they are investing in varies significantly. For example, one company is introducing a system whereby invoices can be scanned and the information will go straight into their accounts package rather than having someone manually enter them. Another company is introducing a tender managing system, while another invested in underground detection equipment and yet another in an automated site capture tool.   There are also numerous apps available to enable SMEs to do things via their phone instead of waiting to be back in the office again.

Solutions for SMEs don’t need to be all encompassing large investments. However, if you are investing in this way it is essential to streamline your processes first. If there are problems cropping up in a manual system, these are only exacerbated by speeding them up with technology.

Do you have something you would like to improve and think that there may be a technological solution? If so, contact Liz at the Construction Professionals Skillnet at

In addition, the Construction Professionals Skillnet has launched its Digital Construction Pack which walks readers through the first steps of introducing technology right up to bidding for digital project delivery. This pack is an update of CIF’s Digital Construction Guides

Sign up to our Network Newsletter

Share This