What's all the hype about?
Construction managers at any type of organization are responsible for planning, coordinating, and overseeing construction projects from start to finish. Managers must ensure that their projects are completed on time, on budget, and to required standards. This means needing to control many moving pieces simultaneously, such as contracts, schedules, resource planning, budget management, through to the relationships with numerous 3rd party contractors, architects, and engineers.
With the rise of new technologies and solutions, construction management has become more streamlined and digital. This brings about its own challenges of complexity, data management, and access controls, but is necessary for the construction industry to continue innovating and improving.
ChatGPT is in the headlines these days as a new cutting edge technology with the opportunity to create very impactful change in how we access and manage information. The AI-powered chatbot can answer complex questions with well-written, thorough responses.
How will ChatGPT impact construction management?
A first point of clarity is that ChatGPT itself, as a specific application of artificial intelligence, likely won’t be directly impactful on the construction industry. What we’ll likely see in the near future is existing (and new) construction technologies incorporating ChatGPT-like functionality into their platforms.
Here are 5 ways we here at Aidi envision this technology manifesting in construction software.
1. Make even more sense of your data
With ChatGPT-like functionality embedded directly into the construction platform software you use today, you would be able to make even more sense of all the construction data being tracked by these centralized systems. You would be able to get detailed and accurate answers to complex questions like:
- “What was my work capacity last quarter and what is it forecasted to be next quarter?”
- “What is the contact details for the lead architect working on the parking lot renovation?”
- “Which projects are most at risk right now?”
In brief, you’re getting an enhanced, Google-like experience for your own construction portfolio!
Given that many construction projects are still managed using Excel, advanced technologies like ChatGPT would allow you to make better sense of all that information. The first necessary step is moving from those locally stored files to a cloud-based, always up-to-date solution. This would allow AI technology to read that information and provide you will the accurate, well-informed answers you are looking for. Sounds pretty great eh?
2. Instant custom reports
Need to report on a few different data points about your construction portfolio? Soon, you'll be able to ask your platform to create that report for you. Some examples could be:
- “How many projects were over budget in the last 2 years and what was the average overage?”
- “Which 10 contractors have we worked with the most and how much did we pay them?”
- “How many shop drawings did we produce & review in 2022?”
For each report, you will receive a one-of-a-kind, on the spot answer, instantly. This will be based on accurate and the most updated data on hand. Gone will be the days sorting through spreadsheet versions trying to answer pressing questions from leadership. Better yet, as the ChatGPT functionality improves, you will be able to get graphics & charts instead of simple text responses (which is more or less what ChatGPT delivers today).
The time spent compiling and building reports will be greatly reduced. You would even be able to set recurring reporting automatically using ChatGPT-functionality. That is to say, you could tell your AI-powered platform to "Email me a report on budget spend & construction progress on the 1st of each month" and expect to have it sitting in your inbox at the expected time.
3. Your AI-powered construction coordinator
ChatGPT will be able to support the management of construction projects, streamline communication, and facilitate workflows. It will be able to provide things like:
- Automated updates and alerts
- Tasks scheduling
- Tracking project expenses
- Monitor budget performance (and notify individuals if something changes)
Something to note here is that AI-technology is not intended to replace humans, but truly give them superpowers. The construction managers & coordinators of the future will benefit from having a comfort & familiarity with AI technologies. While it’s tough to say exactly when these changes will come, at the rate of AI advancement, it may be sooner than you think.
4. Collaborate faster
ChatGPT can also be used to collaborate with stakeholders, such as subcontractors, suppliers, and architects. It can provide automated updates and progress reports, as well as help manage customer communication and feedback. This helps to ensure that all stakeholders are kept informed of the project's status and that any changes or issues are addressed promptly.
5. Organize documents quickly
Finally, ChatGPT can be used to help construction managers stay organized. It can store, organize, and access project documents, such as contracts, plans, and reports. It can also be used to monitor project milestones and deadlines, and to generate reports that provide an overview of project progress.
Imagine not needing to sort your Sharepoint or Downloads folder anymore? All supported by ChatGPT.
In a very near future, ChatGPT-like technology will become an invaluable tool for construction managers, providing a range of features that can help streamline processes, improve collaboration, and ensure projects stay on track. It is a powerful and versatile tool that will help construction managers stay organized, informed, and in control.
We're hosting a webinar series about using a not so new technology for construction management: Excel. Check out the details on that here!
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