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  • 5 May 2020 11:14

Nearly half the Australian construction sector turns to technology for risk management in the midst of pandemic uncertainty

New research from Procore shows significant change in construction industry outlook and increased reliance on technology due to COVID-19 pandemic

SYDNEY, Australia – 5 May 2020 Procore Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of construction management software, today released the first findings of its second annual Australian construction industry benchmark report, How We Build Now – Tracking Technology in Construction 2020. These findings reveal that, while business confidence has dropped considerably for Australian builders as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, many are relying on technology to help manage risk (48%) and increase productivity (38%). The new research also found that 39 percent are using this quieter period to update technologies, systems and processes.

The research, conducted by ACA Research in April 2020, shows that, while 69 percent of construction companies were confident about industry business conditions at the beginning of the year, this has dropped to 43 percent just two months later. The confidence of small businesses (>10 employees) seems to be the hardest hit, dropping to just 30 percent. Meanwhile, large businesses (100+ employees) appear significantly more resilient, with 57 percent still confident about the year ahead. Overall, 33 percent of builders surveyed said that, if business does not improve over the next 12 months, they will need to consider closing down.

The construction industry contributes approximately nine percent of Australia’s GDP, and has been labelled an “Essential Service” permitted to continue operating during the lockdown period. While there are signs of work slowing down, there are also positive shifts as the industry continues to transform business processes and support the “new normal” working environment with technology.

“As the industry faces the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen a slight downturn in work and the pipeline for the months and years ahead has become slightly uncertain,” said Dean Willemsen, Managing Director of Prime Build. “With the shift in working conditions, we have undergone a significant change management exercise, and now have the opportunity to think about how we can better leverage the people, processes and technology we’ve got more effectively. What we do now will define our businesses in the future.”

Findings from Procore’s survey of Australian builders during the COVID-19 pandemic also include:

  • Business outlook
  • The number of construction projects is expected to drop by 34% overall, while large companies anticipate a small 6% increase
  • The value of construction projects is expected to drop by 33%
  • Commercial and industrial building projects are likely to see the biggest hit, with a drop of 19%
  • Business impact
  • Almost one in four (22%) Small construction companies are cutting staff wages to the minimum JobKeeper allowance
  • More than half (55%) of Large companies are reducing remuneration for business owners and/or senior executives to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the business
  • 41% are using fewer subcontractors on site
  • The role of technology
  • 48% are using technology to manage risk on site
  • 38% are using technology to improve productivity
  • 30% are using technology to reduce the volume of materials that need to be held on site
  • “Whilst this pandemic has brought significant challenges to Australian construction, it is a resilient industry that has weathered its share of economic downturns. At Procore, we intend to do everything in our power to support every business, small and large, to emerge stronger together,” said Tom Karemacher, Vice President APAC at Procore Technologies. “I’m so impressed with the camaraderie we are seeing in the industry, and how quickly companies have pivoted to make the most of technology to support their businesses.”

    The second in an annual ‘benchmark series’, the research behind How We Build Now – Tracking Technology in Construction 2020 was conducted by independent research company ACA Research. The main survey of 260 construction companies across Australia was conducted in February 2020, with a follow up survey of 152 companies conducted in April 2020.

    The new How We Build Now – Tracking Technology in Construction 2020 report will be launched at a virtual event on Thursday, 4 June, 2020. Register now.

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    About Procore

    Procore is a leading provider of construction management software. Our platform connects every project stakeholder to solutions we've built specifically for the construction industry—for the owner, the general contractor, and the specialty contractor. Procore’s App Marketplace has a multitude of partner solutions that integrate seamlessly with our platform, giving construction professionals the freedom to connect with what works best for them. Headquartered in Carpinteria, California, Procore has offices around the globe. Learn more at procore.com.

    Media contact:

    India Bednall / Samantha Rosich

    Espresso Communications

    procore@espressocomms.com.au

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