McKeon Group: Construction tech trends and opportunities

McKeon Group: Construction tech trends and opportunities

17/06/2022

 

Is McKeon Group actually “a technology company posing as a construction group…”?

 

A few weeks ago, McKeon Group’s Managing Director, Tomás Mac Eoin, represented the Group at the Data Science Foundation International Summit. He was there to share the great work being done by Hereworks, the technology arm of McKeon Group, in the areas of data science, big data and artificial intelligence.  At this event, our MD was challenged by Joan Mulvihill, Digitalisation Lead at Siemens, as to whether McKeon Group is actually a technology company posing as a construction group… It is a fair question to pose in 2022 given our recruitment of Data Scientists and Software Developers, and given our use of Electron Paramagnetic Resonance, or EPR, to detect environmental pollutants, our use of  BIM technologies and enhanced project management systems across all projects, and of course our sector-leading MSI, or Master Systems Integrator, services. What do all of these technologies have in common? Data is the primary resource. 

The scale and breadth of the construction projects undertaken across McKeon Group means we are surrounded by data sources; unlocking this data through innovation and extracting insights is helping our team to deliver better projects, in a better way, contributing to a better built environment for everyone. 

Can we build better? You bet!

We see the construction offering changing. And the pace of this change across the global industry is accelerating in an exciting way. The tech community has become increasingly interested in the built environment through proptech (property technology) and contech (construction technology), which is not surprising. These are industries that have – in the past – been particularly resistant to digital transformation. But this is changing, TechCrunch has been documenting much of this change and recently ran a feature with five of the most-respected construction tech investors, where they analysed this year’s trends and opportunities for construction technologies. 

The investors included Heinrich Gröller, a partner at Speedinvest; Nikitas Koutoupes, Managing Director at Insight Partners; Momei Qu, Managing Director at PSP Growth; Suzanne Fletcher, Venture Partner at Prime Movers Lab; and Sungjoon Cho, General Partner at D20 Capital.

Emerging technologies attracting investment in 2022 include robotics, enhanced data management, automation and immersive technologies, such as augmented reality.

All the investors interviewed referenced the shortage of skilled workers as one of the greatest challenges facing the industry, and the digitisation of the industry. 

Gröller went further to say that tech resistance comes down to the fact that the margins are low and everything is project-based:

It is difficult to find a project manager who is willing to take the risk to implement bleeding-edge tech on their project.”

Koutoupes expressed excitement about how the industry is shifting its mindset from simply digitising workflows to transforming how projects get built using insights, automation and AI:

Every important builder is exploring how these new technologies will drive productivity on the job site.

 

Where are the construction tech opportunities in Q3 2022? 

Koutoupes: “We’re interested in investing across the entire construction lifecycle — from pre-construction tools like scheduling and bidding, to job site tools, including progress tracking and data and analytics to drive efficiency… We’ve seen COVID as a tailwind for the construction tech industry. Due to the pandemic, many contech workers were unable to freely visit their job sites and realized they had less visibility than they’d like into what was happening onsite. For an industry that has historically been averse to tech, feeling this pain point was a real catalyst for adoption.

It is worth reading this feature in full on the TechCrunch website: CLICK HERE

It is clear that construction tech is still at an early stage, with plenty of pain points remaining. For innovators, this means plenty of scope and potential for innovative tools and technologies to address these pain points, not just at construction stage but from pre-design right through the entire lifecycle of a building. The adoption of BIM technologies has shown that the industry is ready to embrace productivity and project-enhancing software, and through Hereworks  pioneering, we know that building owners and occupiers are certainly ready!

 

About McKeon Group: Established in 1950 by Tom McKeon, McKeon Group remains a family business to this day. ISO certified for more than two decades, McKeon Group offers expert construction, fit out and building services. The Group delivers projects, services and maintenance across a range of sectors for State, local authority, FDI and private clients. For more information, contact https://mckeon.ie.

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