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75% of US Construction Firms Encounter Rework Twice a Week

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Eye-opening new research from construction AR pioneer XYZ Reality reveals majority of UK and US construction projects are plagued by errors and rarely delivered on time.

  • 94% of US construction companies report having a backlog of projects
  • 63% of projects are “somewhat or very frequently” delivered out of schedule
  • Advanced tech and equipment is the leading measure that firms employ to try and address rework.

Santa Barbara, CA,: Today, XYZ Reality, the world’s leading Engineering Grade Augmented Reality (AR)™ solutions provider for construction, publishes a landmark report on the major challenges facing UK and US construction and the solutions that are being used today to combat them.

Carried out in partnership with market research experts OnePoll, the report surveyed 541 decision makers from the leading contractors in the United States and the United Kingdom, revealing the true scale of the delays and defects currently squeezing the sector’s already tight margins.

The causes were myriad, with ongoing supply chain disruptions (52%), rising construction costs (43%), and sustainability (36%) ranked by company executives as the top three greatest challenges for the coming year. Design changes, a labor skills shortage and poor communication were also flagged as major internal contributing factors.

Enduring rework challenges

The research also gives crucial insights into the root causes of project delays and rework, as well as the implications on budgets and schedule, output and client satisfaction, going on to showcase technology’s role in improving productivity.

Taking a deeper dive into the US-specific results, the findings reveal an alarmingly high number of respondents regularly miss deadlines (63%), with almost all companies polled reporting a backlog of projects. Design changes and labor shortages were the top two causes cited, both ranked by 26% of respondents, closely followed by poor communication (21%).

Quality remains an issue too. A significant minority, around a third of respondents, consider accuracy to be “very important”. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why most respondents added they frequently encounter errors leading to rework, also suggesting the need to prioritize timely completion may lead some to overlook the importance of maintaining high standards.

Commenting on the findings, XYZ Reality’s Founder & CEO, David Mitchell, said, “The troubling findings here show, plain as day, we cannot rely on a reactive approach to solve complex construction issues. We must eradicate errors and project delays fueled by inaccuracy, to eliminate rework at its core. We’re on the precipice of a make-or-break moment for the sector, and to truly thrive, not just survive, embracing digital technology is a must.”

Humanity at the core

Exploring the numbers further, four-fifths attributed poor quality assurance, error, and resulting rework to human factors. Poor communication (45%), inexperienced workers (39%), insufficient supervision (34%), and design changes (33%) were consistently identified as the main reasons. ​​Interestingly, less than a tenth of respondents blame ineffective technology.

Error and rework can quickly ramp up project costs, leading contractors to desperately seek ways to bring down elevated construction costs. The report revealed the tendency to change project design (65%), stockpile (64%), and reduce overhead costs (56%) to be the key ways companies are balancing the scales. Technology is​​​​ ​​another popular option for cost control, pointed to by almost half of company executives. This reflects the growing confidence in tech as a solution to many of the challenges facing the US construction industry today.

This shift in momentum was mirrored by three-fifths of respondents highlighting technology as a leading solution for addressing rework and errors. AR was particularly popular, with its versatile technology – including, but not limited to, onsite measuring, drawing and markup tools, and camera capture and model viewer applications - reportedly used by an impressive 65% of respondents. Synonymously, Engineering Grade AR is predicted to have the biggest impact on onsite productivity, spotlighted by 3 in 4 companies.

David concludes, “It’s encouraging to see the US construction sector embracing digital adoption so enthusiastically, but there’s still a need for better communication and collaboration. Taking human error out of the picture once and for all is a critical step in eliminating error. As innovative technology like Engineering Grade AR becomes more prolific, offering unparalleled levels of accuracy, cost and availability are no longer hurdles for tech adoption, making it easier to empower and connect teams working on complex projects.”

To download the research report click here.


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Steph Broadfield