Digital Builder Ep 6: 2021 & Beyond - How to Increase Productivity & Predictability On the Jobsite

Digital Builder episode 6 jim lynch

Unifying your team and your data will drive productivity and predictability on the jobsite—two things that are vital for successful construction businesses. To get there, builders are turning to unified construction management solutions, enabling their teams to work better together.

Each week on our Digital Builder podcast, we explore themes from leading experts in the construction technology field. On Episode 6 of the podcast, Jim Lynch, Sr. Vice President & General Manager at Autodesk, joins me to share how a unified approach helps construction teams get more done faster and safer. We discuss productivity and predictability on the jobsite, including:

  • How a unified construction management platform helps data flow more freely
  • The current state of the construction industry
  • Predictions for the future of construction and industrialization
  • Understand the why behind some recent product announcements at Autodesk University

"To ultimately drive a better process from design through planning, to what happens on the jobsite, out to operations and maintenance, you really do need a single platform." — Jim Lynch

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Key Takeaways from Episode 6   

On the merits of a single platform approach.

6:08 Jim Lynch: 

To ultimately drive a better process from design through planning, to what happens on the jobsite, out to operations and maintenance, you really do need a single platform.

By having information live in one platform, one, let's call it a common data environment, customers can really truly have data flow fluidly across workflows, and perhaps most importantly, deliver project level insights.

On the top challenges for construction.

11:47 Jim Lynch:

To me, I think the biggest challenge the industry faces going forward long-term is a labor shortage. So how do we address that? Despite all the gains, productivity [in construction] still remains low relative to other industries, and risk continues to be a major issue around schedule and budget. I think those are challenges that the industry has faced. Technology has helped, but I think we've got to do more from a technology perspective. Now, what's encouraging to me is while construction has traditionally been seen as a laggard in terms of technology adoption, there's no question that over the last five years there has been a growing, growing demand for technology in construction, and for sure technology adoption is accelerating.

On greater adoption of technology in the construction industry.

13:04 Jim Lynch:

You're going to see more technology adoption. I think where Autodesk plays a role really is [by offering] a unified platform that doesn't just address one aspect of the process or one issue, but really looks at the process holistically, from design through pre-construction planning, out to the job site, and ultimately out to operations and maintenance. I think that's what the industry needs to drive greater productivity, to drive greater predictability, and to really help with challenges like the labor shortage. I think a unified platform that spans the life cycle of a project is going to be critically important, and I think Autodesk is well-positioned to help there.

On the power of having access to data and insights. 

15:19 Jim Lynch:

Having access to project data is having the ability to use that data to predict issues. To unveil interesting and important insights and key learnings is extremely, extremely powerful for the industry, and that is going to continue and only going to accelerate. I believe that a connected platform allows you to extract that data and get those valuable insights, which ultimately helps you to drive more predictability into the process.

On partnership in construction technology.

16:18 Jim Lynch:

It is really impressive to see what is happening in construction technology. I mean, it feels like every day, there's a new startup that you hear about that is doing something incredibly interesting and incredibly important. As I look at our strategy, having a strong partner network is critically important to us, because let's face it, construction is complex. There are a lot of different parts to it that no single vendor can completely address, and so the ability to partner with some of the other technology providers is critically important.

On the importance of collaboration in construction and technology.

23:45 Jim Lynch:

I think the one tool that I try to carry and that I ask my leadership team to carry is this tool of collaboration. I say that because what we're doing in terms of developing software technology is a team sport, and what our customers do, construction is absolutely a team sport. Greater collaboration, I am sure, leads to greater outcomes, so for me, collaboration is that one tool that I carry with me everywhere.

Eric Thomas

Eric is a Sr. Multimedia Content Marketing Manager at Autodesk and hosts the Digital Builder podcast. He has worked in the construction industry for over a decade at top ENR General Contractors and AEC technology companies. Eric has worked for Autodesk for nearly 5 years and joined the company via the PlanGrid acquisition. He has held numerous marketing roles at Autodesk including managing global industry research projects and other content marketing programs. Today Eric focuses on multimedia programs with an emphasis on video.