Picture of Gustav Line, CEO of SmartCraft standing in front of a construction site.

The winning craftsmen are digital

The economic downturn and tougher competition make it necessary for the construction industry to think innovatively and accelerate its digitalization efforts to ensure profitability. At the same time, the industry should think long-term, and the use of digital solutions must become an integral part of the educational path, even for carpenters, plumbers, and electricians.

For many years, many carpenters, plumbers, and electricians have had more than enough demand to handle. But now, as interest rates rise, construction costs accelerate, and uncertainty increases, the situation is starting to change.

Therefore, the construction companies must prepare for a more challenging market. And like most others, one thing matters: structured work with revenues and costs. However, this a sensitive issue for many. The construction industry is, in fact, among the least digitized industries, and for thousands of businesses, ring binders, post-it notes, and simple Excel spreadsheets constitute their critical operational systems. Unfortunately, in 2023, this is not sufficient for effective competition.

Everything indicates that craftsmen who do not prioritize digitalization will be left behind. Without dedicated digital solutions, they miss out on upselling and cross-selling opportunities, often fail to invoice for all their work, and experience greater material waste. Additionally, they face challenges in planning and coordinating labor, struggle with effective customer dialogue, spend too much time on documentation, and do not obtain the best purchasing terms.

At SmartCraft, we have been working on the digitalization of constriction companies since 1987, and our experience over the years shows that the most digital companies succeed significantly better in competition than others. Earlier this year, we asked an external consultant to analyze this systematically, and data collected from 1000 companies shows that those who used one of our project management tools increased their revenue by 35 percent from 2019 to 2022. Other companies increased their revenue by 19 percent.

Many craftsmen recognize this, which is why both we and several of our colleagues in the industry continue to experience growth in customers and revenue even in poorer economic conditions.

At the same time, only about half of the construction companies are currently digitized, and one may wonder why even more have not transitioned into the digital world. One of the reasons lies in the educational path. We believe that practical digitalization should be strengthened during the training of new craftsmen. The use of digital solutions should be much more integrated into the educational path.

In some vocational education programs, such as at Fagskolen in Viken in Notodden and Nordland Fagskole in Melbu, students have recently been given free access to one of our project management solutions as part of their practical training. The experiences have been very positive, and the feedback from both teachers and students is favorable. A significant part of their learning involves how they can strengthen their revenue by working systematically with customer relations, follow-ups, and organization while streamlining paperwork and reducing costs.

Because we have no doubt: the next generation of craftsmen will be fully digital.

Gustav Line
CEO, SmartCraft

Related articles

BOX Bygg Construction site

BOX Bygg uses Congrid for seamless construction data flow

Electro training institution Distansia chooses SmartCraft

Can digital tools ensure better company culture?