Earlier this week about 300 preconstruction professionals came together at the Estimation Technology for Construction conference in San Francisco. This was the inaugural event of this conference and from the popularity, interest, and relevance of the agenda I suspect this conference will continue to be a major draw in years to come. Major topics covered during the conference included the evaluation and implementation of technology, the challenges and successes of a pure 3D world for preconstruction, and working in a hybrid world.
As a vendor who attends a fair number of these events, this event was well put together, the presentations were on topic and highly relevant, and overall this was one of the best industry conferences we have seen put together in a long time. One of the challenges with many industry events is that speakers focus purely on successes. This conference had some of that but also had a lot of discussion around what companies had tried and what the challenges were from people, processes, technology, and data perspectives. It was refreshing to hear how people were making changes and most importantly why. In speaking with many other attendees the sentiment was very positive towards this conference and everyone I spoke to had takeaways from the event.
My takeaway was that the world is changing. Project owners are seeking more insight into the ramifications of their decisions from a cost perspective and, as such, both general contractors and architects are trying to provide this. Technology is available to assist with this; however, people are not used to using it. Our processes are time consuming and the current inefficiencies associated with our processes needs to change. That said, it was refreshing to hear companies wanting to deliver more value and recognizing that our tried and true processes need to change and evolve.