The Missing Discussion in Construction Labor Productivity

The historical trend of labor productivity is oft-referenced in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. In a nutshell, construction productivity over the last 50 years has been nearly flat while all other similar industries have had robust gains. Stanford University’s Dr. Paul Teicholz has a detailed analysis of this trend. Construction Industry Resources, LLC has a similar viewpoint, and the consulting company McKinsey adds their take. But there's one discussion that we think is important to note because it is an integral part of our industry and deserves more discussion.

We're adding tech to the AEC industry that improves workflow productivity, but where are the overall productivity gains?

As an industry, we need to discuss this problem so that we're adding technology in ways that realize value for our stakeholders. Consider the technology we've added to the AEC industry over the last 50 years:

The FedEx Analogy

Last week, we talked about software companies that are integrated into other industries, creating amazing businesses that are able to achieve massive growth. One such company is FedEx. Started by Fred Smith in 1971, FedEx revolutionized a business that had been around for a very long time: letter and package delivery.

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