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The Innovation of Construction SMEs and Recommendations

Improvisation Slows Down the Innovation of Construction SMEs

Small and medium-sized construction companies prioritize obtaining contracts and production over any R&D activity. They are very focused on day-to-day activities and do not spend time generating creative ideas. Their technological improvements are usually the result of necessity and aimed at solving specific problems on site. This innovation not communicate or disseminated and ends up lost, according to a study.

For high quality work in Construction Companies in Lahore

Construction managers are aware that they innovate to solve problems that arise during construction or to satisfy customer requirements, according to the study.

Construction For SMEs

Construction is not experiencing its best moment. The crisis and the bursting of the real estate bubble have affected the sector. However, large groups have been able to diversify, seek business in the international market and dedicate resources to innovate. Something that is much more complicated for SMEs, whose main objective is to stay afloat in a hostile environment. This is the conclusion of an investigation.

These companies prioritize obtaining new contracts and production over any other activity

Prioritizing Construction SMEs

As, professor of construction engineering at this university and one of the authors of the study, told, companies in the sector work with contracts that have a limited period, normally months. And they need to ensure a minimum contract annual to be able to survive; especially when it comes to SMEs. These companies –little diversified in their product and in their market– prioritize obtaining new contracts and production over any other activity.

Planning And Controlling Construction SMEs

He highlights that the managers of construction SMEs completely focused on making production profitable for the company and satisfactory for the customer. So, they spend most of their efforts planning and controlling it, giving little importance to everything else with all this, they do not have time for other activities, among others, reflecting on what has done and, if it is something innovative, documenting it and disseminating it, he adds.

On the contrary, the large firms have been systematizing their innovative efforts for some time, driven by public support, certifications, and certain tax benefits.

Process Improvement

The implementation of a model that improves the processes of innovation and knowledge acquisition could be the solution for smaller firms to overcome their disadvantages. To study the best way to do it, UPV researchers have analyzed the management system of a medium-sized construction company over a period of nine years.

Satisfy Customer Requirements

It has been very interesting to perceive that construction managers are aware that they innovate, fundamentally to solve problems that arise during construction or to satisfy customer requirements. These are occasional technical improvements born of necessity. Their problem is that the lack of time –and of recognition by the company’s management– prevents them from reflecting, documenting and adequately communicating these innovations, says the professor.

Innovation In Public Tenders

However, some changes began to see. The additional assessment for innovation included by public agencies in the bidding documents from 2005, which assigned a specific score related to innovation in public tenders between 10% and 30% of the total, gave rise to managers they will begin to change their attitude, he adds.

Systematize Innovation

In their analysis, the researchers saw that the support of senior management to the technicians who were executing the works was essential to motivate the entire organization, and to introduce changes that would help systematize innovation.

Resolution Of Problems

With simple modifications in some procedures, the adequate communication of the resolution of problems that were likely to become an innovation facilitates to the construction managers – he adds -. In this way, they obtained the attention and support of the company’s central services to find the best solution, document it and disseminate it properly.

The technological improvements introduced are usually the result of necessity and intended to solve specific problems on site

Recommendations

Regarding the recommendations, points out that it is very convenient to have an innovation department but, given the size and resources of these companies, it may be enough that there is a person in charge identifiable by the rest of the staff, he comments.

External Support

Considering the scarcity of resources of construction SMEs, believes that external support from advisors and collaborators must consider.

Results

Finally, he adds, it is very important to communicate the results achieved and the people who have participated in their achievement to all company personnel, collaborators, suppliers, subcontractors and clients, the engineer stresses.

The UPV study is part of a trilogy that aims to improve the innovation management processes of construction companies.

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