The evolution of IT in construction – the history…

The key tasks that are undertaken using an IT system within a construction organisation were at one time all carried out long hand.

For example the accountant had a double entry book keeping system, the estimator built up project estimates using a long handed take off sheets, abstracts and built up prices long hand, the project planner diligently completed a Gantt chart showing all the programme activities, durations, reliance’s and a critical path, the buyer ensured that he had price lists from suppliers and requisition sheets from the sites then produced enquiries and comparisons of prices to calculate which suppliers to use, the handwrote purchase orders and posted them; then when delivery notes arrived they were pinned to the back of the purchase orders until the invoices arrived and all three documents were matched up allowing the site clerks to allocate the cost to the area of the site the materials were used on and then ensure that the office clerks cleared the invoices for payment. Then there were the quantity surveyors who worked through the bills of quantities produced by the estimators with supporting build up to rates; they measured the work done calculated the bonus for the labour on site producing interim valuations and subcontract liabilities – all on dim sheets and abstract paper.

At that time everything was full integrated because there were enough people employed to analyse all the data and ensure it was all joined up – that the project programme, valuations and costs to data were aligned in terms of cut of dates and areas of the site they related to.

Why then today, when we have such wonderful IT capabilities are these things no longer aligned and/or integrated???

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