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Top Takeaways from the Dodge Construction Network Owners Study


  • We’ve compiled 4 main takeaways from the 2022 Connected Construction: The Owners’ Perspective SmartMarket Brief by Dodge Construction Network.
  • Read on to understand where owner organizations stand in terms of digitizing internal and external workflows, and how they are impacting the digital transformation of the entire sector. 

Dodge Construction Network released its first SmartMarket Brief of 2022 this month. The report, titled Connected Construction: The Owners’ Perspective, is the first in a series based on the study of the use and benefits of digital workflows in the construction sector by owners, architects, engineers, and contractors.

This report comes at an eventful time in the construction. As the world moves into our second year of post-Covid recovery, construction plays a big role in supporting overall economic growth. Recent investments in infrastructure funding and construction technology should bode well for the sector. Yet persistent headwinds, including inflation, labor shortages, and supply chain disruption make it impossible for organizations to maintain operations as usual.

Let’s take a closer look at one of the stakeholders driving significant change in construction: The owner. Dodge’s study reveals that they are poised to lead the industry in adoption of digital transformation. 


Main Takeaways from the Dodge Construction Network Connected Construction: The Owners’ Perspective Report


Takeaway 1: Digital workflows are important. 85% of owners surveyed are already implementing digital transformation. Top benefits of digital workflows cited are increased process efficiency, better-informed decision making, and improved cost predictability and ability to mitigate risks. 

One of the most significant findings is that owner organizations who do not use digital workflows have far less insight into how their processes contribute to errors and delays. This suggests that digitized workflows play a role in continuous improvement for the future. 

Source: Dodge Construction Network


  • But: For the 15% of owners who have not started using digital workflows, increased project volumes stemming from the surge in infrastructure may expose them to risk.

  • Reason to dig deeper: The data suggests that small owner organizations may have an advantage over larger ones when it comes to digital transformation. Read the report to find out why.


Takeaway 2: Leading owners are now expanding digital workflows to external partners such as contractors and engineers. 78% of owners that rarely use digital workflows and 62% of owners that frequently use digital workflows plan to invest in digitization in the next three years. Top areas of investment include activities such as design review, bidding/procurement, and project management. 

  • But: Far more owners experienced an increase rather than a decrease in the number of solutions they have deployed. This leads to more complications when it comes to digitizing workflows across the various stakeholders. Owners will need to embrace connected construction solutions in order to unlock value across external workflows. Here’s what Matt Sprague, Sr. Product Manager, Trimble, has to say about collaboration and the shared model’s role in connected construction.


Takeaway 3: The biggest impacts involving connectivity are felt between owner and general contractor. It is also the hardest to get right. Of the 59% of owners who experience frequent issues, 51% name GC/construction manager as the stakeholder with which they experience the most frequent connectivity breakdowns. Breakdowns are least commonly reported between owners and architects and permitting authorities. 

  • But: General contracting and construction management firms have an opportunity to outperform their competitors by closing this gap with connected, digitized workflows. 

  • Reason to dig deeper: Owners also ranked 6 ways to improve satisfaction with their connectedness to other stakeholders. To see what came out on top, read the report. 


Takeaway 4: Of the many areas to digitally transform, preconstruction will benefit owners the most. In order to understand the top activities that owners believe create issues with errors and delays in their projects, prescontruction, construction, and closeout activities were ranked in terms of their frequency and impact. These ratios revealed that design review, estimating, bidding/procurement, and project intake/request are the four processes with the most potential to derail a project. 


Source: Dodge Construction Network


This correlates with takeaway 2 above, which shows that the top two areas where owners plan to digitize in the next three years are design review and bidding/procurement. 

  • But: Since preconstruction activities involve so many players and so much guesswork, it’s not surprising that this phase of construction has the potential to make or break a project. That’s why it’s key to choose connected solutions that maintain data integrity and add value for every stakeholder in the supply chain, as Dan Conery, Sr. Director, Product Strategy and Management, Trimble, explains here.


  • Reason to dig deeper: What did owners have to say about budget approval and change workflows, which rank second to preconstruction activities in terms of impact? Read the report. 


Read the entire Dodge SmartMarket Report to learn more about how project owners are changing the way they work and how the entire construction sector works. 

About the Author

Rachel is the Content Marketing Manager for Trimble Construction. She's written for finance, SaaS, manufacturing, telecom, and healthcare companies for 16 years. Writing about construction is her favorite gig yet.

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