Lack of AEC Collaboration Hitting Project Deadlines and Budgets

Digital Construction Week, London, UK 26th October 2016 – Despite widespread adoption of better AEC industry processes, such as BIM Level 2, research reveals that less than one in ten (8%) AEC professionals feel that the level of cross-stakeholder collaboration is highly effective within their organisation. In fact, the majority (95%) of respondents said that changes could be made within their organisation to drive more effective collaboration on today’s projects.

As a result, client projects are being heavily impacted, with half (50%) of survey respondents who believe that the level of cross-stakeholder collaboration is not effective or could be improved, reporting that client projects had run over deadline, or gone over budget (50%). As well as the impact on clients, poor collaboration has had a negative effect on AEC firms’ businesses too, with around three in ten respondents (27%) saying that staff turnover has increased. Around one in five (17%) also reported that clients have been lost or repeat business opportunities missed.

The research, conducted by Vanson Bourne and Newforma, is an annual survey based on in-depth interviews with 100 UK-based professionals working for organisations with over 20 employees in the AEC sector. It is conducted each year to understand the impact of technology adoption on the processes and operations of firms.

More Technology, Less Usage

This year’s results indicated a strong industry investment in new digital tools, likely to have been driven in part by the Government-mandated BIM Level 2 deadline this year. Almost all (99%) respondents said their organisations have integrated new digital tools over the last 12 months, but the majority (85%) of respondents experienced challenges when doing this. The most common challenge was a lack of existing digital skills within the workforce, reported by more than two in five (44%) respondents. Additionally, around one third (34%) said that a lack of digital training offered by the company hampered the integration process.

While the results showed a higher investment in digital tools over the past year, the research in fact revealed a reduction in the usage of these within the workplace. Results from the 2015 research showed that 36% of AEC professionals were using technology to support project development, design and collaboration in their day-to-day work – however, this year that number has reduced, with 31.58% now working in this way.

Intensive Admin Still Required

Last year’s research showed that 70% of AEC firms had struggled to collaborate effectively thanks to the explosion of information across projects. This continues to be a problem in 2016, with AEC professionals spending an average of four hours per week dealing with administrative tasks, such as finding emails and searching for project files, with one in ten (9%) spending more than five hours doing this each week.

“While the AEC industry appears to have mastered the art of capturing all the information it was struggling with this time last year, sifting through it to find the information needed is still taking up a significant proportion of time,” said Paul Daynes, regional director, UK and Northern Europe at Newforma. “As AEC firms express trepidation about the period ahead thanks to Brexit, they should ensure their time is spent on strategic activities that benefit the business.”

When it comes to finding a solution, AEC professionals are looking for guidance from their IT managers; around six in ten (61%) say that educating internal teams as to the benefits/best practices when using new technology would lead to more effective collaboration. Additionally, over half (53%) say that investing more heavily in new technology solutions that make sharing information easier and more efficient would help.

“Firms simply cannot afford to waste any more time because, as this research reveals, this lack of collaboration is harming businesses’ project and client retention,” continued Daynes. “Efficiency-boosting project information management tools that integrate seamlessly across all existing systems can simplify the information discovery process, and in turn ensure the collaboration of project stakeholders.”

Digital Construction Week 2016

Talking about this research in more detail and how firms in the AEC industry can use technology to improve stakeholder collaboration across projects, Newforma will be attending and speaking at Digital Construction Week on 26th October at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. Digital Construction Week is an annual event focused on industry transformation through innovation and technology.

To arrange a face-to-face briefing with Paul Daynes, regional director, UK and Northern Europe, at the show please contact Racepoint Global:

+44 (0)20 8811 2139


About Newforma
Newforma develops, sells and supports project information management (PIM) software for architecture, engineering, and construction firms worldwide, and the building and infrastructure owners and developers they serve. Newforma products raise the productivity of individuals, improve collaboration among project teams, and elevate the effectiveness of organizations. Newforma software is being used on more than 2.2 million projects worldwide. For more information, visit

About Vanson Bourne
Vanson Bourne is an independent specialist in market research for the technology sector. Our reputation for robust and credible research-based analysis is founded upon rigorous research principles and our ability to seek the opinions of senior decision makers across technical and business functions, in all business sectors and all major markets. For more information, visit