Will my company survive the coronavirus crisis? Will my job? These are the questions that are on every engineer’s mind right now.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world, possibly forever. Social isolation, trade restrictions and work from home has become the new norm.
Australia is facing one of the worst economic fallouts in our history, with the latest ABS data recording a 5.3 per cent plunge in construction jobs over the past six weeks. Nationwide, job losses exceed 800,000.
The engineering profession and related industries such as construction have so far avoided the direct impact of the crisis. But as secondary and tertiary effects ripple throughout the world, we know the sector will be squeezed.
COVID-19 will not be kind to all engineering firms …
But there’s hope. According to Deloitte’s Global Engineering and Construction Leader Javier Parada, survival will hinge upon firms’ ability to use this crisis as a “catalyst to rethink how work is done and to accelerate adoption of digital capabilities”.[A2]
Similarly, international management consultancy Oliver Wyman calls on engineering firms to use this “unique opportunity” to break silos, boost efficiencies and bypass inadequate processes and systems.
The key to surviving and thriving
Treading water is no longer enough; proactive change needs to be facilitated and driven throughout businesses. Engineering firms must use this black swan event to fuel transformation.
Unfortunately, it has taken a global pandemic to force many business leaders to finally rethink processes and adopt new technologies to work and collaborate more efficiently.
As the global economy heads towards a deep recession, project pipelines might feel the crunch. This could place downward force on project bidding, and in turn, profit margins. Having an efficient, lean and competitive business will become increasingly important.
However, many engineering and construction firms have adopted inefficient and ineffective remote working workaround solutions. The downsides are already being felt across Australia: slow data transfers, duplicate data, collaboration breakdowns and lost productivity.
The issue with the COVID-19 lockdowns is that firms are now essentially operating as dozens of remote offices – every employee is now their own office. Efficiently transferring and managing engineering and CAD datasets across all these locations can be very challenging without the right systems in place.
Although this is a challenging time for all businesses, it’s also an opportunity to change business as usual. What are the features and capabilities all engineers need from their remote working and data management systems at a time like this?
Find answers to this question and more in our free COVID-19 Survival Guide for Engineers.
In this guide, you will also learn the pitfalls all engineers must avoid when working remotely, and how you can maximise the competitiveness of your business during the COVID-19 crisis.