What do we think when we think about the future of the construction industry? digitalBAU says: think digital. More than ever, the world of construction is embracing the opportunity to shift operations to digital platforms. This was digitalBAU’s second edition and the popularity is rising.
What is digitalBAU?
The three-day digitalBAU trade fair and conference in Cologne early last month offered a massive international platform on which visitors and exhibitors explored digitalization solutions for the construction industry.
From its 2020 premier, the number of exhibitors at digitalBAU increased 20%. The 330 companies convened to present their digital innovations and ideas, from mobile robots for construction sites, to mixed reality construction helmets.
Industry experts from multiple countries — 180 speakers to be exact —took the floor, sharing their knowledge and thoughts on the future of a digital construction industry. With the event’s success and nearly 10,000 attendees from 41 countries, digitalBAU has announced it will make the event an annual affair beginning in 2023.
Why digitalizing the construction industry is on the up and up
We are only at the base of the mountain in the digital construction world, but there’s going to be a great view at the top. Digitalization is placing links between areas like planning, implementation, and operations, and seamlessly bringing these areas together is creating efficiency and success like never seen before.
The more the industry develops and uses software, hardware, and other digital products to make this happen, the more powerful and effective the operations will become. There are so many ways in which we can use science and technology to our advantage to develop the construction world and turn bigger profits as a result.
The start-ups convened at digitalBAU to get the creative juices flowing
One of the highlights of digitalBAU was the Innovation Challenge, which highlighted some of the digital construction world’s most creative companies. Ten finalists resulting from an online vote were given the chance to pitch their start-ups to a jury of industry leaders and experts. One representative from each finalist took the stage to get their creative projects in the spotlight.
rentmas: Presenting a modern way to rent construction machines
One pitch in particular of the ten finalists of the Innovative Challenge was a business model that may just be on the verge of a boom: rentmas. The premise of rentmas is simple but a real showstopper: an online platform for construction machine rental.
The concept is like a gift that keeps on giving. Not only does an online platform unify the selection of all rental machines into a single place (yes there is even a map and machine filter!), but it puts rental companies on the radar for clients. That means they are more easily found, their machines are rented more often, and rentmas even takes care of the administration and organization of the construction machines for a paperless, signatureless, easy rental. Win-win for rental companies and clients alike.
Some afterthoughts of digitalBAU from the guru herself
What became very apparent for rentmas creator and owner Daniela Niederstätter at digitalBAU was how real digitalization is. Maybe it was the buzz of energy that was created by so many people and creative minds of the industry packed into an exhibition hall together, but she came away with a strong message: it’s time to change the construction industry at a community level.
She believes it’s time to come together not as individual businesses, but as a single sector, and create new solutions that make our work faster and easier. That’s what digitalization allows us to do, and she is thrilled that the rentmas platform achieves this: providing an international digital venue to do business for construction machine rental companies and their clients.
For Daniela, the traditional way of doing business is slowly phasing out. There are so many young and savvy professionals entering the market now and they have a different speed of operation. They’re finding alternative ways to keep the market moving, and that’s causing it to change direction as well. And for the construction sector, which might be getting to the digital party a bit later than other industries, digitalization is on our heels.
Now we just have to embrace it. Run with it. And the possibilities for growth will blossom before our eyes.