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建筑业的新常态---颠覆性变革如何重塑世界上最大的生态体系

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  • qy8.com2020-12-21
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  核心摘要
  建筑业包括了房地产、基础设施和工业工程,是全球经济中最大的产业,占全球GDP的13%。仔细观察其表现,可以看出建筑行业在经济景气时期面临着压力,在危机时期则更甚。我们预计九种变革将从根本上改变建造方式。能够调整商业模式的公司将受益匪浅,而其他公司则可能难以生存。

  从历史上看,建筑业表现不佳
  从令人惊叹的城市景观和大规模的基础设施到持续的创新,建筑业的一系列成就令人印象深刻。然而,在过去的几十年里,建筑行业饱受糟糕表现的困扰。
过去20年间,建筑业年均增长值仅为整体经济平均增长值的1/3,厌恶风险、行业碎片化及难以吸引到数字人才都减缓了行业创新。建筑业的数字化程度基本是所有行业中最低的,即使考虑到建筑行业存在很高的经营风险、甚至倒闭风险,工期和造价超支也是常态,那5%左右的息税前利润(EBIT)也还是太低了。
建筑行业,乃至大的建筑生态体系---包括建筑公司、零部件和基础材料供应商、开发商、业主、分包商,机械和软件供应商等,都强烈感受到了新冠疫情的冲击。在本报告撰写时,经济的不确定性笼罩全球,而建筑业的波动往往比经济整体的波动大得多。麦肯锡调研显示,若一切顺利,到2021年初,建筑业将恢复到疫情危机前的水平,但若停工时间延长,到2024年甚至更长时间之后,建筑业才能恢复过来。以往的危机对行业发展趋势均有加速作用,此次的疫情危机也会引发持久变化,改变现有作业方式,比如在线作业、远程作业等。
  建筑业的落后表现是建筑市场的基本规则和特点以及行业对此相应做出反应的直接结果。周期性的需求降低了资本投入,定制化的需求限制了标准化。建筑项目非常复杂,并且会越来越复杂,物流需要处理重物和不同的部件;体力劳动的比例很高,并且在某些市场中严重缺乏熟练工人;项目复杂度较低的细分领域进入门槛低,非正式劳动力的比例高,这使得规模较小且效率低下的公司可以参与竞争;建筑行业受到严格的监管,从施工许可、安全认证和工地管理等所有事情,都受到严格管制,招标中的最低价规则使基于质量、可靠性或可替代设计的竞争更加复杂。
  针对这种市场属性,现在的建筑业需要解决很多阻碍生产力发展和行业变革的难题。处于不同的地质环境、具有独特性的定制项目的可重复性和标准化程度有限。本地市场结构和进入市场的低门槛造成了碎片化的市场结构(纵向和横向),大部分是经济规模有限的小公司。项目步骤繁多、责任分散化使得协调变得更加复杂,承包模式和激励机制错位;风险通常会在价值链内转移,而不是消除,参与者从索赔中获利而不是直接受益于优质的交付;强周期性和高不可预测性导致建筑公司更多的是依靠临时工和分包商完成项目,这阻碍了生产力提升和经济规模扩大,降低了产品质量和客户满意度。

  变化的市场环境,技术进步和具有颠覆性的新进入者将触发行业变革
  新冠疫情开始之前,建筑业已经开始经历一场前所未有的快速颠覆。接下来几年,建筑市场属性将发生几大根本性变化,比如技术工人的匮乏、基础设施项目和经济性住房项目的持续成本压力、对施工现场可持续性和安全性更严格的规定,客户和业主的越来越复杂的高要求。新出现的颠覆,包括工业化和新材料,产品和过程的数字化以及新加入者,这些将塑造建筑行业未来的发展动态(图表A)


(图表A)


  颠覆源
  来自越来越复杂的客户和全生命周期成本(TCO)的压力。客户和业主越来越复杂,不断有更专业的资金涌入建筑行业。例如,从2014年到2019年,私募股权公司筹集了超过3880亿美元用于基础设施项目,其中仅在2019年就筹集了1000亿美元,比2018年增长了24%。客户在性能、全生命周期成本和可持续性方面的需求也在不断发展:建筑物能源和运营效率以及建筑结构的灵活性和适应性将成为首选因素。客户希望获得简单的数字交互以及可适应性更强的建筑结构,并且这一期望越来越高。
  由于公共预算紧张和住房负担能力问题,建筑行业面临持续的成本压力。麦肯锡分析发现,到2035年,全球基础设施投资将需要69.4万亿美元,以支持预期的GDP增长,而且全球三分之一的城市家庭无法负担得起市价房屋。新冠肺炎疫情的经济影响加剧了该问题——成本和负担能力问题。
  熟练劳动力的持续短缺和不断变化的物流方式。技术工人短缺已成为多个市场的主要问题,退休将耗尽人才。例如,预计到2031年美国现有建筑工人中将有约41%退休。在撰写本文时,新冠肺炎疫情对这种进程的影响还不确定。
  安全和可持续性法规以及建筑规范的标准化。对可持续性和工地安全性的要求不断提高。在新冠肺炎疫情发生之后,需要新的健康和安全流程;关于气候变化的全球讨论加剧了行业减少碳排放的压力。
  同时,在某些市场中,政府认识到需要对建筑规范进行标准化,或提供工厂建造产品的类型证书和认证,而非对每个场所逐一审查,但这一过程仍然缓慢。
  工业化。模块化,非现场生产和现场组装自动化将实现工业化和基于产品的非现场生产方式。随着新冠肺炎疫情的进一步发展,向更加可控环境的转型将愈加重要。向高效非现场建造过渡的下一步涉及集成自动化生产系统,从本质上使建筑更像汽车制造。
  新材料。水泥等传统基础材料的创新可以减少碳排放。新兴的轻质材料,例如轻钢框架和交叉层压木材,可以带来更简单的工厂模块生产。他们还将改变物流模式,实现更远距离的物料运输和更大程度的集中化。
  产品和过程的数字化。数字技术可以实现更好的协作、对价值链的更好控制以及更基于数据决策的转变。这些创新将改变公司运营、设计和建造方式以及与合作伙伴互动的方式。集成了物联网(IoT)的智能建筑和基础设施将提高数据可用性,并实现更高效的运营以及新的业务模型,例如基于绩效的承包和协作签约。公司可以使用建筑信息模型(BIM)创建完整的三维模型,并增加进度和成本等其他层次数据,在项目的早期就把设计阶段与价值链的其余部分集成起来,而不是在施工的同时完成设计,从而提高效率。这将从根本上改变建筑项目中的风险和决策顺序,并使传统的EPC模式被颠覆。自动化的参数设计和族库将改变工程设计环节。使用数字工具可以显著改善现场协作,而且数字渠道正在扩展到建造环节中,具有改变整个价值链中买卖商品交互方式的潜力。与其他行业一样,新冠肺炎疫情正在加速数字工具的集成。
  新进入者。初创企业、老牌玩家增加投资以及来自风险资本和私募股权的新资金正在加速颠覆当前的商业模式。随着新冠肺炎疫情引发的经济危机的发展,我们预计公司重组和并购活动将会增加。

  期望九种变革能从根本上改变建筑行业
  根据我们的调查,超过75%的受访者认为这些变革很可能会发生,而超过60%的受访者认为这些变革可能会在未来5年内发生。新冠肺炎疫情带来的经济影响似乎将加速它们的发展。
  基于产品的方式。将来,越来越多的建筑结构和配套服务将作为标准化的“产品”来交付和销售,包括开发人员推广品牌产品,可以从一个产品世代升级到另一个产品世代的具有标准化但可定制设计的建筑,以及使用非现场生产的模块化元素和标准化组件进行交付。这些模块和组件将运送到现场进行组装。在安全、非敌对的环境中,生产将会类似于装配生产线的过程,并具有高度的可重复性。
  专业化。为了提高利润率和差异化水平,公司将开始专注于细分市场(例如豪华单户住宅、多层住宅、医院或加工厂),从而在这些领域和市场中形成竞争优势。公司将专门研究使用不同的材料、部件或建造方法。向专业化的转变还将对公司开发能力及知识和能力的累积提出要求,以保持其竞争优势。显然,参与者将需要仔细权衡效果、效率和品牌定位——更大范围的专业化可以应对潜在风险,更多元的组合带来周期性优势。
  价值链控制以及与核心供应链的集成。公司将转型拥有或者控制价值链上的重要活动,例如工程设计、部分组件制造、供应链管理和现场组装。公司将能够通过纵向整合或战略联盟与合作伙伴关系来实现这一目标,具体方法是使用协作合同和更一致的激励措施。数字技术将改变交互模型:利用BIM模型技术可以尽早做出更多决策,分销将转向在线平台和高级物流管理,而端到端软件平台将使公司能够更好地控制和整合价值联和供应链。价值链控制或集成将减少界面摩擦,并使创新更加灵活。
  合并。对专业化和创新---包括使用新材料、数字化、技术和设施以及人力资源---的投资规模需要比目前更大。基于产品的方法、更高的标准化和可重复性,都进一步增加了扩大规模的重要性,建筑行业在价值链的特定环节以及整个链条上可能会有越来越多的并购。
  以客户为中心和品牌化。通过产品化---即将开发、设计或建造服务转变为易于投放市场的产品或解决方案---具备专业性又代表公司的独特属性和价值的品牌将变得更加重要。与传统的消费行业一样,强大的品牌可以使客户与建筑公司或供应商的产品更紧密地联系在一起,并有助于建立和保持关系并吸引新客户。与其他制造业中的品牌相似,此类建筑品牌将包括产品和服务质量、价值、交货时间、可靠性、服务产品和保修等方面。
  技术和设备投资。产品化意味着需要建立异地工厂,这需要对厂房、制造机械和设备(例如用于自动化制造的机器人)和技术进行投资。在不使用模块化的情况下,使用先进的自动化设备和无人机以及其他技术,建筑工地也可能会变得更加资本密集。对专业化或产品化程度高的公司而言,研发投资将变得越来越重要,因此公司可能会增加用于开发创新产品和技术的投入。
  人力资源投资。创新、数字化、价值链控制、技术使用以及终端应用细分领域的专业化都增加了研发和内部专业化的重要性,这将促使企业在人力资源上进行更多投资。风险管理和其他当前功能的重要性将降低,其他功能的重要性将提升(如供应链管理)。为了构建必要的能力,公司将需要进一步加大对员工队伍的投资,考虑到下一步的转变,这种投资显得愈发重要。大多数老公司都在努力吸引他们所需的数字人才,并且为未来商业模式转变注入新鲜血液。
  国际化。更高的标准化将降低跨地域运营的障碍。随着扩大规模对于占据竞争优势越来越重要,参与者将增加其全球足迹,既包括基础设施等高价值、小批量项目,也包括有全球需求的、可复制的产品。但新冠肺炎疫情可能会减缓这种发展。
  可持续性。尽管可持续性已经是一个重要的决策因素,但我们现在刚处于日新月异的快速发展的起始阶段。除了减少碳排放的讨论之外,自然气候风险已越来越严重,需要引起重视。公司在采购材料时需要考虑对环境的影响,制造业将会更加可持续(例如,使用电机)并使供应链在可持续性和弹性方面得到优化。此外,需要改变工作环境中的不利因素,从而使施工更安全,耗水量、灰尘、噪音和垃圾也是关键因素。
  如今,基于项目的建造过程似乎将从根本上转向基于产品的方法建造过程。公司不会在现场建造独特设计的结构,而会在非现场制造厂房里进行生产。标准化的子元件和构件很可能会在内部像研发一样设计。这些构件将单独制造,然后与其它定制构件进行组合以满足定制要求。为了通过重复有效地进行生产并学习,开发人员、制造商和承包商将需要专注于细分终端用户。数据驱动的商业模式终将出现。总体而言,这一过程可能类似于造船或汽车制造等行业。
  我们有理由相信,以赢家为主导的格局将会出现,而无法迅速调整的公司就有可能承受市场份额和利润率下降的风险,直到最终倒闭。
  建筑业不是第一个在整个价值链上遭遇落后生产力和被破坏颠覆的行业。可以从其他行业身上汲取教训,这些行业具有相似的特征并曾遇到建筑业现在面临的挑战。我们分析了其中4个行业的转变:造船业、商用飞机制造业、农业和汽车制造业。所有这些转变模式都清晰可见,并且价值转移到了那些能够最好地应对变化的人。生产技术的创新和新的工作方法启动了新进程。如今,在各个行业中,赢家都继续在技术上进行大量投资,其中很多都专注于数字化以及数据驱动的产品和服务。
  例如,以前的商用飞机制造行业格局高度分散。每架飞机都是根据定制要求和基于项目的制造设置从头开始建造。工业化引发了向装配式制造的转变变革,装配式制造之后会变得高度自动化。由于随后的标准化,商用飞机制造行业进入了整合阶段,导致了两个主要参与者的崛起:空客和波音。转型导致了产业链价值向客户的明显重大转移。由于商用飞机制造业当时面临着与现在建筑业所面临的相似的阻碍,转型过程大约花费了30年的时间。


(图表B)

  现有价值中将近一半处于危急关头
  随着价值和利润池在未来15年内发生变化,行业转型将创造巨大的机遇和巨大的风险。过去几年,在建筑价值链和所有资产类别中,大约有11万亿美元的增加值和1.5万亿美元的利润分配不均。展望未来,那些受转变影响最大的细分市场,比如酒店建设,高达45%的现有价值可能会受到威胁。在这45%中,有约20%至30%的现有价值将保留并重新分配到产业链生态系统中,推动转型。剩余的15%到20%将供参与者竞争,因为这些转型可以节省成本并提高生产率,并为参与者或客户带来好处(降低价格或提高质量)。如果生态系统中的参与者完全抓住了这一部分价值,他的总利润率可能会从目前的5%增长近一倍,达到10%。快速行动并设法从根本上超越竞争对手的参与者可以抢占这一新的2650亿美元的利润池中的最大份额(转移到新生态系统中的15%-20%的价值)。

(图表C)

  有些公司受影响更大。软件供应商预计将显著增加其增加值贡献率,尽管是从占价值链1%到2%的小基数基础增加。此外,预计会有很大一部分价值从建筑工地转移到非现场预制工厂。相比之下,除非总承包商和专业分包商重新自我定位,将自己发展为执行能力卓越的公司,否则可能会面临很大的利润下滑。基本的工程设计及材料分销和物流可能会面临大量商品化和自动化风险。
  存在风险的这部分价值可以使生态系统中的参与者受益,利润增加,工人工资更高,也可以使顾客受益,产品价格更低、质量更高。快速行动并设法降低成本并提高生产率的公司将比竞争对手具有优势。这些先行者可以将生产力的提高转化为利润。从长远来看,随着其他参与者的调整和竞争的加剧,根据其他行业的经验看,大部分收益将转移给客户。
  基于情景分析,到2035年,10%到12%的建筑活动将按照本报告中描述的变化进行转移,但是由于起点和转换能力的不同,不同资产类别的变化速度将会有很大差异。例如,在房地产领域,我们预计到2035年,通过新价值链完成的新建筑项目比例将增加15%。这数值高于平均水平,部分是因为单户和多户住宅、酒店、办公室和医院的标准化潜力所致。对于基础设施,通过转变后的方式交付的新建筑的比例约增长7%,特别是对潜力较大的领域,比如桥梁、机场和铁路。在工业建筑领域的渗透率可能会提高约5%,因为它的几个细分领域过去已经取得了重大进展。

  转型需要时间,新冠肺炎疫情将加速变革
  建筑业的全面转型可能需要数十年的时间,但是这一过程已经开始。我们的调查显示,行业领导者在很大程度上认可这一点,本报告中概述的变化可能在未来5到10年内大规模发生,并且新冠肺炎疫情将加速这一变化。
  我们在2019年11、12月对400位决策者进行的高管调查发现,从3、5年之前,高管的态度就发出了实质性的变化。有90%的受访者坚信行业需要改变,而且这种断言在过去10年中有所增长。80%的人相信自此之后的20年,建筑行业的面貌将大为改观。
  除了我们的分析和受访高管的一致信念之外,我们今天看到的迹象表明,在新冠肺炎疫情暴发之前,整个行业已经开始发生变化。例如,越来越多地采用基于产品的建造方法。在北美洲,2015至2018年间,新建房地产建筑项目中永久性模块化建筑的市场份额增长了约51%,同期该市场的收入(从20亿美元的小基数)增长了2.4倍。此外,新参与者和老玩家已经在探索控制价值链的更大部分;例如,Katerra利用新技术控制价值链,包括设计、施工和非现场制造。有指标显示,建筑业越来越重视研发,重视技术和设施投资的建筑公司越来越吃香。从2013年到2017年,全球前2500家建筑公司的研发支出增长了77%。
  新冠肺炎疫情似乎将加速变革(图表D)。我们在2020年5月初进行了另一项调查,以了解危机对报告中论述的颠覆和变革的潜在影响。有100名参与了第一次调查的决策者同样参与了这次的调查。近三分之二的受访者认为,新冠肺炎疫情将加速行业转型,半数受访者已经根据形势变化追加了投资。在数字化和供应链控制方面的投资最为明显,而受访者认为,这场危机将减缓国际化进程,限制新进入者,为老玩家们提供一个难得的赶上潮流和推动变革的机会。

(图表D)

  所有从业者现在都必须为完全不同的新业态做好准备
  我们的研究表明,面临危机,那些不只满足于努力生存,而是采取快速大胆的战略行动的公司往往会成为赢家。从过去的经济运行来看,这些公司在收入和EBITDA方面都优于竞争对手:生产力(比如通过运营效率降低生产成本)得到快速提升,在经济复苏中更早获得生机并更多地获利,在经济下行之前清理了资产负债。
  面对这种转变,价值链上所有的公司都需要重新审视自己的定位:这个生态系统中的参与者需要制定策略应对将要面临的颠覆。我们的调查反馈表显示,有4类企业将面临最大最长时间的下滑:设计公司,材料分销商、总承包商和专业分包商。此外,受访者认为,总承包商最应当首当其冲尽早行动,因为他们可能会经历商品化和价值份额下降。
  面对这种转变,价值链上的所有公司都需要重新审视自己的定位:资产类别、细分行业、区域和价值链位置。他们将需要评估每一个颠覆和九种转型对他们的影响,决定他们应该如何应对,并根据这些决定重新定义新的业务模型和运营模式。无论他们的目标是捍卫核心业务并适应新环境,还是从根本上改造自己并发起攻击,这个过程都是至关重要的。为了获得成功,公司需要投资建立一套良好的机制,例如能对变革做出快速反应和调整的组织。最后,公司可以选择如何实施新的战略和转型,可以是内部改变,建立新的部门,也可以是独立运营,或者实施目标并购。
  例如,在材料分销和物流部门,非现场制造车间将把发货需求转移到主要物流节点,即工厂枢纽,这将提高客户对及时交货的期望。在线和直销渠道(包括来自在线分销巨头的新竞争)、客户期望的提高以及先进分析或自动化仓库等技术的使用增加,将进一步重塑这一细分市场。采购活动从小型专业贸易公司转向大型承包商,将影响公司的议价能力,而国际化将使公司能够从低成本国家获得更多供应资源。
  企业可以相应尝试捍卫自己的核心竞争力,例如,专注于翻新市场,变得更精简,并进行品类审核。面对这种转变,通过加强客户关系、提供新的业务解决方案以避免脱媒、获得规模效应以及发展核心供应链能力等方式,他们可以适应转型,整个价值链上的公司都需要重新审视他们想在哪里发挥作用,将会引起未来建筑物流中心的重塑。战略可以包括与非现场制造商以及与材料供应商密切合作,根据他们的需求优化物流和库存,进行国际采购,或提供信贷融资。
  熟悉下一个新常态并迅速采取行动的公司将处于创造价值和保持竞争优势的最佳位置。
  与建筑生态系统相邻的组织应努力为即将发生的变化提供便利,并从变化中受益。投资者最好发挥远见预测不同的变化,并产生高于市场的回报。保险公司已经在将现代建筑方法细化融入到他们的条款中。政策制定者应帮助建筑行业提高生产力,从而提供更好的住房和基础设施。而且,如果建筑业主在实现转变过程中发挥作用,他们将以更低的成本从获得更好的建筑。
  建筑业已经处于完美风暴之中。工业化、全球化和数字化是所有行业变革的关键驱动力。尽管这种变化是连续的,例如,在20世纪70年代和80年代的自动工业化、90年代和21世纪的全球化以及2010年以后的数字化,所有这些驱动因素都在同时冲击着建筑业。这是一项艰巨的任务,需要采取大胆而灵活的行动进行应对,但回报也将是丰厚的。(本文摘自:McKinsey &Company官方网站及中国勘察设计杂志)

 

June 2020

  Executive summary
  Construction, which encompasses real estate, infrastructure, and industrial structures, is the largest industry in the global economy, accounting for 13 percent of the world’s GDP. A closer look at its underlying performance highlights the industry’s challenges in good economic times, let alone in times of crisis. We expect a set of nine shifts to radically change the way construction is done. Companies that can adjust their business models stand to benefit handsomely, while others may struggle to survive. 


  Historically, the construction industry has underperformed
  Construction is responsible for a wide range of impressive accomplishments, from stunning cityscapes and foundational infrastructure on a massive scale to sustained innovation. However, in the past couple of decades, it also has been plagued by dismal performance. 
  Annual productivity growth over the past 20 years was only a third of total economy averages. Risk aversion and fragmentation as well as difficulties in attracting digital talent slow down innovation. Digitalization is lower than in nearly any other industry. Profitability is low, at around 5 percent EBIT margin, despite high risks and many insolvencies. Customer satisfaction is hampered by regular time and budget overruns and lengthy claims procedures. 
  The industry will feel the economic impact of the COVID-19 strongly, as will the wider construction ecosystem—which includes construction companies,component and basic-materials suppliers, developers and owners, distributors, and machinery and software providers. At the time of writing, high levels of economic uncertainty prevail worldwide, and the construction industry tends to be significantly more volatile than the overall economy. MGI scenarios suggest that if things go well, construction activity could be back to pre-crisis levels by early 2021. But longer-term lockdowns could mean that it takes until 2024 or even later. In the past, crises have had an accelerative effect on trends, and this crisis is also expected to trigger lasting change impacting use of the built environment, like online channel usage or remote-working practices. 
  The lagging performance of the construction industry is a direct result of the fundamental rules and characteristics of the construction market and the industry dynamics that occur in response to them. Cyclical demand leads to low capital investment, and bespoke requirements limit standardization. Construction projects are complex, and increasingly so, and logistics need to deal with heavy weight and many different parts. The share of manual labor is high, and the industry has a significant shortage of skilled workers in several markets. Low barriers to entry in segments with lower project complexity and a significant share of informal labor allow small and unproductive companies to compete. The construction industry is extensively regulated, subject to everything from permits and approvals to safety and work-site controls, and lowest-price rules in tenders make competition based on quality, reliability, or alternative design offerings more complicated. 
  In response to these market characteristics, today’s construction industry must grapple with several dynamics that impede productivity and make change more difficult. Bespoke projects with unique features and varying topology have a limited degree of repeatability and standardization. Local market structures and ease of entry have resulted in a fragmented landscape (both vertically and horizontally) of mostly small companies with limited economies of scale. Moreover, every project involves many steps and companies in every project with scattered accountability, which complicates the coordination. Contractual structures and incentives are misaligned. Risks are often passed to other areas of the value chain instead of being addressed, and players make money from claims rather than from good delivery. High unpredictability and cyclicality have led construction firms to rely on temporary staff and subcontractors, which hampers productivity, limits economies of scale, and reduces output quality and customer satisfaction. 

  A changing market environment, technological progress, and disruptive new entrants will trigger industry overhaul
  The construction industry was already starting to experience an unprecedented rate of disruption before the COVID-19 pandemic. In the coming years, fundamental change is likely to be catalyzed by changes in market characteristics, such as scarcity of skilled labor, persistent cost pressure from infrastructure and affordable housing, stricter regulations on work-site sustainability and safety, and evolving sophistication and needs of customers and owners. Emerging disruptions, including industrialization and new materials, the digitalization of products and processes, and new entrants, will shape future dynamics in the industry (Exhibit A). 


(Exhibit A)

  Sources of disruption
  Rising customer sophistication and total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) pressure. Customers and owners are increasingly sophisticated, and the industry has seen an influx of capital from more savvy customers. From 2014 to 2019, for example, private-equity firms raised more than $388 billion to fund infrastructure projects, including $100 billion in 2019 alone, a 24 percent increase from 2018. Client demands are also evolving regarding performance, TCO, and sustainability: smart buildings, energy and operational efficiency, and flexibility and adaptability of structures will become higher priorities. Expectations are also rising among customers, who want simple, digital interactions as well as more adaptable structures.
  The industry is facing persistent cost pressure because of tight public budgets and housing-affordability issues. McKinsey analysis found that $69.4 trillion in global infrastructure investment would be needed through 2035 to support expected GDP growth and that every third global urban household cannot afford a decent place to live at market prices. The economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis magnifies the cost and affordability issues.
  Persistent scarcity of skilled labor and changing logistics equations. Skilled-labor shortages have become a major issue in several markets, and retirements will drain talent. For example, about 41 percent of the current US construction workforce is expected to retire by 2031. The impact the COVID-19 crisis will have on this dynamic in the long term is unclear at the time of writing. 
  Safety and sustainability regulations and possible standardization of building codes. Requirements for sustainability and work-site safety are increasing. In the wake of COVID-19, new health and safety procedures will be required. The global conversation about climate change puts increasing pressure on the industry to reduce carbon emissions. 
  At the same time, in some markets, governments are recognizing the need to standardize building codes or provide type certificates and approvals for factory-built products rather than reviews of each site. The process, however, is still slow. 
  Industrialization. Modularization, off-site production automation, and on-site assembly automation will enable industrialization and an off-site, product-based approach. The shift toward a more controlled environment will be even more valuable as the COVID-19 pandemic further unfolds. The next step in the transition to efficient off-site manufacturing involves integrating automated production systems—essentially making construction more like automotive manufacturing. 
  New materials. Innovations in traditional basic materials like cement enable a reduction of carbon footprints. Emerging lighter-weight materials, such as light-gauge steel frames and cross-laminated timber, can enable simpler factory production of modules. They will also change the logistics equation and allow longer-haul transport of materials and greater centralization.
  Digitalization of products and processes. Digital technologies can enable better collaboration, greater control of the value chain, and a shift toward more data-driven decision making. These innovations will change the way companies approach operations, design, and construction as well as engage with partners. Smart buildings and infrastructure that integrate the Internet of Things (IoT) will increase data availability and enable more efficient operations as well as new business models, such as performance-based and collaborative contracting. Companies can improve efficiency and integrate the design phase with the rest of the value chain by using building-information modeling (BIM) to create a full three-dimensional model (a “digital twin”)—and add further layers like schedule and cost—early in the project rather than finishing design while construction is already underway. This will materially change risks and the sequence of decision making in construction projects and put traditional engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) models into question. Automated parametric design and object libraries will transform engineering. Using digital tools can significantly improve on-site collaboration. And digital channels are spreading to construction, with the potential to transform interactions for buying and selling goods across the value chain. As in other industries, the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the integration of digital tools.
  New entrants. Start-ups, incumbent players making new bets, and new funding from venture capital and private equity are accelerating disruption of current business models. As the COVID-19-propelled economic crisis unfolds, we also expect an increase in corporate restructuring and M&A activity.

  The nine resulting industry shifts
  In response, we expect nine shifts to fundamentally change the construction industry. According to our executive survey, more than 75 percent of respondents agree that these shifts are likely to occur, and more than 60 percent believe that they are likely to occur within the next five years. The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic looks set to accelerate them.
  Product-based approach. In the future, an increasing share of structures and surrounding services will be delivered and marketed as standardized “products.” This includes developers promoting branded offerings, with standardized but customizable designs that can improve from one product generation to the next, and delivery using modularized elements and standardized components produced in off-site factories. The modules and elements will be shipped and assembled on site. Production will consist of assembly line–like processes in safe, nonhostile environments with a large degree of repeatability.
  Specialization. To improve their margins and levels of differentiation, companies will start to specialize in target niches and segments (such as luxury single-family housing, multistory residential buildings, hospitals, or processing plants) in which they can build competitive advantages. And they will specialize in using different materials, subsegments, or methods of construction. The shift toward specialization will also require companies to develop and retain knowledge and capabilities to maintain their competitive advantages. Obviously, players will need to weigh carefully the effectiveness, efficiency, and brand positioning that greater specialization enables against the potential risk or cyclicality benefits of a more diversified portfolio.
  Value-chain control and integration with industrial-grade supply chains. Companies will move to own or control important activities along the value chain, such as design and engineering, select-component manufacturing, supply-chain management, and on-site assembly. Companies will be able to achieve this goal through vertical integration or strategic alliances and partnerships by using collaborative contracting and more closely aligned incentives. Digital technology will change the interaction model: BIM models will lead to more decision making early on in the process, distribution will move toward online platforms and advanced logistics management, and end-to-end software platforms will allow companies to better control and integrate value and supply chains. Value-chain control or integration will reduce interface frictions and make innovation more agile.
  Consolidation. Growing needs for specialization and investments in innovation—including the use of new materials, digitalization, technology and facilities, and human resources—will require significantly larger scale than is common today. As product-based approaches, with higher standardization and repeatability, further increase the importance of gaining scale, the industry is likely to increasingly see a significant degree of consolidation, both within specific parts of the value chain and across the value chain.
  Customer-centricity and branding. With productization—that is, turning development, engineering, or construction services into easy-to-market products or solutions—and specialization in the industry, having a compelling brand that represents an organization’s distinctive attributes and values will take on added importance. As in traditional consumer industries, a strong brand can tie customers more closely to the construction company’s or supplier’s products and help to build and maintain relationships and attract new customers. Similar to brands in other manufacturing industries, such construction brands will encompass, among other aspects, product and service quality, value, timing of delivery, reliability, service offerings, and warranties.
  Investment in technology and facilities. Productization implies a need to build off-site factories, which requires investments in plants, manufacturing machinery and equipment (such as robotics to automate manufacturing), and technology. Where modular is not used, the construction site also will likely become more capital intensive, using advanced automation equipment and drones, among other technologies. R&D investment will become more important for specialized or more productized companies, so companies are likely to increase spending to develop new, innovative products and technologies.
  Investment in human resources. Innovation, digitalization, value-chain control, technology use, and specialization in end-use segments all increase the importance of developing and retaining in-house expertise, which will compel players to invest more in human resources. The importance of risk management and other current capabilities will decrease and be replaced by an emphasis on others, such as supply-chain management. To build the necessary capabilities, companies will need to further invest in their workforces. This becomes even more important in light of the transition to the future of work. Most incumbents struggle to attract the digital talent they need, and will need to raise excitement about their future business models. 
  Internationalization. Greater standardization will lower the barriers to operating across geographies. As scale becomes increasingly important to gaining competitive advantages, players will increase their global footprints—both for low-volume projects in high-value segments such as infrastructure, as well as for winning repeatable products that will be in demand across the world. The COVID-19 pandemic might slow down this development.
  Sustainability. While sustainability is an important decision factor already, we are only at the very beginning of an increasingly rapid development. Beyond the carbon-abatement discussions, physical climate risks are already growing and require a response. Companies will need to consider the environmental impact when sourcing materials, manufacturing will become more sustainable (for example, using electric machinery), and supply chains will be optimized for sustainability as well as resilience. In addition, the working environments will need to radically change from hostile to nonhostile, making construction safer. Water consumption, dust, noise, and waste are also critical factors.
  Today’s project-based construction process looks set to shift radically to a product-based approach (Exhibit B). Instead of building uniquely designed structures on the jobsite, companies will conduct their production at off-site construction facilities. Standardized sub-elements and building blocks will likely be designed in house in R&D-like functions. The elements will be manufactured separately and then combined with customization options to meet bespoke requirements. To produce efficiently and learn through repetition, developers, manufacturers, and contractors will need to specialize in end-user segments. Data-driven business models will emerge. Overall, the process may resemble manufacturing in other industries such as shipbuilding or car manufacturing.
  There is reason to believe that a winner-take-most dynamic will emerge, and companies that fail to adjust fast enough risk seeing market shares and margins erode until they eventually go out of business. 
  Construction is not the first industry to encounter lagging productivity and disruption across the value chain. Lessons can be learned from others that had similar traits and encountered the same challenges that construction faces now. We have analyzed shifts in four of them: shipbuilding, commercial aircraft manufacturing, agriculture, and car manufacturing. Clear patterns of the shifts are evident in all of them, and value shifted to those handling the change best. Innovation in production technology and new work methods kick-started all four of the industries’ journeys. Today, across industries, winners continue to heavily invest in technology, many with focus on digitalization and data-driven products and services.
  In commercial aircraft manufacturing, for example, the industry landscape was highly fragmented. Each airplane was built from scratch in a bespoke and project-based-manufacturing setup. Industrialization sparked a shift toward assembly-line manufacturing, which later became highly automated. As a result of the subsequent standardization, the industry entered a phase of consolidation that led to the rise of two major players: Airbus and Boeing. The transformation resulted in a significant shift of value to customers. This transformation journey took roughly 30 years to complete, as commercial aircraft manufacturing faced barriers to change similar to those now confronting construction. 


(Exhibit B)

  Almost half of incumbent value added is at stake
  The transformation of the industry will create both large opportunities and sizable risks as value and profit pools shift in the next 15 years. Over the past years, approximately $11 trillion in value added and $1.5 trillion in profits have been unevenly distributed along the construction value chain and across all asset classes. Looking ahead, up to 45 percent of incumbent value may be at stake in those parts of the market most heavily affected by shifts, such as hotel construction (Exhibit C). Of this total, 20 to 30 percentage points will be kept and redistributed within the ecosystem to enable the shifts to take place. The remaining 15 to 20 percentage points will be value up for grabs as a result of the cost savings and productivity gains generated by the shifts, with the benefits accruing to players or customers (in the form of price reductions or quality increase). If that value is captured fully by players in the ecosystem, total profit pools could nearly double, to 10 percent, from the current 5 percent. Players that move fast and manage to radically outperform their competitors could grab the lion’s share of the $265 billion in new profit pools. 


(Exhibit C)


  Some players will be more affected than others. For example, software providers are expected to significantly increase their value-added contribution, albeit from a small base of 1 to 2 percent of the value chain. Also, a large share of value is expected to move from construction jobsites to off-site prefabrication facilities. In contrast, general and specialized contractors could face a large decline unless they reposition themselves as companies that go beyond execution alone. Basic design and engineering and materials distribution and logistics may face substantial commoditization and automation risks.
  The value at stake could benefit either the players in the ecosystem as profits increase, workers in the form of higher wages, or customers through lower prices and higher quality. Companies that move fast and manage to lower their cost base and increase productivity will have an advantage over the competition. These early movers could translate their productivity gains into profit. In the long term, as other players adjust and competition intensifies, the dynamics in other industries suggest that a large share of the gains will be passed on to customers. 
  Our baseline scenario estimates that 10 to 12 percent of construction activities will move along shifts outlined in this report by 2035, but change will vary significantly by asset class because of different starting points and abilities to transform. In real estate, for example, we expect that by 2035 an additional 15 percent of new building projects could be completed through a redesigned value chain. This higher-than-average number is partly the result of the potential for standardization in single- and multifamily residential, hotels, offices, and hospitals. For infrastructure, approximately 7 percent of additional new building volume could be delivered in a transformed way—with bridges, airports, and railways, for example, having particular potential. Industrial construction could see an additional penetration of about 5 percent, as several of its subsegments have already made significant progress in the past. 

  Transformation will take time, but the COVID-19 crisis will accelerate change
  The full transformation of the construction industry could take decades, but the process has already begun. Our survey shows that industry leaders largely agree that the shifts outlined in this report are likely to occur at scale within the next five to ten years, and that the COVID-19 crisis will accelerate shifts.
  Our executive survey of 400 decision makers in November and December 2019 found that the attitudes of executives have evolved materially since three to five years ago (see sidebar “About the executive survey” in chapter 1 for more details on the survey). In all, 90 percent of the respondents strongly believe that the industry needs to change and that this sentiment has grown in the past ten years. Eighty percent also believe that the construction industry will look radically different 20 years from now. 
  Beyond our analysis and the overwhelming beliefs of the surveyed executives, we see signs today that the industry had already started to change before the COVID-19 crisis began. For instance, adoption of product-based approaches is increasing. In North America, the permanent modular-construction market share of new real-estate construction projects grew by approximately 51 percent from 2015 to 2018, and revenues for the segment grew (from a small base of $2 billion) by a factor of 2.4 over the same period. Also, emerging players as well as incumbents are already seeking to control a larger part of the value chain; Katerra, for instance, used new technology to control the value chain, including design and engineering and off-site manufacturing. Indicators suggest the construction industry is increasing its emphasis on R&D, and companies that have invested in construction technology and facilities are gaining traction. Global R&D spending by the top 2,500 construction companies grew by 77 percent from 2013 to 2017. 
  The COVID-19 crisis looks set to accelerate change (Exhibit D). We conducted an additional survey in early May 2020 to understand the potential implications of the crisis on the disruptions and shifts outlined in the report. Respondents comprised 100 decision makers out of the same sample that responded to our first survey. Nearly two-thirds of respondents believe that the COVID-19 crisis will accelerate industry transformation, and half have already raised investment in line with the shifts. Investments in digitalization and supply-chain control are most pronounced, while respondents believe the crisis will slow down internationalization and the rise of new entrants—giving incumbents a rare opportunity to step in and drive change.


(Exhibit D)

  All players must prepare now for a fundamentally different next normal
  Our research shows that leaders leave laggards behind in times of crisis. Those that go beyond managing their survival to take fast, bold, strategic action tend to emerge as the winners. During past economic cycles, companies that managed to move quickly to improve their productivity (for example, reducing their cost of goods sold through operational efficiency), divest earlier and are more acquisitive during the recovery. They cleaned up their balance sheets ahead of a downturn and outperformed competition in both revenues and earnings before interest, depreciation, taxes, and amortization (EBITDA).
  Players in the ecosystem will need to develop strategies to deal with the disruption ahead. Our survey respondents identified four types of players set to face the largest long-term decline: design and engineering firms, materials distributors, general contractors, and specialist contractors.   Furthermore, respondents believe that general contractors will be required to move first, as they could experience commoditization and a declining share of value.
 
  In the face of this transformation, companies all along the value chain need to review where they want to play
  Which asset classes, segments, geographies, and value-chain steps. They will need to assess the impact of each of the disruptions and the nine shifts, decide how they want to act on them, and define new-business models and operating models in line with those decisions. This process is critical whether they aim to defend their core business and adjust to the new environment or fundamentally reinvent themselves and attack. For success, it will be critical for companies to invest in a set of enablers, such as agile organizations. Finally, companies can choose how to implement the new strategy and transformation, whether it’s trying to evolve incumbent operations to work within the new setup, starting up new divisions or arm’s-length operations, or applying targeted M&A. 
  In the materials-distribution and logistics segment, for instance, off-site manufacturing facilities will shift demand for shipments to factory hubs, the main logistics nodes, which will increase customer expectations for just-in-time delivery. The segment will be further reshaped by online and direct sales channels (including new competition from online-distribution behemoths), rising customer expectations, and increased use of technologies such as advanced analytics or automated warehouses. A shift in procurement activity, from small specialized trades firms to larger contractors, will affect companies’ bargaining power, and internationalization will enable companies to source more from low-cost countries. 
  In response, companies could try to defend their core by, for instance, focusing on the refurbishment market, becoming leaner, and undertaking category reviews. They could adjust to the changing environment by, for example, strengthening customer relationships, offering new business solutions to avoid disintermediation, consolidating to gain scale, and developing industrial-grade supply-chain capabilities. Reinvention would entail becoming the logistics hub of the future construction landscape. Strategies could include partnering closely with off-site manufacturers and materials suppliers to optimize logistics and inventory according to their needs, helping with international sourcing, or offering credit financing.
  Companies that familiarize themselves with the next normal and move quickly will be best positioned to both create value and maintain their competitive edge. 
  Organizations that are adjacent to the construction ecosystem should look to facilitate—and benefit from—the coming changes. Investors are well advised to use foresight to anticipate the respective shifts and generate above-market returns. Insurance companies are already factoring use of modern methods of construction into their terms. Policy makers should help the industry become more productive and thereby attain better housing and infrastructure for citizens. And building owners stand to benefit from better structures at lower costs if they play their part in making the shifts happen.
  Construction is already in the perfect storm. Industrialization, globalization, and digitalization have been key drivers of change in all industries. While this change happened in sequential waves—for example, in auto industrialization in the 1970s and 1980s, globalization in the 1990s and 2000s, and digitalization in the 2010s and ongoing—all of these drivers are hitting construction simultaneously. It is a daunting task and will require bold and agile moves to maneuver, but the size of the prize is enormous.
(Source: McKinsey & Company website)

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