Innovation changes materials, operations, and methods, creating new versions that are better than existing ones. Sometimes, what’s developed can be radically different from what we’re familiar with. In some cases, if the change created doesn’t positively impact business, it will hardly be considered an innovation.
Innovation as continuous improvement is closely linked to construction. The different types of projects taken on in the construction business, their wide geographic reach, the multiculturalism and multidisciplinary nature of the work teams, and, even clients’ idiosyncrasies make for an unparalleled environment for change. These factors undoubtedly promote the creation of incremental innovation.
Globally speaking, every sector is going through a time of unprecedented technological evolution. In ours, where concepts such as Construction 4.0 are beginning to take hold, new technologies are generating methods and tools capable of transforming how buildings and infrastructures have been designed or built, rethinking their requirements for operation or maintenance.
In this context, it seems that innovation is all but imperative for survival in any business environment.
The innovation process
Innovation is a singular process; it is just as important to pay attention to unique, brilliant ideas as the continuous generation of ideas. This process depends on changes in the environment, and it cannot lose sight of clients’ needs or the changes in technology’s dramatic evolution. It is a process that has a clear strategic calling and must continuously be refocused on meeting business objectives.
This process has unique powers, such as turning theoretical ideas or opportunities into real operations that are transformative, move the cutting edge forward, and determine who’s taking the lead.
However, this transformative capacity could hardly be a reality without the support of systematized operations that are firmly implemented, making all of these possible in a simple, efficient way: internal communication; capturing and evaluating ideas; prioritizing initiatives based on analyses of technological surveillance and risks; protecting the technology developed, and collaborating with third parties.
Management System and Innovation Strategy
Ferrovial Construction has an Innovation Management System that is aligned with the principles of international standard ISO 56002. This system was a pioneer in obtaining certified compliance with the UNE 166.002 standard, a certification that was just renewed in 2021 by certifying entity SGS.
Beyond the value of this accreditation, since this system was implemented, all of the standardized operations in the Innovation Management System have been an essential ally in efficiently generating continuous innovation.
Currently, innovation has been determined to be one of the critical priorities for leadership in the sector in our strategic plan, ABACUS. This challenge has given rise to the new Strategic Innovation Plan for Construction with objectives for the 2021-24 period revolving around three priorities: increasing productivity, reducing risks, and competitive advantage based on innovation.
And once again, we are confident that our systematized innovation operations will make it easier for us to face the coming challenges with ease.