Can manufacturing and ERP help construction with prefabrication?

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A lot of things in the construction industry could use improvement. Despite significant advancements in technology, contractors still perform basic functions of cutting and shaping material so that all the components fit properly, and that's not guaranteed. It's inefficient, costs time and money and  produces waste. Recently, however, a long-established technique in building projects that involves manufacturing has gotten a major boost through the use of new technology in both verticals. As a consequence, manufacturers can add buildings and rooms to the goods they create, and warehouse management systems will likely take on new dimensions.

The models make the parts
The process of prefabricating housing and offices has long been touted as the great fusion between architecture and construction. According to housing blog OSHcore, the first true prefabricated buildings were made in the early 20th century. The idea of prefabricated building is that homes and offices made to be assembled relatively quickly, similar to how people assemble furniture but at a greater scale.

However, the problem with prefabricated construction was always complexity. Because manufacturing required buildings and components to be produced at a mass scale, the design of these buildings had to be simple and rigid, even when done by artistic architects. So prefabricated homes became known as the basis for similarly looking, boring houses.

However, two technological developments have greatly helped make prefabricated housing and offices much more likely. The first is the advent of building information modeling. Harnessing the same cloud computing power as Microsoft Dynamics NAV, this software can create exact virtual models, which can be used to create the right fitting for just about anything. A steel beam could be cut in the precise shape and length to be transported to the building site. This software allows users to customize entire rooms to be manufactured rather than built from scratch. This saves a lot of time and money, leaving fewer chances for mistakes, according to Construction Executive.

Enterprise resource planning software helps greatly with this process. By allocating resources more efficiently through inventory management, automatic data collection and other tools, a manufacturing business can easily build a custom home without having to make significant adjustments to machinery. In turn, this creates a situation where the housing and offices can be built to spec with a far greater degree of efficiency, saving contractors, homeowners and business owners time and money.

To discuss Microsoft NAV solutions for manufacturing, join the Microsoft Dynamics NAV for Manufacturing LinkedIn group.