4 ways APIs impact the construction industry

by Lee Maguire | August 5, 2022 |  4 min read

4 ways APIs impact the construction industry
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The construction industry is a dynamic space where innovation is crucial to staying competitive. That is why creating and implementing APIs that can streamline processes and save time has become increasingly important.

In an age where software solutions are automating just about every process, it is no surprise that APIs are playing such a critical role. In fact, many construction specific vendors, such as Oracle Primavera and BIM 360, have developed their own APIs to give developers easier access to their software. As more businesses adopt this strategy, it is important for everyone to understand how API implementation could and will impact our businesses moving forward.

What are APIs?

An application programming interface (API) is an interface that helps developers connect different applications together. Having an API offers developers the ability to create software that integrates with your company’s system. By implementing an API, you are able to reduce the copy and pasting between systems and documents. They also offer the potential to replace monotonous tasks with functions which can perform them quicker and more accurately without human intervention saving valuable time and effort.

Build a repository of knowledge

One of the biggest advantages of implementing an API is the ability to build a repository of knowledge. If your company’s system is accessible via an API, not only will you have greater control over information dissemination, but you will also be able to create a central database of best practices. For example, let’s say that your company’s BIM software includes a feature that allows users to track materials by source. That information is crucial to ensuring that all materials in your project are appropriately marked as “onsite.” By implementing an API, you can allow other users to access this feature and track materials for other projects in the same way. This not only ensures that the information is centralised, but it also ensures that other teams are properly marking their materials.

Streamline communication and collaboration

By building an API, you can streamline communication and collaboration among teams and departments. One of the biggest issues in construction is the lack of communication between stakeholders. Implementing an API can help your company avoid this problem by giving stakeholders direct access to workflows, schedules, and other integrated systems. By integrating your project management software with your communication software, you will be able to automatically send alerts and notifications, so that everyone is on the same page. By creating an API, you will be able to easily create workflows and integrate different systems, so that information is shared instantly.

Increase productivity

By utilising APIs, you will be able to increase productivity in a number of ways. For example, you can automate the process of updating your building information modelling (BIM) model. This allows you to update and improve your model on the fly, so there are no delays or wait times for others to see the changes. Other productivity boosters include real time scheduling and resource management. By integrating your project management software with your communications software, you will be able to create a centralised hub for scheduling and resource management.

Create an electronic document management system

An API can be used to create an electronic document management system. This is ideal for companies that don’t use paper onsite. By pulling information from other systems, you can create a central hub for all documents, including change orders, calculations and drawings. By building an API, you can easily integrate your project management software with other systems, such as your BIM software, to create a seamless document management system.

In summary

As you can see, APIs are a powerful tool that will help automate, processes and streamline workflows. With that said, implementing an API can be complicated, so it is important to have a qualified software developer in order to implement APIs safely and securely. Or by partnering with a company that has extensive experience in API implementation and development. Once the various APIs are up and running, you can expect to see improvements in communication, collaboration, productivity and more.

To learn more about API implementation, contact Lee Maguire at [email protected].