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IET calls on manufacturers to digitise, government to support

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The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has highlighted the four key reasons for construction product manufacturers to digitise their information.

While launching its Digitisation for construction product manufacturers: a plain language guide, the IET said digitisation “is the first step to compliance, supports integrity, makes commercial sense and future-proofs the industry”.

The guide has been produced to help decision-makers in manufacturing identify why supplying structured data is important; how to avoid poor investment decisions; how to set priorities and implement information management; and safe ways to share this information about products across the supply chain.

Rick Hartwig, IET built environment lead, said: “As we embrace a digital future, it’s putting pressure on the manufacturing industry to act. Manufacturers produce a significant part of the information required for a safer construction industry, but currently, this information isn’t structured or shared in a consistent way.

“If the UK construction industry is to meet the challenges of a digital future and respond to the requirements of a new building safety regulatory system, it needs manufacturers to structure and share their data safely and sustainably.

“If the UK construction industry is to meet the challenges of a digital future and respond to the requirements of a new building safety regulatory system, it needs manufacturers to structure and share their data safely and sustainably.”

Rick Hartwig, IET

“This new plain language guide will help the industry embrace digitisation. It is only through this digital transparency that industry and society can differentiate between compliant and non-compliant manufacturers. Making structured information available to the supply chain is an essential step in this process.”

In an endorsement to the guide and in support of the digitisation of the sector, Dame Judith Hackitt, government adviser to the new Building Safety Regulator, said: “It will be a really positive contribution in helping people to understand what digitalisation means for construction products.”

The IET also made recommendations to the government. “With a strong record of digitisation and the commitment to a digital economy, the UK government is in an ideal position to take the lead in encouraging manufacturers to digitise,” Hartwig added.

As well as the guide, the IET has set up a blog and LinkedIn group that invites members of the manufacturing and construction industry to join and share views about the guide and topics related to it.

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