Without product data, the construction industry cannot digitize itself. What this data must look like was the topic of the panel discussion on the closing day.
Standardized, high-quality product data is the foundation on which the construction industry is building digitization. Barbara-Maria Loth, Chief Digital Officer at the building materials manufacturer Knauf Group, Dirk Schaper, Managing Director of ProMaterial and Konrad Werning, Managing Director of ARGE Neue Medien, debated a merger of manufacturers of sanitary, heating and air-conditioning technology in the panel discussion on the closing day.

Without product data in high quality it does not go any more

After decades of escaping digitization, the construction industry is now under enormous pressure to digitize its processes due to the lack of skilled workers, increasing urbanization and the need to work in a resource-conserving manner, explained Barbara-Maria Loth in her opening presentation. In order to successfully implement this change, the industry needs standardized product data. "This can only be delivered completely and in high quality by holistic data management," says Loth.

Supply chains on the construction site just in timemanage

Dirk Schaper of ProMaterial explained the importance of open data standards. Only with them could all conceivable building materials be ordered online from any possible manufacturer and orders imported directly into the suppliers' ERP systems. "If we succeed, we can also manage the supply chains just in time on construction sites," Schaper added. Konrad Werning from ARGE Neue Medien reported on the experiences that the sanitary, heating and air-conditioning industry has had for 30 years with the creation and use of product data.

Open data standards offer competitive advantages

The discussion that followed the keynote speeches focused, among other things, on how to convince building materials wholesalers to use standardized product data and manufacturer-neutral standards. The answer is obvious, explained ProMaterial boss Schaper: "They offer a huge competitive advantage. In the past, wholesalers tried to differentiate themselves from their competitors by maintaining high quality product data. That is no longer enough today. Today, they differentiate themselves by offering data in open formats." This is the only way that users from construction practice can use them.