Market Intelligence

Enhanced Market Intelligence in the Construction Industry

Effective supply chain management in construction sounds like science fiction, but it's a reality today. “Enhanced Market Intelligence”... sounds great, but what does it actually mean, and how do you get there?

What is Enhanced Market Intelligence?

Enhanced Market Intelligence means having the right actionable insights from the market to make better construction project and program decisions. But what makes something the "right insight," and how can construction companies and project owners benefit from this information? First, let's start with the definition. We believe there are four components to data that we classify as "enhanced market intelligence"

  • Actionable: Actionable data enables the user to make better informed decisions.
  • Applicable: Applicable data is relevant to your specific use case(s) and user(s), directly impacting the user experience.
  • Timely: Information is delivered on schedule to where it has full leverage.
  • Complete: Intelligence must be broad and global. Too often, market intelligence is really a subset of a minute portion of the marketplace. 

These insights can come in the form of real-time market commodity and labor insights to inform planning and purchasing decisions. It could be a notification from several layers within a supply chain letting you know something is off track, giving you time to resolve it before it impacts your project.

Laying the Foundation: Integrating Your Supply Chain

The firms that best integrate their supply chains today often rely on massive spreadsheets. Spreadsheets can be clunky, do not offer complete intelligence, and cannot present data proactively (instead, you have to look for it). Recent global supply chain disruptions have highlighted these inadequacies. Their outcomes include:

  • massive project delays,
  • budget overruns,
  • inefficiencies in product lifecycle management (PLM), and
  • huge financial losses across the construction ecosystem. 

Today there are tools on the market that both integrate supply chain data into your planning and design processes. These tools also can be used to centralize technical data from these processes and improve your product vision. This data is later sent to those who need it during project execution. They all start with defining your projects as a network of products. 

What is the difference between "enhanced market intelligence" and "artificial intelligence" in construction?

The answer lies in who is making the decision. A gross oversimplification boils down to the fact that artificial Intelligence relies on leveraging supply chain models to make choices based on data analytics. Over time the models are improved as results of the choices. The computer makes the improvements as it goes. With Enhanced Market Intelligence, the focus is on humans driving the choice between optionality. You just have better information to make true data driven decisions. So, how do you get to this point?

Organizing Your Supply Chain Around Products

Industrialized Delivery

The dictionary definition of “Organize” is to arrange into a structured whole. That works very well in this context. When we think about the supply chain management in construction, we focus on the work and materials that are largely processed away from the construction site. The following generally composes the “Construction Supply Chain” as we define it:

  1. Commodity Processors
  2. Component Manufacturers 
  3. Product Manufacturers
  4. Distributors
  5. Fabricators
  6. Integrators
  7. Trade Integrators
  8. Logistics and delivery

We also need to define products. We think of products in a construction project in two ways:  

  1. The “Product” might already exist, either formally or informally, within a program. It could be something you buy commonly such as an integrated electrical assembly.

2 Products can also be extracted from existing designs/models by using data structures already in place (this means you do not have to develop new products to productize your project). They also might be coded on top of existing models to extract subsets from a model uniquely defined as a product.


Traditional construction usually relies on procurement processes to purchase products or services based on a Bill of Materials (BOM). Often this bill of materials is what we would call a “flat BOM.” That means that it doesn't have a hierarchical structure. This creates the following inefficiencies or issues that affect process management:

  1. Line items are not linked to dependent materials or where they fit on a job site.
  2. Similar purchases or materials across a project or program may be purchased in bulk instead of considering purchasing holistically.
  3. A flat BOM may not incorporate the right technical documentation to share with vendors.

So how do you create a product portfolio for your project?


A productization strategy begins by creating a library. Organizing these products in a library drives repeatability. It also holistically defines the subsets of associated technical data that go along with the finished product. This punch list includes:

  • fabrication and assembly models,
  • QA/QC Plans,
  • Installation information,
  • Commissioning checklist,

And any other data needed to produce a product and install it at the job site. Organizing products in a product library allows you to create links between construction materials and your other systems (such as ERPs, design tools, and PLM systems). These links integrate vendor inventory, capacity, and other product data which can be used for . Often these are private owner defined systems integrations where you provide the list and types of information needed in real-time.

Learn how to optimize construction at all phases of your project

KatalystDI believes that by connecting projects to supply chain realities, we can create a comprehensive understanding of the total ecosystem. Only then can we move on from anecdotes and assumptions to let data drive our decisions.

  • define construction programs as a network of defined products
  • define each of those products holistically to drive process repeatability and scale 
  • integrate the supply chain behind each product and meaningfully link them
  • organize product and supply chain data and integrate to external packages to effectively inform the design, procurement, and construction process
  • create product lifecycle management and closed-loop learning functionality to manage product and supply chain at scale across an infinite timeline

You can learn more by downloading our whitepaper: What is Enhanced Market Intelligence? We cover the basics in creating a product strategy, and will show you how you can leverage your supply chains to find deeper insights. You can learn more by downloading our whitepaper.

-> Download Whitepaper


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