What to Know About Adopting Construction Technology

Construction Technology

Some construction employees seem to be all about technology. And sometimes it feels as if they want you to adopt technology for technology’s sake.

Granted, there are a lot of options available and many of them have lots of bling. You can really get caught up in a confusing maze of possibilities, so it’s important to refine your search for construction technology that’s right for you and your business. Here are some tips:

5 Construction Technology Questions

Don’t feel you’re alone when weighing the merits of several construction technology programs. Even seasoned technology veterans tend to get distracted by whistles and bells. Your software should have answers and solutions for these questions:

  1. What are my bottlenecks and pain points? Can this technology make a difference?
  2. Who will manage the strategic vision behind adopting the new technology?
  3. Who at the project site level will manage the data and how it is used/shared?
  4. How will I know whether our investment in technology has achieved the desired results?
  5. How can we plan for future construction technology expansion?

Probably the most important consideration is how your technology implementation will better-manage current processes. One proponent of onsite camera technology says identifying the issues first is the way to go. Then find the technology capabilities that address every problem plus has the capacity for additional services.

Some project site issues camera technology resolves:

  • Creating time and attendance reports
  • Developing emergency evacuation routes
  • Ensuring heavy-equipment workers have credentials to operate
  • Facilitating a contact tracing record
  • Identifying site safety risks
  • Knowing who is onsite, in the appropriate place, and if there are enough workers to keep the job on-schedule
  • Maintaining social distancing
  • Managing project site access

Look Before You Leap

Create technology goals. You can’t hope to hit the ground running, but a reasonable expectation of implementation timeframes is necessary. Where should you be in 6 weeks? Six months?

Don’t toss your new technology investment into the wrong rollout. Make sure your project leads and the team is onboard and eager to be the flagship operators of this technology adventure. There’s a learning curve, and with the wrong project and the wrong people, your software possibilities won’t get the opportunity to solve onsite problems.

Speaking of Possibilities…

Construction Monitor shares construction technology information without recommending nor endorsing any brand(s). Our software service can help you win more business. The possibilities are here and the opportunities exist. Call 800.925.6085 (International/435.586.1205) or contact Construction Monitor.

The New Construction Era: Drive It or Survive It?

construction industry

The digital transformation has led to a new construction era. Some companies are driving the change. Others are playing catch-up. Our new construction era is a lot of things, but it isn’t a spectator sport. To become or continue to be a thriving construction company, you need to become a part of the digital transformation.

3 Business Plan Elements for the New Construction Era

Do you remember the popularity of the 5-year business plan? Every organization worth its salt had to have one.

If you wanted to make a 5-year business plan for the new construction era you would include anticipated:

  • Cash flow
  • Expenses
  • Income
  • Trends

…for the next five years, even though you can’t predict supply chain crises and employee turnover for the next 5 days. Instead of focusing on the duration, focus on embracing the technology.

Here are 3 elements you need for your digital transformation business plan:

1. People

Every employee must be included in your digital transformation process. “Unfortunately, when going digital, many construction firms neglect to seek…buy-in from their key stakeholders. This leads to a major disconnect between the initial implementation of new technology, and how many workers actually use it on a day-to-day basis,” says Construction Dive. Instead of setting timeline goals, patiently focus on getting employees on board with training. Your people are worth it.

2. Process

While manufacturing productivity has averaged a 3.6% increase, construction productivity has grown a measly 1 percent a year. A digital transformation could increase our productivity by as much as 15% and reduce financial loss by as much as 5% per project.

Do you know where the bottlenecks are in your productivity? You should. Correcting unnecessary time- and money-wasting will contribute to growth. And your digital solutions will overcome the bottlenecks to your business that are holding you back.

3. Technology

Construction continues to be among the least digitized industries, but we’re improving. Digital transformation can streamline and minimize process and project issues in the new construction era.

New technology should be implemented to fix pain points that are actually hindering growth. For best results, tech solutions must be delivered as fully integrated, cohesive systems… Briq

We Digitize. You Analyze.

For the marketing professionals at Construction Monitor, the new construction era is proving to be an exciting time. After all these years – we saw the future of data analytics as early as 1989 – we are finally “preaching to the choir.” The construction industry is moving much faster to embrace technology, including ours.

To find out what our building permit datasorts can do for you, call  800.925.6085 (International/435.586.1205) or contact Construction Monitor.

Drone Technology and the Construction Industry

construction drone technology

In May 2015, Construction Monitor asked, “Do drones have a place in construction?” This year, drone technology will soar in the construction industry.

Today, a drone in Detroit, Michigan, can be piloted in Orlando, Florida. “Skypersonic invented the first worldwide, real-time remote piloting system,” says Skypersonic founder Giuseppe Santangelo. Another technology company, Red Cat Holdings, acquired Skypersonic in May 2021. Red Cat’s mission is to acquire and advance drone technology for the construction industry, first-responder organizations, and energy development companies.

The announcement put renewed focus on ways the construction and other industries can capitalize on drone technology.

Drone Data and How It’s Used

A 2020 survey revealed 90% of respondents expect to invest in drone technology. “Builders are looking to drones to provide thermal and façade inspections,” said ConstructConnect® last month.

Drone technology was set to become a construction industry staple, but the pandemic may have sped up its usage.

LiDAR (Light detection and ranging) is a remote sensing technology
used for measuring the exact distance of an object on the earth’s
surface. A scanner, laser, and a GPS receiver are the three
primary components of a LiDAR instrument, in combination
with photodetectors and optics for data collection.

LiDAR data collection is vital for today’s advanced project management, according to John McKenna, CEO of sees.ai. Just last year, construction project stakeholders used drones for “validation flights” perhaps monthly. Now they will be used weekly; daily, thanks to LiDAR and remote piloting technologies.

Use Technology for Business Development

Already, drone technology is improving the way we work. Drones:

  • Cut costs
  • Enhance safety
  • Improve efficiency
  • Increase accuracy

And drone technology is affordable for small business owners.

Construction Monitor technology is affordable for small businesses, too. Like drones, our data is only good if you use it. We customize the information for your business development needs; when what you need changes, we’ll provide different datasorts that can lead to growth for your company.

Learn more. Contact Construction Monitor today.

Construction Industry Workforce Management Software

Construction Industry Workforce Management Software

Saving time, reducing do-overs; the bottom line is, construction industry companies are interested in project management software for that exact reason: the bottom line. If you don’t have workforce management software, you will. It’s what you’ll use to better manage resources, time, and generate profits.

Four Benefits of Workforce Management Platforms

LaborChart* says if you have 100 employees, odds are your project needs 50 or 150 workers. You make it work because general contractors know how to “run lean.” The reality is, that’s our preference.

“Bloated contractors don’t thrive or sometimes even survive,” says LaborChart. “When equipment and people are sitting idle, costs can add up quickly.” That strategy keeps you in business, but it also stops you from growing your business because you’re in constant reactive mode.

Workforce management software offers:

  1. Enhanced forecasting – This app provides information about labor, equipment, and money so you can evaluate opportunity risks.
  2. Optimized scheduling – Personnel can be selected based on skillsets, certifications, and project variables. Assignment requests can be sent while you’re elsewhere.
  3. Reduced downtime – Put employees where they need to be when they need to be there, rather than sitting idle, waiting for others to finish so they can begin.
  4. View overworked/underworked workers at-a-glance – Overworked teams make more mistakes. Underworked employees will eventually move on.

Benefits of Construction Monitor Software

Construction Monitor doesn’t sell software. But you can use the data our software generates to make strategic business decisions. This statement actually encapsulates the process: We digitize; you analyze.

We understand workforce management is possibly the biggest challenge you face today. Providing you with information pertinent to the construction industry is something we’re passionate about. Providing current business leads and historical trends so you can make marketing decisions and increase profits is what we know about.

You don’t have time to do what we do. Let’s partner to deliver fast, actionable information that maximizes your time.

Call 800.925.6085 (International/435.586.1205) or contact us.

*Construction Monitor does not recommend nor endorse any brand of construction business software (except our own).

Advantages of Automated Construction Payment

Automated Construction Payment

There aren’t many of us that use checkbooks these days, let alone “carry” them. Automating the workplace, including every construction payment, doesn’t mean you lose control.

Management company McKinsey says the principles of workplace automation are:

  • Activities – Forty-five percent of the activities employees carry out could be automated.
  • Creativity/emotion-focusing – Automation can free employees to do what we as humans do best: interpret customers’ and clients’ emotional needs to improve business. Creativity will prosper in an automated workplace.
  • High-level analytics – CEOs, etc. could save more than 20% of their time with automated analytics for reports and numbers-crunching.
  • Occupations – Automation will redefine jobs and business processes.

Take Control With Automated Payments

General contractors may have 20 or more projects. Each project can have 10 or more subcontractors. Automating payments gives your accounting team a more efficient way to process large volumes of payments.

Here are the advantages of an automated construction payment process:

  1. Accessible from multiple devices – Cellphones, laptops, tablets, back-office computers, your automated payment information is available 24/7 from home, office, or at the jobsite.
  2. Better audit trails – Your team can access, track, and report on any accounts payable requirement.
  3. Enhances working relationships – Your subcontractors will appreciate construction payment automation. It gives you heightened credibility and a reputation for dependable, fast payments.
  4. Helps subcontractors – The software can generate reminders to subcontractors to submit bills, insurance renewals, and allows them to “see” their payment status.
  5. Lowers miscommunications/mistakes – The software should be integrated with your accounting system for a smoother, faster, error-free process.
  6. Reduces the paper trail – Documentation (payment applications, lien waivers, routing, approvals), it’s all online and easily accessible.
  7. Saves time – It can eliminate boring, slow, low-value tasks. Nervous or money-stressed employees/subcontractors won’t need to “…pick up the check at your office” because it can be deposited within minutes.
  8. Simplifies lien waivers – You can standardize/simplify lien waivers’:
    1. Requesting
    2. Collecting
    3. Approving
    4. Tracking

Automated payments can enhance internal workflows and processes.

Construction Monitor can create customized, automated reports based on your business development needs. Take control of your future; contact us today.

Construction Technology for Risk Management

construction technology

You know employee safety is a priority. You assume safety programs and practices are going to be an expense one way or the other; time or money. And you’re okay with that. But did you ever think construction technology for safety might give you a competitive advantage?

Another current business priority is attracting and retaining employees. A construction company with a safety-first culture will represent the kind of environment skilled workers will choose.

Identifying Most Relevant Construction Technologies

Mike Perozek is a safety technology* professional. He says businesses in the construction industry have common goals. Most of our goals include:

  • Acquiring remote jobsite monitoring
  • Creating a safety culture
  • Developing easy-to-access safety performance indicators for stakeholders
  • Improving OSHA compliance
  • Improving safety awareness
  • Saving time on jobsite inspections

Technology additions and upgrades are going to require a budget, training, and management support. “The most successful technology initiatives put the business goals and people at the center; not the technology,” says Perozek.

How the Software Can Help

Managing site safety has always been challenging. Here is some construction technology you may be able to use this year:

  • Fatigue – Some apps can analyze a worker’s posture and bearing to determine if the employee is overly fatigued.
  • Hard hats can include carbon monoxide sensors.
  • Inspection recording – Gives the project team (and inspectors) fast, easy access to project information. The software can monitor and ensure your teams are adhering to safety guidelines.
  • Lone worker apps are designed to protect employees and pinpoint locations in an emergency.
  • Mobile-friendly software should make it easier to access information anytime, from anywhere.
  • Shared collection data – This software gathers data, analyzes it, and shares information that can protect workers.
  • Wearables – PPEs can be fitted with computers, GPS, sensors.

The Best Construction Business Software

Be sure to refer to 9 Questions to Ask When Seeking Construction Software. It can help you evaluate software programs and (hopefully) get the most value at the best price.

Construction Monitor’s software is the best for construction business development. Just ask us.
*Construction Monitor does not recommend nor endorse any brand of construction business software (except our own).

Is a Paperless Construction Industry Possible?

electronic documents paperless construction

“I bought a house in Texas, sold a condo in Denver and never once met buyers, sellers, or had to go to a bank to sign papers,” said a new homeowner. Electronic contracts and signatures have revolutionized the real instate industry.

The construction industry has been slow to adapt to digital contracts and e-signatures. That’s no surprise; we’ve been historically slow to adapt to any technology. E-signatures have been in use over 20 years and they’re just now “catching on” in construction.

Construction Industry E-Sigs

Here’s the bottom line: The benefits outweigh the risks. “General contractors and construction managers, both of whom have integral roles in contract administration and project management, appear to be leading the implementation of e-signature technologies,” says Construction Dive.

The two most important aspects are speed and security. Contract execution is faster and more efficient. Any technology that reduces the manual-entry margin of error is one that is worth considering sooner rather than later.

How Digital Documents Enhance Project Management

Collecting signatures during some phases of pre-construction and construction can take a long time.DocuSign®

When surveyed, contract managers said the most difficult aspect of the job is locating the latest version of a document. When you go completely digital, revisions and changes can be more easily located.

Change orders can now take effect in hours, not weeks. One of the security enhancements includes code generation by SMS or email. Only the signatory receives the code and can then access and sign the document. All documentation can be “filed” in an easy-to-access, single source.

And digital documents can be integrated into project management and accounting software:

  • Blueprints
  • Change requests
  • Contracts
  • Lien waiver
  • Proposals
  • Purchase orders
  • RFIs
  • Subcontracts
  • Submittals

Construction Monitor: Business Transformation Data

A digital document is a readable, paperless document (invoices, contracts, etc.). An electronic document is pure data, transferred from one computer to another. You need an EDI (electronic data interchange) to “digitize” an e-document (make it readable).

Construction Monitor professionals work with pure data. We format it into something you can use. You receive a PDF (easy-to-read) or CSV (spreadsheet integration) format. But if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it (business leads, that is).

Read our User Manual or call us with questions.

Construction Industry Partners with Technology to Overcome Challenges

construction industry technology

We’re facing a lot of challenges. But for our labor-driven construction industry, the shortage of talent is having the biggest impact. We need user-friendly technology solutions and we need them now.

Machine-Control Technology: The Construction Industry Partner

Excavation is one of the most complex aspects of project work for the construction industry. Becoming an excavation professional takes many years of experience. That makes it perfect for machine-control technology.

Leica Geosystems says 32% of construction industry contractors cite machine control for minimizing pandemic issues on project sites last year. Today, 47% of our contractors are using machine control technology.

Machine-Control Apps Increase Work Turnaround By 30%

Machine control is…the use of integrated on-machine sensors and/or geospatial technology including lasers and positioning satellites…This technology can be divided into two basic categories: guidance/indicate-only systems, and automatic systems.CASE News

Using semi-automatic technology, a machine-controlled excavator offers:

  • 30% faster work using a grading app
  • Bucket height auto-adjustment
  • Cross-cut surface protection
  • Easy engagement
  • Rotation-controlled cross-cut (combines the auto bucket and auto-tilt to match target surface regardless of bucket rotation)
  • Smart slope detection

Productivity goes up because it’s faster and less stressful,” says one user. “Because the operator doesn’t have to focus as much attention on keeping the bucket on the grade (there is) less fatigue at the end of the day.”

Cellphones, Tablets Work Smarter So You Don’t Work Harder

Construction industry contractors are also learning more about modeling solutions and drone technology to estimate and track project progress. AGTEK says its goal is to make data import and export to machines easier no matter what you’re working with. CAD files and other formats can be sent as a completed GPS model to a machine.

Powerful, Effective Information 

When you partner with technology, you can overcome many construction industry challenges. But software apps can only do so much.

It’s the same way with building permit information. We can customize the data for your U.S. region. We can provide construction competitors and startup statistics. We’ve got analyses for historical trends.

You’ve got to utilize that technology to develop your business. We can tell you how. For U.S. building permit data, call 800-925-6085 (international 435-586-1205) or contact Construction Monitor.

Sometimes Smaller Is Better

construction industry

For some of us, construction technology was the change we were born for. But the rest of us were dragged, kicking and screaming into software solutions and their subsequent upgrades. About the time we figure construction technology out, they change it again.

The FHWA (Federal Highway Administration) and its EDC-3 (Every Day Counts) initiative promotes construction technology. We need to facilitate “organizational buy-in” because there are fearful-of-change people at every level of our operations, from CEOs to benchwarmers.

InfoTech has managed construction technology software implementations for companies of every size. Their advice? “Think small.”

Efficient Project Management Begins with Small Steps

When introducing any type of construction technology to your team, avoid making grand assertions: “This is going to be huge! This will change everything!” When you present construction technology software as an improvement rather than a new way of doing something, you’ll generate greater acceptance and minimize concerns.

Other ways to introduce “new and improved” construction technology to your organization include:

  • Avoid large assembly-hall training sessions – Think small groups and small sessions. The effectiveness of your construction technology can get lost in a mass presentation where a percentage of attendees can wander away, mentally and physically.
  • Schedule a test drive – Rather than making a Big Announcement and declaring a date for Rollout (which can generate pressure on several levels), ask for volunteers to test a construction technology upgrade.
    This is beneficial because:
    • A “champion user” may surface, and that person can assume greater responsibilities for this construction technology.
    • It creates interest among other employees and excitement when it’s rolled out to everyone.
    • The test-drivers can become “trainers” for your new software.
    • You’ll discover problems in a small setting rather than risk a company-wide crisis.
    • You’ll get a preview of how your company groups will use the construction technology software. This prepares you for concerns and obstacles ahead of time.

Big Data Made Smaller

Construction Monitor takes an enormous amount of construction technology information and sorts it into small chunks. You don’t need to siphon through information for other regions or demographics. You tell us what you need to build your business and we’ll provide it; weekly, monthly, quarterly. Contact us for construction technology analyses made easy.

Construction Business Miscommunication

construction communication

There is a big market for articles, studies, and how-tos about communication in the construction business. The reason is obvious: miscommunication is extremely costly to our industry. Fifty-two percent of construction business rework is caused by miscommunication. In 2018, that cost our industry $31.3 billion.

We’ve all felt the pain of miscommunication in the field and know that it’s led to rework, lost productivity, and coordination stress.Core

Statistics: Construction Business Issues in Communication

More than 30% of construction business professionals say the breakdown is not the failure to communicate but a failure to respond to communications.

What you need to know:

  • 22% – Emails read-rate
  • 82% – Text messages read within five minutes
  • 98% – SMS messages read-rate

Sending texts and SMS messages increases the likelihood your communication will be read. But what can you do to minimize the lack of response?

Ask for feedback, says Procore, and follow-up when your messages and other forms of communication are ignored. You may want to consider adding a “Please respond by…” to all texts and emails.

Onsite Meeting Information Processing Problems

As a contractor, watch for signs your workers are actually processing the information during onsite meetings. Lack of eye connection is the biggest giveaway. They “connect” with you at the beginning and the end of the meeting but disengage during the information-sharing portion. Project communication problems leading to reworks can be reduced if you know what to look for.

Here are six reasons why workers aren’t paying attention during onsite meetings:

  1. There is a personal problem.
  2. They are confused but don’t want to ask questions.
  3. They are preoccupied with pressure to quickly complete a task.
  4. They aren’t comfortable speaking about jobsite issues in front of others.
  5. They can’t hear over the jobsite background noise and are embarrassed to admit it.
  6. You don’t give them a chance to ask questions.

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Call 800.925.6085 or contact Construction Monitor today.