Construction Technology: Ways We Can Work Together

construction technology

We talk about construction industry-related businesses as if there are non-construction industry-related businesses. The fact is construction impacts every business, every person. Probably the greatest benefit we’ve realized from construction technology is the ability to connect.

Construction is the foundation of nearly every other industry.Autodesk

The Value of Connecting Using Construction Technology

Construction projects today are more complex. Failure to recognize that our processes need to be managed differently can put your company at the bottom of the food chain. No one will need your services because you can’t deliver what others can.

Possibly the most important key to becoming a leader in construction projects – from bidding through delivery – is developing an effective communication chain using construction technology.

Yes, you’re going to need software.*

Traditionally, every project is separated into sectors and each sector does its own thing. This has been the only way to work we knew, and it led to miscommunication, duplicated efforts, wasted time and materials, and do-overs.

“Predictability” is programmed into construction technology software. Based on proven probabilities, you can now make more informed decisions; that’s critical. But making those decisions while connecting in real-time with key players is even more important.

Construction technology drives:

  • Collaboration
  • Ongoing insights into project performance
  • Real-time data available to every sector and every team

And more. You’ll also realize:

Better Bidding

Your relationships with construction professionals that have mentored you are valuable. Bidding software supplements those relationships and builds new relationships.

You’ll be able to bid quickly and with greater accuracy than ever before. Autodesk says its software can even “de-risk partner selection.” You may find partnering with friends isn’t as profitable as making new friends.

Software Technology for Project Development

Building permit information is free, but the information you need is unique. Building permit data is like the top of a huge funnel. You have to sort the information several times to get what you can use.

The Construction Monitor team has tried manually sorting the information from broad-and-generic to what you need. It takes a lot of time and effort. Do you really want to do it yourself? Our software works faster and delivers proven results.

Tell us what you want, what you need. We’ll partner with you to find profitable leads. Contact Construction Monitor today.

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*Construction Monitor does not endorse nor recommend any software brand or company (except ours). The information we share is for educational use only.

Laser Technology in the Construction Industry

laser technology in construction

“Laser” was an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.” The first laser was built in 1960, so it’s not exactly new technology. But 3D laser scanning is just now trending in the construction industry. And the market is expected to grow to $10 billion by 2024.

A laser is a device that emits light through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of
electromagnetic radiation.
Wikipedia

How Laser Scanning Is Used in the Construction Industry

Here are ways laser scanning can be used in a project lifecycle:

  1. Design – Laser scanning is used for BIM (building information modeling).
  2. Build – Onsite laser scanning can spot discrepancies and conflicts between electrical, plumbing, or HVAC systems. Its information can be shared remotely and used to:
    • Document errors
    • Hand-off work
    • Reduce change orders
  3. As-built – Laser scanning details can create permanent records for operations, retrofits, and later renovations.

Laser Benefits for the Construction Industry

Laser technology can reduce project costs, but the initial investment is prohibitive to most small-business contractors and sub-contractors. Training employees is another investment that should be added to the upfront expense.

If you can rent the equipment or service, that’s a great way to learn the benefits of its application. For those that can afford the investment, the advantages are real:

  • Creates more detailed workflows
  • Improves project coordination/collaboration/communications
  • Improves the quality of work
  • Increases accuracy/reduces errors
  • Information is real-time
  • Reduces manual labor
  • Saves money (as much as 50%)
  • Saves time

Construction Data Analytics for Your Business

Construction Monitor shares what we learn about the construction industry. We’ve been around long enough to be amazed at the rapid technological advances within our industry. Our team likes to believe we’re part of the change.

If your business is dependent on growth and works for or with construction industry organizations, our data is easily obtained. But time is money. You should take advantage of our technology to cut to the chase and target specific locales, companies, and trends.

Ask us how. Contact Construction Monitor today.

The 3 Ps of Construction Digital Transformation

Construction Digital Transformation

Construction Monitor sorts building permit data into actionable information for your area and your business development requirements. We are proud to have been a part of digital technology for the construction industry and industry-related businesses for so many years. Our software statistics were some companies’ first experience with the construction digital transformation process.

How Do We Go About Achieving Construction Digital Transformation?

Some people still don’t understand what construction digital transformation means or what it can accomplish. Digital technology is any electronic tool, system, device, or resource that generates, stores, or processes data.

These three p’s can help you understand and develop a construction digital transformation plan for your business:

1. People

Our industry depends on people working together. This is why transparency – information-sharing with everyone involved – is integral to construction digital transformation success. Before investing in any technology, consider who must adapt to it and use it, and then get their feedback before the purchase:

  • 52% say field staff needs are a top priority but only
  • 28% request feedback, so
  • 36% report the technology didn’t fit with current processes/procedures

2. Process

Our processes are what lead to productivity issues. Implementing construction digital transformation has resulted in 14-15% productivity improvements and 4-6% cost reductions. Process change enablers include:

  • Capability enhancements
  • Contract reviews
  • Data tools
  • Legal liabilities and responsibilities defined/updated
  • Redefined responsibilities
  • Updated processes/mandates

3. Progress

Technology is progress. Every technological process you embrace moves your company forward. Technology progress requires fixing problems, not investing in the IT flavor of the month without understanding its capabilities. “Full-scale digital transformation requires integrated, cohesive systems,” says CTO Sameer Merchant. The bottom line is, analyze what will provide your team with the best advancements.

Construction Monitor: Powerful, Local Construction Statistics

Every week, we enter thousands of construction project leads into our database. You can learn more about commercial, residential, and solar construction projects in your area when you get your sample edition today.

Cyberattack: The Other Virus

While we’re developing processes to protect workers from each other during a pandemic, we may be lowering our defenses against other viruses. Cyberattacks are becoming more cause for concern in the construction business, but we’re taking fewer steps to mitigate cybersecurity.

Construction Companies and Cyberattacks

“Hackers are increasingly going after construction companies,” said Zachary Phillips of Construction Dive. And construction companies are often underprepared for an attack. “The disconnect between the field and the office can create lapses that hackers can exploit, and there are more chances employees can make mistakes.”

How They Hack

Hackers will pose as subcontractors. They’ll message construction business A/R (accounts receivables) or accountants and claim to have a new routing number.

Another hack is to email an employee at 4:00 p.m. on a Friday, just as things are wrapping up for the weekend. The hacker will ask for vital information and hope the employee is too distracted to see the red flags.

5 Clues You’re Being Hacked

“Odd-sounding” wording and spelling mistakes are often clues to a potential hack. Other indicators your construction business may be the victim of a cyberattack can include:

  1. Action pop-ups – One of the more successful pop-ups says, “You’ve won! Click here to claim your prize!” A more deadly pop-up is “Your files have been encrypted. Send $1,000 by noon tomorrow or we’ll delete the key.” It’s called “ransomware.” Even if you send the money, you may not get the key.
  2. Crashes – Uploaded malware can cause crashes or slow-running equipment.
  3. Mass emails – Employees not known for sending mass emails about anything suddenly send one to the entire organization.
  4. Network performance – Your construction business router or network slows substantially. A hacker is downloading large amounts of information or connecting to your network.
  5. Unusual activity – You see activity at vacant workstations. Working employees may notice their cursors move or programs and files open “by themselves.”

Construction Business Intelligence for Our Industry

Your construction business has technology options to maximize efficiency, including cybersecurity software. Make one of your new year resolutions to explore cybersecurity options for your company. You may think you’re “not big enough” to be a target, but you’re wrong.

Construction Monitor uses business intelligence data to help your organization work smarter and more competitively. Contact us today.

Must-Have Construction Technology for Your Company

Construction Technology

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is nothing new. The acronym was probably coined around the 1880s when protective eyewear was patented. Actually, PPEs have been around for centuries; we have always protected our hands with glove-like coverings when necessary.

Mask-wearing has become politicized, but businesses – including construction industry-related businesses – don’t have the luxury of choice. We are duty-bound to protect our workplaces, employees, and customers.

We’re already looking at 1Q 2021 and wondering if it’s going to be more of the same. At least IoT (Internet of Things) technology is going to give us construction technology to track PPEs. In any instance where diligence is a good idea, being able to prove due diligence can save your business.

Construction Technology: Contact Tracing Tools

One of the new tasks surrounding the pandemic is contact tracing. You’ll issue and/or post jobsite guidance for distancing. And if a case of COVID-19 is suspected to be jobsite-related, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) have guidelines for reporting, tracking, and monitoring infected individuals.

We recommend you read Guidelines for the Implementation and Use of Digital Tools to get an idea of what may be required at your end.

Construction Technology Software

IoT technology has been utilized for the better part of a decade and is proving to help improve safety, lower risk, and give management and workers the peace of mind needed…
ConstructionDive.com

Supervisors will have a greater responsibility to maintain the accountability of employees. There are software apps that can give you a real-time “picture” of every employee’s location on a jobsite. You can view bottlenecks and problem areas and address issues immediately.

Proximity Trace™* alerts workers if they get too close to each other. Information is stored, so if there is a COVID-19 incident, employees don’t have to use their memories to reconstruct where they were and with whom they interacted on any given day.

Construction Monitor for Real-Time Data Analytics

If you receive weekly reports from Construction Monitor, you’re already utilizing a powerful construction technology tool. Have you heard the phrase, “Use it or lose it?” That’s exactly what happens to business development if you don’t use the information we provide.

Call 800.925.6085 (International/435.586.1205) or contact us today. We want to know where you want to build.

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*Construction Monitor does not endorse nor recommend any software brand for use in construction technology applications.

Construction Workforce Management: Digitization

Construction Workforce Management

There’s no company in any industry that has succeeded without spreadsheets. Let’s briefly pause to say, “Bless you, Excel. You’ve served us well.” But spreadsheets are not the answer to construction workforce management. As working-at-home and the need for social distancing continues into 4Q 2020, digitizing construction workforce management is even more necessary.

Say goodbye to your monthly/weekly spreadsheets. You need up-to-date information when and where it’s needed.

Stop Supervising and Start Managing

Technology has become a bridge for overcoming the distance
of a team working remotely.
Ben Schultz

Spreadsheets encourage us to work alone. Digitization forces us to collaborate, share, and communicate. And that’s the best way to manage your business. About 90% of all spreadsheets have errors serious enough to trigger:

  • Faulty forecasting
  • Labor shortages
  • Overruns

Because your team is mobile, you need to be able to access information from anywhere, anytime. Your project site personnel should be able to quickly access the same analytics available to your accounts payable/receivable professional working from their home office. And you don’t want statistics that apply to your construction workforce management situation 10 days ago.

You can manage the following using shareable, intuitive, cloud-based construction workforce management software in real-time:

  • Accounting
  • Employees
    • Availability
    • Certification
    • Current wage
    • Location
  • Time-tracking

Ask other successful companies what kind of cloud-based software they recommend. But remember – what works for their organization may not be a good fit for your team.

Getting Started: How To ‘Digitize’

Review and prioritize your organization’s pain points, which may include:

  • Information-sharing delays between the project site and office
  • Inefficient performance measurements/management
  • Insufficient risk management
  • Paper documents – who has what/where
  • Project planning getting more complex

Whatever paper forms you use most often should be the first you digitize.

If employee retention is among your construction workforce management goals, digitization increases mobile workforce efficiency. “Mobile” forms work on mobile devices – like cellphones – which make it convenient for workforce management teams.

We Digitize; You Analyze

Construction Monitor has only one digitization goal: To provide profit-generating information relevant to your organization. We will breakdown the data to the location, sector, and industry-specific area(s) your business wants to develop.

Call 800.925.6085 (International/435.586.1205) or contact us today.

Using Construction Technology in the Age of COVID-19

Construction Technology

Without discounting the pain the 2020 pandemic has caused for so many, it’s pretty safe to say most of us are sick of coronavirus. Still, some good things are emerging from these hard times.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing us to find safer and smarter ways of building homes and offices,” said the World Economic Forum in August 2020.

  • Big data and AI (artificial intelligence) during architectural design and construction process are rapidly transforming construction technology.
  • Digital technology is driving prefab housing. This creates highly sustainable, high-quality housing faster.

9 Focal Points for Post-COVID Construction Technology

Global management authority McKinsey doesn’t mince words when it says the construction industry has performed unsatisfactorily for quite some time. We’ve ignored ecosystem development, even though it accounts for 13% of global GDP (gross domestic products). “Time and costs overruns are the norm,” says a recent report.

The pandemic has accelerated changes we’ve been slow to adopt. Post-COVID-19 construction technology will focus on:

  1. Digitalization
  2. Industrial approaches
  3. Lower costs
  4. New materials
  5. New profit sources
  6. Offsite manufacturing
  7. Skills scarcity
  8. Specialization
  9. Sustainability

Ways We’re Improving Construction Technology

Building Information Modeling (BIM) became more widely used during the pandemic lockdown. We worked on our projects virtually because we weren’t able to work on them in-person. This encouraged more communication and more collaboration.

We’re using AI designs for testing on virtual platforms. We can make smarter, more knowledgeable decisions about costs, requirements, and commitments. We can make those decisions early-on, which speeds up the entire construction process.

Offsite manufacturing is meeting the challenges of less labor onsite due to social distancing. Onsite construction – before COVID-19 – was at best an “uncontrolled environment.” Construction technology can support a safer work environment by analyzing activities and anticipating required worker movements. We can adjust workflows to separate people or create workgroups and shifts to reduce risks.

Construction Monitor: One of the Most Valued Construction Technology Sources in the United States

Every week we compile big data on thousands of U.S. residential, commercial, and solar construction projects nationwide. You can use our information to

  • Follow sales leads
  • Identify competitors, newcomers, and top contractors
  • Make better bids
  • Track construction statistics

Get a free sample edition for your area and contact Construction Monitor us to learn ways construction technology can increase your business.

9 Questions to Ask When Seeking Construction Software

construction software

We believe the best business development tool for construction industry companies is ours. We have the best data, pre-sorted, and customized for your business and your locale. But to stay alive in today’s techno-business environment, you need additional construction software.

2020 Construction Software Ratings

After it’s said and done, business is business, whether it’s a hot dog stand or a Big 6 corporation. The construction industry is unlike any other. Construction software for operational management should target our needs.

Out of 474 software reviews, many received 4.5 stars and should not be discounted. Here are 50 (of 83) ratings, according to reviews for this year’s 5-star construction software:

Neo Intelligence
CrewTracks
Slenke
K-Ops
Power Tools
Spitfire
Job Dox
Cordell Estimator Platinum
Site2Site
PCS
Construction Inspector
CM Fusion
Bizns Tool Subcontractor Software
Infinitrac
SnapSuite
WenPlan
Site Specs
BOCS
Fresh Projects
onsite.solutions
Fieldly
Mobilengine
Expo-Net
iZak
Riskcast
Realtraker
ONETEAM
Glaass
Samson
TruckIT
Breez Workforce
Copronet
ProPlanner
zbuilder
Breinz
SiteSupervisor
BuilderConsole
eBUILD ERP
Vitruvi
Ed Controls
Goldenseal
Consysa
SmartUse
TradeSoft
CommittedCost
BuildMetric
ClickHome
Hit-Office
Sergeant Schedule
TopBuilder

Nine Questions: Construction Software

Do several comparisons before choosing your construction software. First, define what you most need: project cost estimator, accounts receivable/payable, employee, or equipment tracking? Identify where you need to save time and money. If you are out of control in one or more areas of business operations, make a “where-we’re-losing-it” list.

You don’t have to be an IT (integrated technology) pro, but if you yourself don’t understand the questions, do your homework (or consult the nearest 14-year-old kid). Here are nine questions to ask software vendors:

  1. Can I contact some of your customers?
  2. Can you help us with training and technical support?
  3. Did you develop the solution in-house or did you piece it together from other sources?
  4. Does your software integrate with my old software?
  5. How often will I have to “upgrade?”
  6. Is your software open-source or unified?
  7. What’s the cost of ongoing service and technical support?
  8. Will my – and my clients’ – information be secure?
  9. Will the construction software quickly adapt to industry trends?

Construction Monitor offers BI (business intelligence) for any organization looking to grow. Contact us now with questions about our statistics for lead generation.
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*Construction Monitor does not recommend nor endorse any Brand of business management software.

How to See an ROI from Your Telematic System Faster

construction technologyA telematic system gives you the data you need to manage your equipment in more cost-effective ways, but there’s a learning curve to using one. By investing some time in planning how you’ll use yours, you’ll start enjoying the full benefits of a telematic system as soon as possible.

Set Clear Goals

Raw data won’t help you much if don’t know how you’re going to use it. Start defining your goals for using your telematic system by listing eight to 10 improvements you could make using the data.

Then focus in on the top three opportunities you want to take advantage of right now. Any more than that and you risk spreading your efforts too thin or getting tied up in unnecessary complexity. Once you’ve achieved your goals with those opportunities, move on to the next.

Choose an Experienced, Responsive Provider

When you’re choosing a telematic system provider, take your time to investigate each company. Find out how long they’ve been in business, who their clients are, and how many telematic boxes they’re managing.

Talk with them enough to get a feel for their level of expertise. A provider should be able to explain the benefits of a telematic system in plain English and help you understand how to use the data to improve cost savings, safety and efficiency. If they can only throw jargon and statistics at you, it’s a sign they don’t truly understand what they’re talking about.

Put Someone in Charge

It’s all too easy to collect data without actually using it to make improvements. To make sure valuable information is put to use, assign one or two people to the job of implementing your telematic project.

Your field workers are ideally positioned to make use of the data, but first they need to get it in a format they can understand. The job of analyzing data, creating reports, and getting information to the right people in the field should be the primary responsibility of at least one person.

For more guidance on realizing the full benefits of a telematic system, contact us at Construction Monitor.

Can Smart Vests Make Job Sites Safer?

While you might view technology in the construction industry primarily from an efficiency standpoint, some of today’s technology also offers major health and safety benefits. Among these is a smart vest developed to alert wearers to the signs of heat illness before their health suffers.

technology in the construction industryHeat Illness: An Increasingly Common Threat

Unusually high summer temperatures have become more frequent across the country and with them, the risk of heat-related illnesses also rises. This growing threat prompted the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) to launch their annual Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers.

Construction workers are at high risk for heat illness due to the physical labor, protective clothing, and heat-generating equipment involved in the work. Providing your workers with plenty of water, shade and rest time doesn’t eliminate the risk. Workers don’t always realize when their discomfort has reached dangerous levels.

Heat stress causes excessive thirst, weakness, clumsiness, dizziness and nausea. A worker may write these symptoms off as normal fatigue and fail to seek help until they’ve suffered more serious health consequences. In severe cases, the worker may collapse before reaching help.

A new smart vest developed by Ruwini Edirisinghe, a researcher with RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, prevents this situation by alerting the wearer to danger. The vest is thought to be the first of this kind of technology in the construction industry.

How the Smart Vest Protects Your Workers

The smart vest looks like an ordinary yellow safety vest. Built into the fabric are sensors that collect data on the temperature of the working environment, as well as the worker’s body temperature and heart rate. The sensors send the data wirelessly in real time to a smartphone app via Bluetooth. If the app detects any abnormalities, it immediately alerts both the wearer and the site supervisor.

The early warning lets the worker stop and rest before suffering any adverse health effects. Because the supervisor is also alerted, there’s little chance the worker will simply ignore the warning.

To learn more about how technology in the construction industry can benefit you, visit the construction leads experts at Construction Monitor.