It seems that 2017 is rapidly speeding by. For the construction industry, 2016 was an interesting year. However, by the time we all reach December 31, 2017, this year could vastly overshadow the construction industry landscape as compared to 2016. Technology trends are rapidly sweeping across the construction industry. Today’s jobsites are quickly becoming safer and more efficient thanks, most in part, to mobile data solutions.
Every construction project is a collaborative effort of a team of experts working on behalf of a client with a vision. The step-by-step process of design/bid/build integrates multiple teams: architectural and various specialized contractor teams. It may seem that all of these groups work independently but that is far from the truth. The successful achievement of one flows outward to affect every other team member’s contribution. Communication is key. Data and information needs to be available on demand and always accurate. Mobile data solutions allow information to flow freely, remain updated in real-time and available through any smart device. Mobile data technology is empowering every team player on a construction project to collaborate and communicate better.
Technology industry research on the use of smart devices in the construction industry reports that 72% of construction professionals are using smartphones while more than 50% use laptops or tablets. Developers have taken notice and are generating the right kind of apps to make these devices useful for construction companies. Within a single year, app developers reported a jump from 30% of contractors using mobile apps to more than 50% putting them to good use. An array of functions, like project management, building information modeling (BIM), bids and estimates, accounting, and customer relations management (CRM), are making a brick and mortar office practically obsolete.
Despite the fact that the stereotype of many contractors is of an old-school individual, the reality is that professionals within the construction industry are eagerly embracing technology. More than one-third of corporate management teams of large construction firms are expected to transfer their estimating and project management to the Cloud by 2020. Confidence is growing in an industry that, for the most part, has been slow to adopt widespread use of technology.
If a construction company isn’t familiar with the term “gig economy”, it’s time to brush up on current labor jargon. There is a complete shift taking place in how businesses meet their staffing needs. Instead of having a human resources department to manage the traditional hiring practices, gig workers are hired for projects as needed. This is revolutionizing the economy of doing big business. Staffing gig employees means a company no longer factors into expenses things like benefits and worker’s compensation. The flexibility of labor according to demand is highly desirable. Engaging in the gig economy is a money-saving strategy for contractors. Reviewing prospects, background checks and live chat interviews can all be done through any smart device at any given place and time.
Wearables are the new safety technology using the Internet of Things (IoT) to improve jobsite safety. Technology industry research is expecting more than 150 million wearables to be in use throughout the construction industry by 2021. These devices are much more sophisticated than the FitBits you see at your local health club. Smart glasses and heads-up displays (HUDS) are the latest safety equipment to monitor and update what is going on in the peripheral vision of the user. Instant communication capabilities between equipment operators and the surrounding crews at work use life-saving technology to sense the approach of anything that poses a risk. But it goes further than that. Sensors notify the user of changes in their environment related to noise, humidity, weather and temperature. Just as this data is communicated to the user, it also transmits the data to any linked smart device so supervisors can stay apprised of jobsiteconditions remotely. The devices are programmed to send out emergency alerts to everyone connected should any hazardous change occur in the work environment.
Put the latest mobile data solutions to work for your construction company. Get connected with a smart technology consultant committed to applying the latest innovations designed for the construction industry. Get outfitted now and be ahead of the curve, working smarter and gaining ground with technology that works to improve your bottom line.