Technology trends in construction for 2017 are all designed for the industry to work smarter and safer. If your company has not invested in the latest digital advances, here’s what you might be missing:

1. Training: Virtual Reality (VR) technology is a game-changer for training crews on heavy equipment. It becomes safer, more affordable and convenient. Simulated environments re-create real scenarios for operator training on construction equipment in self-directed simulations. VR training can be used for rookies just earning their chops or for experienced personnel to hone their expertise. The greatest benefits are efficiency and safety while personnel learn new skills. By taking out the element of real-life consequences for operator error during training sessions, VR becomes a cost-effective way for construction companies to train safer, more highly skilled crews.

2. Automated Analytics: To maximize the profit margin of any job, it is important to regularly evaluate job performance of every process involved with a project. This can become incredibly tedious and time-consuming. Manual number crunching also has the element ofhuman generated error inherently attached to any analysis.

Automating job performance evaluation with sophisticated software speeds up the process and provides an accurate final report. Being able to quickly report final numbers and projected outcomes improves relations with clients who are eager to know how progress is moving along with their project.

The latest technology integrates real-time information on-site. This data is linked to a cloud-based platform making it easy for crews to enter the most current information on any number of mobile devices. Data is collated and analyzed as it arrives. The final results are job performance updates that are relevant, accessible and automated. The benefits are overall efficiency and cost reduction due to greater accuracy.

3. Security: There is no doubt that theft and vandalism cost the construction industry billions of dollars annually. However, keeping a construction company and projects secure goes beyond a surveillance system on the jobsite. If your company is not actively engaged in the best cyber security, you may as well just leave the office unlocked when you go home at the end of the day.

Data protection can mean the difference between becoming a hostage to ransomware or running full-steam ahead, business as usual, day after day. As the construction industry embraces more technology, from design to payroll, a breach of cyber security can shut your business down. This could mean hours, or even days, of total productivity loss. How much does a single hour of down-time cost your company? Can you really afford to be a cyber hostage for an indefinite period of time? Also, consider that once IT professionals are successful at securing your company’s data again, there might be some information lost forever.

Opting out of hardware based data protection is the trend more construction companies are following. Rather than rely on physical back-up systems that could also be lost to disaster, as well as Internet bad guys, secure vital company data in the cloud. The benefits are scalable, secure storage of data that is 100% mobile, recoverable and accessible.

4. Asset Tracking: Heavy equipment are key investments. GPS tracking systems are common security measures. Technology is now going a step further in monitoring trucks and construction equipment. The latest asset tracking technology features improvements such as:

  • Integrating GPS technology with a platform like Google Maps so an asset can be pinpointed and tracked even when deployed to a remote location.
  • Log-in requirements so a company knows which employee was the last to operate a vehicle.
  • Alerts that are programmed according to operational hours. If a piece of equipment begins to move outside expected hours, managers are immediately notified. This enhances recovery efforts by law enforcement.
  • Expanding data collection to include tracking the use of equipment and how this relates to routine service needs.

The benefits of enhanced GPS tracking technology are reducing loss through theft, improving efficiency in use of assets, lengthening the usage life of equipment with maintenance improvements via accurate data on a vehicle’s particular service needs.

To improve the bottom line of your construction company, partner with technology consultants who specialize in the needs of your industry. Their expertise and experience can meet your unique business demands with the right software and technology.