It is no secret and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone reading this that construction technology is being released at an exponential rate. McKinsey reported construction technology as a growth area and startup funding is investing billions in this growing industry.
Despite this evidence of progress, there is still reluctance within the industry to embrace construction technology. One of our associations said they estimated acceptance within their membership to be around 35-40%, which is very low but not surprising as construction has been historically slow to adopt when it comes to technology.
Whether you are taking a “wait and see" approach or delaying because of past experiences and associated costs, I want to highlight 5 reasons you should be embracing construction technology.
1. Labor Productivity
This is arguably the #1 reason for adoption. No matter what type of construction vertical you are in, labor shortages are a concern. Utilizing construction technology, like robotics would bring a huge benefit from a labor standpoint. An interesting statistic I found associated with labor productivity and adoption revealed that a general contractor is more likely than a specialty contractor to be using technology. In fact, 73% are using at least one type of construction technology versus the 21% of trade contractors. Even more interesting is that 66% of all contractors polled, regardless of whether they adopted construction technology, saw labor productivity as a primary incentive.
2. Increased Utilization = Making More
No matter how well you manage the schedule, if you aren’t bidding the work correctly or maximizing utilization of your equipment you won’t make money and will likely end up losing money instead. Imagine if you could see the utilization for any asset in real-time and know the percentage of asset utilization on every job site. If you knew that information, chances are that you would be making different decisions. Those informed decisions could impact your own, move, buy/rent decisions on equipment which would spare you a lot of time and money—positively impacting your on-time delivery and bottom line.
3. Schedule Management
If everything went according to plan, there wouldn’t be a need for this, but it doesn’t. You can really streamline your projects and improve efficiencies with a Construction Project Management software (CPM). Construction management requires expertise, the right tools and experience across a myriad of areas. Being in touch with everyone on the project is crucial to keeping a project on schedule.
There are several construction technologies out there to improve safety. From Smart Hats to the Spot-r, these items are really striving toward making the industry a safer place to work. In addition to these items, the use of Augmented reality (AR) can also help improve safety by spotting issues before the project even starts, which allows for better planning. And, a better EMR is always a competitive advantage for bidding and winning work.
5. Competitive Edge
Adoption isn’t an overnight process. It requires change. If you are taking the “wait and see” approach, you are putting yourself and your company behind the competition and that’s a tough spot to be in. By implementing sooner than later, you could impact your labor productivity, schedule management, safety, logistics or other benefits I haven’t mentioned. By waiting, your crews and staff aren’t any closer to adopting the new technology. Companies that are implementing it now are ahead of the learning curve. They are already figuring out what types of technology work for them and how to best utilize them in their organizations.
The longer you wait the better adapted your competitor will be to using construction technologies and capitalizing on the data many of them provide. Don’t risk your business’ future by waiting to see what happens. Embrace technology now to ensure a bright future tomorrow.
Learn more about the history and future of construction technology in this white paper: Construction Technology:
About Jolene Pierangeli
Jolene Pierangeli shares her thoughts on the latest on construction asset management.