6 Pillars of Construction Technology Employment

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In today’s construction industry, it is more challenging than ever for companies to perform efficiently, effectively and profitably. Costs are rising, the labor shortage is growing, technology and equipment are evolving rapidly and competition continues to increase. What is a construction company to do to improve production, accountability and profit?

The answer: work smarter by incorporating technology/software solutions to maximize business efficiency and reduce overall costs. So says Troy Guevara, construction technologist, Digitek Solutions, a construction consulting company that helps construction companies refine their process to become more productive, efficient and profitable.

A first step to working smarter is “to do away with the data communication gulf between the office and the field because data is not always going back and forth in a timely fashion,” he says. “With today’s technology, you don’t just bridge the gulf, you completely close it. Data goes back and forth continually. Computers and software can be used to gather and manage that data for faster processing and easier retrieval of information. If adjustments or corrections are needed, they can be made on the fly.”

The overall objective is to create a “smarter” jobsite through the employment of technology/software solutions to first, efficiently collect data, and second, utilize the data, in order to make the most informed decisions, says Guevara. He outlines six steps to accomplish this.

1. Have a Core Technology/Software Solution

This involves beginning with a good accounting or project management software system. Then, having all other software systems interconnect, integrate and synchronize with one another for ease of data transfer and interchange, says Guevara. Systems that don’t “talk” to one another create unnecessary stress, aggravation and extra work.

2. Hold People Accountable

Use collected data to make people accountable. Accountability, he notes, is a key to any construction company’s success. Accountability is linked to higher performance, increases in commitment to one’s work and company and employee morale.

“It is critical to closely monitor and constantly improve upon productivity. The number one variable expense on any jobsite is labor, which can sometimes be up to 50 percent of your total costs. It is very difficult to control labor if changes are made days late. But when monitored daily, it can be controlled daily by making changes more quickly.”

With today’s technology/software solutions, productivity can be easily measured and tracked for everyone. This lets supervisors or project managers know who to hold accountable.

3. Control Project Costs and Increase Profits

Be vigilant for ways to reduce project costs – lowering overhead and construction costs, lessening project duration, minimizing waste, improving equipment maintenance for less downtime and increasing efficiency.

A particular focus needs to be on reducing rework, stresses Guevara. “Some $177 billion is lost in rework in the construction industry each year. Even if a company can get back one percent to its bottom line because of less rework it is a sizable savings.”

4. Communicate Effectively

The majority of rework, he points out, is due to poor communications resulting in either improper building – wasn’t constructed according to plans or specs, changes that weren’t made, unexpected changes or missing documents and details. Using the appropriate technology makes it is considerably easier for all those who involved in a project to communicate and collaborate more quickly and effectively.

5. Find the Most Appropriate Technology/Software Solution

When looking for technology/software solutions, Guevara advises not going with the “sexy” products. “Don’t get caught up in the marketing hype. They are other technologies in the marketplace that are just as good but many people are not aware of them.”

He recommends doing research when purchasing a solution. This includes establishing user expectations; business requirements, objectives and goals; solution processes to be accomplished; required deliverables; and is scalability and customization needed.

6. Know the Technology/Software Solutions Industry

New companies are regularly getting into the construction technology/software solutions industry, observes Guevara. Over the past couple of years, this industry “has been gobbling itself up. Meaning, the big, powerful technology companies are partnering with the new companies or are buying them outright. As a result, the construction industry is seeing suites of technology/software solutions that are getting better and better with more and more features and can be more easily be integrated directly. 

“You don’t have to have one solution to do everything. Find the solutions that can be used together as a single unified system.”

Learn More at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020

Guevara will be conducting an education session – The SMARTER Construction Company – at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Thursday, March 12, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., Ballroom B. Learn more about CONEXPO-CON/AGG's comprehensive education programRegister Now




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