Trends in Construction Technology

Digitalization has the potential to immensely change the construction industry as contractors look for ways to increase productivity and meet tight construction timelines. Beginning this journey can be challenging, but a good place to start is the technology associated with asset management.

In the construction industry asset loss can be one of the most expensive costs of doing business. It’s estimated that contractors in the U.S. lose more than $1 billion annually in lost or stolen assets. That doesn’t include the productivity lost from time spent looking for assets.

Many companies use traditional methods such as spreadsheets, whiteboards, painting, or engraving assets, or simply pen and paper to track assets, which can be very time consuming. And, while these methods may work for some companies, many don’t provide the options available with today’s asset management software systems.

A comprehensive asset-management system can bring value to the contractor by increasing labor productivity, driving accountability to employees, improving tool utilization, streamlining maintenance, and helping to provide employee safety. And, because many systems are cloud-based, information is readily available.

Increase Labor Productivity

Being able to track tools and any other assets (regardless of manufacturer) and manage consumable inventory means employees spend less time trying to locate tools and/or consumables. And, setting minimum/maximum levels for inventory keeps the appropriate amount of inventory on hand, helping to reduce inventory costs.

Drive Accountability/Tool Utilization

Smartphone applications provide the ability for employees to know where tools are and management to know who is responsible for them. The ability to assign “ownership” to employees or jobsites creates accountability and allows for efficient planning and optimization of equipment.

Streamline Maintenance

Recording maintenance and repairs is another way asset management systems can help increase productivity. The ability to set reminders and/or alerts for repair or maintenance helps to reduce maintenance cost and/or downtime.

Employee Safety

Managing employee specific records such as OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) certifications, driver’s licenses, regulatory requirements, and other types of training help maintain jobsite safety.

When selecting an asset management system, it’s important to research the available options to determine the best fit and impact to the bottomline. Factors to consider are whether the system can be customized to work with existing business processes and the support provided by the manufacturer during implementation and beyond.

Innovative technologies will continue to evolve and will become an important part of the construction process. Contractors will begin to see with transparency comes efficiency.

Avi Kahn is president & CEO, Hilti North America


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