5 Ways Construction Technology Is Changing The Industry
Introducing new technology in the field can be cumbersome at first, especially for companies who may be stuck in defined ways of management and reporting. However, adapting to new construction technology can provide huge improvements in the industry. In our recent State of Construction Management report, we gathered in-depth data to determine the present and future states of the construction industry. This report examined the many ways technology is changing the industry for the better and we are proud to provide a more detailed look at our findings in this post.
By far, the biggest industry challenge reported by Superintendents, Subcontractors and General Managers is the task of daily reporting. This indicates a quickly mounting concern of staying on track with information such as updates, incident reports, critical information, and reviews. The reason for concern comes from having many items to detail in these reports but having a severe lack of time while working busy days in the field. Fortunately, incorporating technology helps to resolve the issue of daily reporting. On-site crews have limited time to gather report sheets and writing supplies, detail important information as it comes up, all while keeping it up-to-date and organized. With new technology, those in charge of daily reports simply need to snap a few photos or take a quick voice note on their phones—minimizing reporting time and maximizing productivity.
When asked if language barriers impact day-to-day operations, 36% of those surveyed cited it as an issue. In construction, clear, concise, and understandable communication is key. Without it, problems large and small can arise leading to higher risk, safety issues, and a lack of transparency. Technology has made language barriers almost non-existent. With the right software, construction terms recorded in several languages can be easily converted and translated into English, ensuring crucial information is relayed as concisely as possible.
47% of general contractors cited resource and staff management where the biggest daily challenges they faced. If there is difficulty managing staff or resources, the project may be delayed due to not having enough materials or crew. Alternatively, unnecessary costs can arise due to having too many materials and staff, leading to a lose-lose situation either way. Currently, there are fantastic apps that make keeping track of both staff and resources simpler than ever before. This means no more slogging through paper reports that may be missing information or are not up-to-date. Apps let you keep track of everything digitally, making it easy to search and find whatever needs found in seconds, as well as updating changes just as quickly.
70% of professionals polled noted updates via notes, photos, and documents were the biggest challenge in the field. With manual reporting, professionals can only hope the information documented throughout the day is as up-to-date and detailed as possible, even when there is such limited time to do so. In addition, by the time written reports reach those who need to view them, more changes may have presented themselves and the process has to start all over.
Thankfully, technology comes to the rescue again to ensure notes, photos, updates, and documents are broadcast to those who need them instantaneously. With industry-changing features like keyword notifications, whenever a crucial keyword (like ‘change order’ or ‘backorder’) is noted, the information is shared instantly, so the issues can be remedied on the spot. This leads to fewer issues on-site, dynamic communication, and a quick and steady way to meet deadlines, Making Deadlines Easily Attainable Speaking of deadlines, both Subcontractors and Superintendents cited them as their number one priority concern in the State of Construction Management report.
Meeting deadlines is one of the most imperative tasks in construction. Deadlines simply must be met. If not, it can result in the loss of a client—present or future. Technology’s impact on the construction industry has lead to smoother project, resource, and staff management, crystal-clear communication, easy daily reporting, and lightning-fast updates on crucial information. All of these aspects tie into a single goal: meeting deadlines safely, efficiently, and effectively.