There are so many new technologies affecting the construction industry today: such as the use of Drones, BIM, Robotics, 3D Printing and significant advancements in fabrication and safety, that it’s now a huge topic that can easily be categorized into the many sub-areas of “Construction Technology”.
As a technology company that enables construction project teams to be more well-informed, productive, safer and streamlined, we get a first-hand view of how the jobsite is changing before our eyes. The jobsite is no longer this isolated place that’s disconnected for days. Project managers and other administrative staff are now technology-enabled to get real-time information on activities, production, costs, incidents, progress – all organized in a variety of dashboard reports that provide vital information for them to make key decisions. They have intense visibility, on a daily basis, into what’s happening, what’s missing, who’s productive, who’s not, and where to take action when necessary.
Technology... it's Replacing Paper and Spreadsheets
This type of technology advancement in construction would fall under the sub-category of Real-Time Information Exchange. A number of years ago, the initial advancement under this category tackled the challenge of getting documents, such as drawings, updated and to the jobsite to ensure the construction teams were working on the most current and accurate plans. Effectively getting information to the jobsite. Over the past few years, the next generation of construction technology in this category has been more focused on the information that goes the other way: from the jobsite to the office. This technology replaces paper and spreadsheets that used to be used to capture jobsite activities and costs.
These intelligent software systems are designed to enable field staff to simply and accurately enter all the hours, materials, documents, production quantities, etc. on what happened on a day at the jobsite. It has now become critical that this information that’s captured be accurate, complete and in real-time so that project costs, payroll, billings, safety, regulatory compliance, productivity, etc. – all achieve a high-degree of quality.
Technology is No Longer an Optional Nice-to-Have
Technology advancements in real-time information exchange in construction are no longer an optional nice-to-have. Contractors that don’t have a ‘system’ in place to streamline the jobsite data capture are having a harder time competing with those that have embraced the technology. Their costs are too high. The manual effort of performing the data capture without a system shrinks their margins, increases their errors, and slows down their responsiveness.
Our world is a connected world. The construction jobsite may be one of the last holdouts to welcome that concept, but it’s happening fast.
The Future is Now for Digital Construction Management
Despite technology advancements, a number of companies continue to resist streamlining processes using digital data collection. An article by Construction Executive discusses the importance of shifting construction project management and compliance processes from the “horse-and-buggy approach of manual paper and pen…” to a digital software solution that can help cut costs, reduce redundancies, eliminate errors and rework, and provide an extra layer of protection from liability and litigation.
According to Construction Executive, these intelligent software systems simplify “the process of managing daily reporting and centralizes data in one easily searachable database.” As a result, project managers get real-time updates from the jobsite, giving them control, full project visibility and the ability to “monitor and update multiple jobsites from their offices or homes.”
Simply put, the future is now for digital construction management. The jobsite is intelligent, and the result is that everyone benefits.