10 of the World's Most Expensive Megaprojects
From the Top Down: Ending Sexual Harassment in the Construction Industry
Spending Up for the Month, Down for the Year
Friday Funny: "Raising the Roof"
Tracking Technology Helps Construction Companies Save Money, Improve Safety
What The ‘Tech’ Just Happened to Meetings?
Weekly Grind: The Future of Construction Technology Across the Country
Friday Funny: It's Just Ergonomics
By Duane Craig
August 31, 2016
If you are managing a single construction project, or a few at the same time, you are definitely not in one place for long. Because increasing workloads and change are the nature of construction, for any construction business owner, construction manager, or superintendent, being on the move is a job requirement, not a luxury.
Digitization processes are transforming the industry. The days of pen and paper are giving way to digital documents and tools. That process has sped up during the last five years as mobile devices evolved alongside cloud computing. Construction’s future is one where everything is online, available in realtime, and accessible anywhere. As that reality takes shape, construction processes and projects are on track to have more transparency, better collaboration, better progress and risk assessment, greater quality control, and more predictable outcomes. Mobile is the next step in construction’s digital transformation, and while you may be mobile, it does you little good if your projects are not.
There are few construction processes that wouldn’t benefit from mobile tools. Smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other mobile devices are the gateways to the data and information which is migrating to the cloud.
Smart construction businesses are seizing the opportunity and making project information readily available no matter where the workforce is located. Blueprints and design drawings are far less effective when sequestered in a job trailer than they are in the hands of those who need them to build the next component of the project. Equipment logs, daily progress reports, and punch lists are most effective when they are available to the person who needs them, when they need them, and in real time.
Paper-based processes aren’t very mobile and don't make it easy for you to capture and analyze data. This limits your ability to get out in front of risks. Paper trails often get lost and mismanaged, leading to disputes among project participants. Paper-based processes also happen at a much slower pace than digital ones. So, if you want to stay competitive, you need to go digital and mobile. But simply carrying around a smartphone isn't enough.
Your construction projects need to use mobile as much as you. Here are 4 places to focus for quick returns on your investments.
There are many instances where your construction project enjoys instant Internet connectivity through the cellular network. However, because construction often happens in places where cellular coverage is spotty or even nonexistent, investments in reliable Internet connections can have big pay offs. Some of the options include satellite, DSL over existing phone lines, fixed wireless broadband, cellular boosters, and mobile WiFi hotspots. Especially during the discovery and start up phases of a project, when utilities are not yet at the site, having a technology available that you can deploy so Internet connectivity is assured can greatly improve communication and collaboration during these early stages. Bonuses to having a readily deployable Internet connection are that you are cushioned against outages and you have an alternate Internet connection during and after emergency situations.
Today, your project management system needs to be as mobile as possible. Your system handles not only all your day to day project management needs, but also provides the data and information critical to your accounting and back office functions. When you use a cloud-based project management system, you bring the transformative advantages of the digital age to your construction activities. Invest wisely by looking for these features:
The solution allows offers an unlimited number of project participants for a set fee
You can scale the solution according to your needs
The solution seamlessly incorporates mobile devices and mobile functions
For more helpful information in selecting a project management solution, check out this buyer’s guide.
Whether you need communication, collaboration, drawing management, daily logs, or all project functions, having them in a cloud-based solution brings the best of mobile advantages to your operations.
Each person's function on a construction project has different mobile device requirements to get the most value from the advantages of mobility. Your project manager and superintendent no doubt need multiple devices, while your lead carpenter might only need a tablet. Your office personnel who visit the site only occasionally perhaps only need a smartphone. By matching the device to the job requirements, you avoid the expense of buying, maintaining, and replacing multiple devices that aren't essential. You also avoid the security challenges of ensuring business and personal data don’t commingle, business data doesn’t get compromised, and privacy and compliance requirements are manageable.
If there's anything true about technology it's that it is going to change and evolve. Not every new technology is going to be for you, and not every new technology is going to come along at the right time to be valuable to your business. But, when you have an open mind to the possibilities of new mobile technologies, you create a business atmosphere where people are not afraid to look into new tech that could benefit your company. Consider the possibilities with these new and emerging mobile technologies:
LIDAR (light detection and ranging)
5D BIM where design, budget and schedule coincide
Sensors for equipment and inventory management
The world will need $57 trillion in repair and new development for infrastructure alone by 2030 to keep up with worldwide GDP growth. For nonresidential construction they say the savings due to digitization could equal anywhere from 13% and 21% during the design phases, and another 10% to 17% during construction. Since mobile is the next phase of digitization, it’s time for your projects to become just as mobile as you are.
What is Your Data Telling You?
That master strategist Sun Tzu knew a thing or two about out-thinking the competition. Turns out his focus on strategy over strength can be applied to gaining an edge in the construction industry. ... Read More
If you're a construction worker, you're most likely working physical labor and it can get hot if you're working under the sun. Here's a guide for h... Read More
As an architectural statement, the campus is a monument both to Apple’s corporate success and centrality to the global tech culture. At 176 acres, ... Read More
August 8, 2016
"Some of the cool things that we're doing on job sites today are with Rovers and the alive platform. Alive is that software platform that glues to... Read More
The National Association of Women in Construction has a new executive vice president. This change marks a “brand new day and brand new way” for the... Read More
Every construction business owner can learn a lot from competitors. But merely copying them won't do. You will just always stay one step behind. So... Read More
We've selected eight women from all walks of life to ask them one common question: what advice would you give women who want to enter the construct... Read More