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Construction’s Year of Digital Disruption: How are we doing?

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The year 2017 marked a considerable change in how construction technology was viewed. Industry-wide, the conversation shifted from the need to adopt technology to the best strategies and technology solutions for maximizing investment. Heading into the new year, construction was primed for full digital disruption. 

Now that we’re nearing the last quarter of 2018, how is the industry faring? What predictions have come to fruition, and what trends are we seeing? While the past nine months have seen increased outside investment, more solutions brought to the market, and technologies adopted at an increasing rate, let’s evaluate five predictions from January and set targeted goals for the rest of the year.

1. IoT at the heart of the connected jobsite

The Internet of Things (IoT) might be ubiquitous in our personal lives, but it has just started gaining traction in construction. Last year, a network of connected devices spread at the jobsite. What does it mean for construction? Wearable and sensor technology and drones—to name a few—enable the automatic collection and transmission of data to the cloud, where it can be accessed by anyone, regardless of geographical location. 

This year, IoT-enabled solutions have spread across the industry, and the connected jobsite has moved from a vision to a reality. It’s no longer necessary to manually monitor and collect vital work-site information. Wearable safety technology, for example, can detect worker falls and automatically notify safety leaders—whether they’re in the trailer or off-site, at a meeting. IoT is connecting workers and managers in new and important ways, and as more use cases are proven, adoption will only increase.

2. Addressing end-user needs

Technology that doesn’t work for the end user simply won’t be used. As digital solutions become more widespread on the jobsite, construction companies—and technology providers—are getting smarter about assessing what the end user needs.  

Consumer tech is shaping enterprise tech, and customers want sleek, intuitive tools and interfaces, topped with exceptional customer service. For their part, technology providers are responding with customizable, mobile, or cloud-first solutions that engage users in the field. 

3. Data will become a company’s greatest asset

Data is king, and a company’s ability to analyze and act upon data has become its greatest competitive advantage. 

Data is king, and a company’s ability to analyze and act upon data has become its greatest competitive advantage. It is no longer enough to collect data; organizations must be able to drill into it to uncover insights and further use them to refine processes, unlock efficiencies, and improve outcomes on the jobsite. 

Contractors are responding by investing in new tech- and data-oriented roles as well as project control centers that monitor data across all active jobsites in real time. Similarly, leading solutions providers are responding by investing in data science teams and working alongside their customers to deliver actionable insights and help them act upon them.

4. An integration-first mindset

Continued partnerships between technology solution providers have meant that the industry is moving toward complete integration—from project management software integrating with wearable technology to cloud-based tools and asset solutions integrating with safety solutions. This should continue in the coming months as solutions are becoming more entrenched, and switching between different platforms starts being more of a challenge.

5. Data from construction technology will affect insurance relationships

Insurance is an important line item for any contractor. As construction companies begin to collect more workforce and safety data, they are increasingly working with their carriers to integrate the technology and data into their risk assessment, policies and pricing.

Technology has become an essential part of a contractor’s safety and operational toolbox. 

Technology has become an essential part of a contractor’s safety and operational toolbox; the influx of data allows safety leaders to better respond to safety incidents, measure and control risk exposure, and stay ahead of potential dangers. Lower loss frequency and severity will lead to lower experience modification ratings (EMR or MOD ratings) and lower premiums in time. Insurers also continue to explore and champion emerging technology solutions alongside their clients.

If 2018 has proven anything, it’s that the industry continues to embrace technology like never before. As technology advances and solutions mature, it only gets more challenging to innovate and catch up with forward-thinking peers and competitors. The future is being built today—there is no time like the present to develop an innovation strategy, add to your company’s technology stack, explore integrations, and invest in data analytics.

Triax’s Spot-r platform provides real-time visibility into workers, safety, and resources across project sites. Through a scalable mesh network and compact sensors, Spot-r automatically collects and transmits real-time worker time and attendance and location data as well as worker falls and push-button alerts. This two-way integration pushes accurate Spot-r workforce data into Procore for timecards, manpower, accidents and daily construction reports. To learn more click here. 


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