Technology is shaping the future of construction, and it can help your team save money on every new project. No matter your unique needs, tech can help you work safer and smarter while reducing costs.
Construction technology requires an initial investment, but it will pay off significantly in the long run. Here are seven ways technology can lessen your expenses while improving your operations. You may wonder what you ever did without it.
Site surveys are an essential but often time-consuming part of the construction process. They can be costly on a large site, requiring a team of people and numerous days of work. You can save resources by using technology for this process, which will also drastically reduce the time surveys take.
Drones are the perfect construction site surveying solution. Many are commercially available today, and there are affordable options for any sized business. An airborne drone using cameras and sensors can complete a detailed site survey 1 in hours. Some can even be given a programmed flight path, allowing you to fully automate the surveying process and save thousands in labor costs.
Drones may also help you earn more money for your team. Aerial footage of project progress can impress clients and stakeholders and help you secure more projects.
Construction safety technology can help protect your team members from daily hazards. A wide variety of technology keeps workers safer on-site, from wearables to drones. Reducing accidents will save your team money spent on worker’s compensation and replacing ill or injured workers.
Safety technology is typically not difficult to integrate into your site. Wearables include smartwatches, smart boots, vest devices, or even smart hard hats. These items work on a personal level. For example, heat illnesses are a common danger2 construction workers face on-site, but wearables can reduce that danger. A smartwatch may detect symptoms like elevated heart rate or regularly remind an employee to stop and get a drink.
Maintenance and fuel
Construction equipment is expensive, so it’s important to keep them in good condition, and technology can support maintenance efficiently without compromising quality. The key to accomplishing this is Internet of Things (IoT) sensors.
IoT technology has become popular in the construction industry. Adding IoT sensors to equipment and vehicles allows you to use data to perform predictive maintenance. This equipment can detect declining performance [enf_note] Using IoT for construction equipment management and maintenance. (2021, August 5). IoT For All. https://www.iotforall.com/using-iot-for-construction-equipment-management-and-maintenance [/efn_note] in machinery, indicating potential upkeep needs well before they become apparent and result in a major breakdown. Your machinery will stay in better condition, and you’ll be able to avoid large, expensive repairs.
IoT sensors can also track fuel consumption in vehicles, and this data can reveal where gas is used inefficiently, such as in specific machines with excessive standby time. Identifying these factors allows you to reduce wasted fuel consumption and lower your costs on every project.
Construction management is a very labor-intensive industry. Finding skilled workers is hard but managing them is even more difficult. As a company, you need to take care of the shifts planning, and managing your team members. These workers work in multiple shifts and in multiple locations. With the manual paperwork and sheets, there are chances of human error and it becomes very overwhelming. Instead they you can use a work schedule marker that would help them automate the entire management process and spend more time on things that are crucial.
Technology isn’t just applicable on-site. Construction businesses can also save significantly behind the scenes by adopting tech. Countless office tasks can be automated, which reduces the time your team needs to spend on them. Adopting tech in the office allows employees to get more done in less time and work on more valuable tasks, ultimately lowering operational costs.
Going paperless is a great place to start with office technology. Switching to digital platforms for record-keeping, employee time tracking, and project documentation will streamline your workflow. You won’t need to spend on filing cabinets, paper goods, or expensive printer ink and maintenance. You may even be able to downsize your office space.
Notice filing is another time-consuming and unwieldy area for many construction businesses. Notice management and lien filing software can help ensure the accuracy of the documents you file, to ensure you don’t lose your lien rights.
Many construction companies face frustration with materials and resource management. You may take the cautious approach and order extra materials, only to not use them. On the other hand, you may try to save by only buying what you need and hoping there won’t be any accidents. Technology can take the guesswork out of resource management and ensure you only spend exactly what you need on materials.
For example, the supply chain crisis has left many construction companies worried about materials delays or shortages. Demand forecasting software can help predict when you will be most in need of certain materials so you can order ahead accordingly and get products when prices are low. Similarly, logistics software can help you predict the exact resource quantities you need based on previous projects’ data. Using logistics tech prevents the need to buy an excess backup of materials, and software can also help you manage those items more effectively so less goes to waste.
Technology is vital for top-notch training in today’s construction industry, and it can also save your team resources on educational programs. Virtual and augmented reality can help you train new employees in a safe, cost-effective way with valuable long-term benefits.
An in-depth case study found that students were more engaged 3 during AR and VR training programs. It also helped increase interest among young people, which is crucial to filling the industry’s labor shortage.
One of the most valuable benefits of AR/VR training that came out of the study was increased technological skills among new employees. Using tech in the training process builds a team skilled with technology, which will allow you to expand applications around your job sites. Meanwhile, the education process becomes safer and less expensive since comprehensive training can be held in one place without any on-site risks, thanks to VR.
Working efficiently, saving resources
The construction industry is on the brink of a technological revolution. Innovations in the industry can help your team save money in several ways, quickly making up for the initial investment in new tech. Adopting new technologies allows your construction business to operate more efficiently, productively, and safely while building a future-forward team. You will be able to use resources efficiently, adding a financial edge to your technological edge over the competition.
This article is a guest post from Rose Morrison.
- Chin, S. (2021, 6). Six factors to consider when adding drones to your construction business. For Construction Pros. https://www.forconstructionpros.com/construction-technology/article/21295561/six-factors-to-consider-when-adding-drones-to-your-construction-business
- Heat stress in construction. (2020, May 21). CDC Blogs | Blogs | CDC. https://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2020/05/21/heat-stress-construction/
- Construction virtual reality training. (n.d.). The Creative Engagement Group | TCEG | Integrated Agency. https://www.tceg.com/work/construction-virtual-reality-training