The construction industry plays a vital role in the economy of every country. It enables the development of homes, infrastructure, and an environment that fosters prosperity. The advent of new technologies in the industry has made a considerable impact and transformed the way companies operate at job sites.
Now, construction professionals can use technologies, such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), drones, Virtual Reality (VR), robotics, and more, to keep up with the latest industry trends. Technology provides long-term efficiency while saving time and cost.
Benefits of Embracing Tech in Construction
- See what your employees are up to: You can track them on hazardous work sites using GPS devices, mark safety zones, and communicate swiftly through smart devices. Employees can put on wearables that trigger audible alarms whenever they’re in danger. Visual updates can help you adjust your methods in real-time to prevent worker accidents.
- Workplace safety: Although a lot of technologies are focused on job site efficiency, more devices, such as GPS, sensors, and drones have been developed to track worker movement, create visual maps, offer augmented reality, and report incidents and safety. Safety training is also accessible through augmented reality, and this helps prevent accidents on construction sites.
- Improves communication: Technology ensures better communication and real-time updates from your job site. Workers will respond to any issues immediately. If there are reports to be generated, it’ll be done as soon as data is collected, and the management and client will have them in an instant. When multiple stakeholders are involved, it’ll be easy to organize virtual meetings or conferences of sites like GoToMeeting and Skype.
- Hassle-free data capture and analysis: The installation of cameras and other on-site smart devices makes it easy to capture incidences, record worker-movement data, and improve reporting and accountability.
- Manage work remotely: Technology can help you work from anywhere. You can monitor your workers, distribute and receive documents and information seamlessly, and track progress. With all these enhancements, you’ll have minimal errors to correct, increase efficiency, have better control, reduce costs, and provide safe working environments.
How to Use Tech to Grow Your Construction Business
Each construction site is different, with unique risks and challenges. Streamlining processes to increase your business’ productivity may not be the same as other industries.
But now you’ve got the software and mobile apps to help you manage all aspects of your construction projects. A software solution is available to streamline your processes from planning to scheduling, project management, and field reporting to back-office management.
1. Using Project Management Tech to Increase Productivity
Manual management of construction projects can be tedious. You’ll need real-time updates to track progress and estimate the time of completion of projects. Putting a system in place allows you to monitor everything, receive reports through seamless communication with project managers and site supervisors.
You can also connect with projects from anywhere since the system stores information securely in the cloud.
Construction project management tools allow you to collaborate and share project files with all stakeholders. Tech such as tracking identifiers can help you optimize material supplies and equipment, find any issues, and provide solutions to ensure project deadlines are not affected.
No materials will be wasted or lost and cause delays in the project. Monitoring resources and their allocation ensures that the teams on site have all the resources to accomplish the project goals.
Mobile technology helps you to collect data and transmit it in real-time. Using this technology, on-site workers can submit expense reports and work records, request information, submit time cards, and more without wasting time. You can seamlessly integrate your data with software solutions to run your business more efficiently.
2. Using Tech to Ensure Employee Safety
Today, you can use augmented and virtual reality to ensure that employees are well-trained in the safety and operation of machines, such as welding, cranes, excavators, and masonry equipment. Virtual reality allows workers to work in safe, controlled environments.
You can also develop a safety plan to improve safety on the site or train workers on heavy equipment through augmented reality. Besides, you can monitor employees as they work and provide protective equipment to ensure their safety.
Wearable tech can be embedded in personal protective equipment and apparel such as gloves, boots, safety vests, and hard hats to monitor the workers and keep them safe at the job site.
The wearables can be outfitted with GPS trackers, biometrics and environmental sensors, voltage detectors, Wi-Fi, and more to track the movements of workers, slips, falls, posture, and repetitive motions. This helps to alert site supervisors or workers of impending danger.
You can track the progress of the project and provide solutions that will minimize downtime. Technology has also developed robots and drones to improve productivity and inspect work quality without putting humans in danger.
3. Using Tech Tools for Billing, Finances, and Accounting for Construction Projects
Technology allows you to schedule and monitor the progress at construction sites and keep all members informed of actual progress in real-time. The billing and budgeting process and time management software can streamline the process from the beginning through completion.
You can easily integrate project management with project administration and cost accounting. This allows you to execute both the financial and administrative control of your projects.
Using technology, you can monitor your projects’ performance and analyze your past performance to plan and forecast future projects.
4. Using 3D Visualization Tools for Designing Building Models
Building Information Management (BIM) is another tool that offers all-round solutions for construction processes. You can create a 3D building plan and merge it with the construction schedule.
Before, construction designs were drawn manually, causing errors in calculations and other complications. But now there’s 3D software to help you create architectural graphics and rendering designs. It’s easy to design structures in 3D visualization before execution and save the company and client time and costs.
With 3D building models and digital rendering tools, both you and your clients can visualize and understand all the aspects of the building from the photo-realistic representations created by the architect. You can manipulate and adjust changes on the computer while the project is ongoing.
A 3D building model helps to design structures faster and simplify the building process. It also minimizes errors and miscalculations, which means you can efficiently complete projects with precision.
Many variables go into successfully managing a construction business from project inception to completion. It requires good project management skills, implementing safe working conditions to prevent employee injuries, and properly managing the assets and finances to stay within the budget.
Fortunately, many modern solutions were developed taking into account the individual requirements for the construction business. They allow you to quickly exchange data and communicate in real-time with your workers as well as suppliers along your chain, and other stakeholders involved.
Invest in innovation and stay on top of competition as you realize your business goals.
Michelle Laurey works as a VA for small businesses. She loves talking business, and productivity, and share her experience with others. Outside her keyboard, she spends time with her Kindle library or binge-watching Billions. Her superpower? Vinyasa flow! Talk to her on Twitter @michelle_laurey.