Lately, the construction industry has been embracing technology at a faster rate than it has been historically known for. Credit the emphasis placed on productivity by building owners that is driving companies to look for ways to meet client expectations without putting worker safety at risk purely for making gains on a timeline.
However, one challenge has consistently been achieving greater worker safety without sacrificing productivity. The drive to make jobsites as safe as possible often comes at the cost of at least some efficiency, a penalty that construction firms willingly absorb in order to protect everyone on the jobsite.
The impact of protecting worker health has only grown due to the global pandemic. At first, technology’s role grew gradually in enabling rigorous safety policies and workplace efficiency to coexist. But with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, a rush to embrace technology is helping companies achieve both speed and safety far more rapidly than in the recent past.
If there’s one silver lining from the recent pandemic, it’s that technology adoption has accelerated in such a way that the benefits for workers and clients have been realized almost overnight – not because contractors wanted to, but because they had no choice. Like removing a band-aid, sometimes it’s easier to simply rip it off, and COVID-19 certainly made transformational events an almost everyday occurrence in the business world.
The good news? These changes don’t have to be as disruptive as what the industry encountered earlier this year. In fact, many incremental adjustments can be made to help construction companies achieve greater efficiency and safety without upsetting the proverbial apple cart.
There’s no doubt that game-changing technology is swirling around the construction industry at any given time. With manufacturers gearing up to build entire buildings off-site to transport to the project location, prefabricated construction methods will upend the conventional manner of assembling structures. In a similar fashion, robotics promises to deliver untold benefits that improve the jobsite for human workers, but this, too, is a disruptive innovation.
Does every new technology solution have to arrive in this way? Not at all. In fact, industry experts anticipate that more contractors will realize greater benefits through the deployment of a variety of smaller-scale technology solutions that will help teams solve large problems, from improving the safety of the jobsite to identifying efficiencies that lead to greater profitability.
Take, for example, BIM modeling: BIM has made it possible to virtually sketch out building construction from start to finish. When first deployed at some of the nation’s largest contractors, it transformed how pre-construction teams approached the earliest phases of construction. Now, construction businesses of every size are using BIM to spot problems before they halt projects and identify ways to accelerate certain phases of construction through more strategic alignment of different trades.
While BIM will still be familiar to its users, technology experts are currently exploring the integration of Lidar, robotics, and analytics to improve the quality of the information being captured in a building model. This is an example of the incremental change that can yield significant benefits to project teams by virtue of improving an already-capable product without having to rebuild it from the ground up.
In the same way, construction project management software has been providing a solid foundation to the entire project management team for years. From helping teams transition from spreadsheets and manual processes to breaking down the silos between field crews and in-office accountants, products like Sage 300 Construction and Real Estate continue to be enhanced through incremental improvements, like the integration of cloud-based accounting applications.
Cloud-based mobility tools have also enhanced project management software by allowing workers to post updates and access data and analytics from the field and the home office, enabling real-time information sharing to the entire project team regardless of that team member’s location.
Put simply, innovating does not require disrupting the day-to-day operations of a business – but it does benefit from having a trusted technology partner. To find out how to best integrate a flexible platform that allows for continuous improvements and features integration, contact United Solutions today for a complimentary product demonstration and free review of your software.
United Solutions provides unmatched software solutions and support for more than 3,000 clients in the construction, real estate industries. We enable our clients to operate at peak efficiency and maximize their profits.Read More
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