As a construction business owner, you know firsthand how extremely difficult it is to manage projects, regardless of the size and complexity. There are many moving parts – bringing together suppliers, tracking materials, equipment, and labor within a projected timeline and estimated budget. Different issues and concerns are emerging along the way, such as budget overruns, project delays, client dissatisfaction, reduction of profit, and additional expenses for project stakeholders.
According to a report from last year, 72% of contractors are open to trying the latest technologies to make their business easier to manage and more efficient. As a result, most construction firms have embraced and adapted the newest technologies, methods, and processes to make business elements more streamlined and unified while integrating data and workflows and ensuring stakeholder collaboration.
This approach is popularly known as connected construction. In this blog, we will discuss this concept, why it is important, what value it brings to the industry, why it essentially becomes the future, and more.
Connected Construction: The New Technology Mindset for the New Era
Connected construction technology refers to a network combining data across the entire project cycle, ensuring all information flows flawlessly and seamlessly from one place to another. This tech connects job sites, machines, and people, making things easier to manage and process. It ensures increased productivity, resulting in better project outcomes.
Adapting this technology only means having a centralized construction scheduling software solution that can help you reduce any form of errors and miscommunication.
There are a ton of software solutions and technologies available in the market today. Most firms use construction software and mobile applications to manage every aspect of their project and business – from scheduling, project management, field reporting, inventory, etc. However, most tools available today are stand-alone and do not communicate with the other solutions, resulting in contractors performing repetitive data entry, which is time-consuming and leads to many human errors.
Connected construction is such a game-changer. With this in place, components work together, ensuring collaboration between stakeholders and the workforce. As a result, there is a continuous improvement in overall productivity and efficiency.
Key Components of Connected Construction
The following components embody a real-time connected construction, mainly aiming for more centralized project management and decision-making.
- Asset tracking
- Real-time data analytics
- Construction crew management
- Time clocks
- Augmented and Virtual Reality
- Predictive maintenance
Upcoming technologies designed for construction professionals are expected to roll over in the next years. The features this technology offers are evolving and improving, aiming to simplify the operations and processes in the sector.
What Connected Construction Tech Brings in the Industry?
The value it brings to the sector is immense. It connects the industry’s most complex components and processes to achieve a more efficient workflow. That is why many business owners, contractors, and project managers are starting to value this technology, making it a norm in the organization.
Here are some of the best reasons why many businesses started to take advantage of connected construction:
1. Access to real-time updates that minimize risks
With connected construction in place, you have one single source of information for the entire project. And with access to real-time information – whether it’s construction submittals, RFIs, or project plans, project stakeholders can feel assured and confident that they are working using the latest data set. This helps best in reducing errors and risks onsite. In addition, it increases any responses streamlining the construction processes.
With information accessible to your construction workforce using connected technology, visibility and transparency increase.
2. Interoperability of tools leading to increased quality of work
Connected construction includes software solutions that communicate with other applications and programs. With that being said, information is instantly shared across different programs. Because of this capability, it eliminates any duplication of tasks and recurring data entries.
With your construction workforce and stakeholders accessing connected tools, they can focus more on productivity and performance and less on data collection.
3. Better resources for more enhanced operational processes
Connected construction technologies operate under Wi-Fi and even on-ground sensors that track temperature and environmental conditions. Other techs can monitor equipment performance as well as maintenance. Such solutions are designed to increase operational efficiency and productivity while managing construction projects at multiple locations.
4. Manage connected assets
With the integrated intelligence of connected construction technology, project managers and subs can monitor the overall condition of onsite assets and resources. Some of the best construction software today have built-in inventory management – which helps in tracking all construction inventory items.
5. Reduced conflicts and project costs
Connected construction enhances project outcomes by aligning everyone about the end goals and requirements at the project’s onset. Having all your team members and stakeholders equipped with the latest project information can result in fewer conflicts. Potential issues can be seen right away, and resolving issues will be done quickly.
Overall, reduced conflicts can positively impact project costs over time.
6. More accurate timelines
Connected construction can turn estimates into actual data. This entirely improves timelines and project budgets across a certain project. Rather than projecting when a key deliverable will finally be finished, connected construction tech lets you and your team know which part of the project is completed and when the next procedure can start.
7. Improved transparency and communication
Another reason connected construction is valuable to the industry is that it offers more improved and active communication. A lot of techs today that are offered in the market are cloud-based. Subcontractor scheduling software is cloud-enabled and a powerful tool that can help enhance communication and transparency for everyone involved.
Using this tech, construction professionals and their teams can accelerate schedules, avoid rework, and improve coordination between many trades.
Some Challenges in the Adoption of Connected Construction
While connected construction is a cross-functional, cutting-edge technology that can solve rising problems in the sector, it is not a simple change for everyone. And we think you should know that every innovation faces challenges, and connected construction is no exception. But we never discouraged you from embracing this technology because, one way or another – connected construction will become the future of the sector.
We want you to have a glimpse of these challenges to inform and prepare you. In fact, a study was conducted, and it showed that there is a gap between deploying a technology and using it.
- Skillset: Making changes to the current flow of your business is time-consuming and extremely difficult. And when it comes to having technology, the capacity of your people to adapt to it can also be a concern. It can always be intimidating, especially with the inability to learn things quickly, which can impact project outcomes.
To solve such issues, you should provide training to your workforce so they can easily adapt to the new systems. Ensure the training is delivered in an easy-to-catch-up manner. You may also consider hiring Millennials and Gen Z individuals to be part of your team – they are more tech-savvy and easy to adapt.
- Cybersecurity threats: Since connected construction relies heavily on systems and technology, cybersecurity threats have always been a growing concern. A data breach could happen and significantly halt your project’s progress. Therefore, it is smart to exercise caution as early as possible when integrating new technology into your workflow. Ensure that the software provider, your partner, can tell you the extent of data protection the software can provide and what legal standards it meets for overall safety.
- Costs: Of course, costs will always be one of the issues. Technology is not cheap, mostly because it should be highly maintained. There will be costs associated with deployment, acquisition, and even training. However, once implemented, you can use connected construction tech to improve efficiencies and even boost profits, which can help you reduce costs over time.
Your Long-Term Construction Technology Partner – Pro Crew Schedule
There is no denying that the construction industry’s future lies heavily in connected construction solutions and other technologies that are expected to impact the sector big time, especially in the near future. With everyone in the sector quickly adapting to new technologies, more projects will have lesser perceived risks and a lot of accountability and transparency.
Select the right construction solution for your business to achieve all the valuable benefits a connected technology offers – Pro Crew Schedule checks all the boxes! It is fully integrated, easy to use, and has reasonable pricing!
Pro Crew Schedule is a modern cloud-enabled construction crew dispatch software designed for subcontractors by subcontractors. It is built to simplify and streamline nearly every aspect of business, including project management, scheduling, and inventory. Pro Crew Schedule has robust functionalities and integrations and is the only one in the market offering both scheduling and inventory features. It’s a great all-around construction solution for your construction business.
Just in case you wonder what its benefits are, here are Pro Crew Schedule’s core features:
- Time Tracker
- Crew leader access
- Software views
- Tasks management
- Document management
- Unified search
- Employee-based scheduling
- Task view
- Time off requests