Leveraging Technology to Increase Construction Productivity

December 14, 2020 | Elizabeth Oberg

While many industries have invested heavily in technology to promote productivity, construction productivity has remained flat and is only now placing a focus on technology as a means to achieve greater productivity. Additional benefits of emerging technologies are reducing risk and improving decision making with data. For many contractors, there is still concern over the unknowns associated with adopting technology. Whether your team will adopt the technology is chief among the concerns. Let’s take a look at some of the pain points your team currently faces and how technology can help alleviate stress from their day-to-day lives.

Poor Communication

Challenges with communication are felt throughout the construction industry and at every level of organizations. Dispatchers face a barrage of communication from the job site, haulers, and operations leaders. With multiple streams of communication flooding in throughout the day, it can be difficult to manage the changes to work that is currently on-going, while also planning for the coming days. Even when they have the best plan, they also face challenges ensuring that everyone arrives to work when they are scheduled - trucks break down, people cancel, and delays can happen at any point. This impacts the foremen, who have to scramble to communicate what is happening at the job site with contacts in the dispatch office to ensure they can complete work on time. On top of that, company leaders need to be able to understand how projects are running overall to make key business decisions.

 

How can technology help create better communication in your organization? By providing your team with easy digital tools to connect in real-time. With the right technology in place, there is less need for “in the moment” panicked conversations because dispatch can see problems before they arise - keeping the job site happy. The job site can focus on getting the work done because they trust that the flow of trucking will meet their needs and leadership feels confident that projects are running on time because they can see progress instantly. Additionally, when inevitable changes come up, technology can help message everyone on the job at once. If the weather is shutting down a job site, type up your message, and hit send - everyone on the job will be informed at the same time.

 

Reactive Decision Making

Most successful construction companies are good at making decisions for the next few months. However, when it comes to making decisions about the coming days, things can break down quickly. This is primarily because of last-minute changes that cause teams to veer off scheduled plans. Making reactive decisions to challenges that arise is a constant source of stress and can be costly to the project’s timeline and budget. What if your team could feel more confident in the decisions they are making about work taking place today, tomorrow, or next week?

 

How can technology promote proactive decision making? Real-time visibility and data are key to proactive decision making. Real-time visibility into project performance allows stakeholders to make more informed decisions in the moment and take corrective action before things become a problem. Imagine if dispatchers knew that a hauler canceled for the next day? They could adjust trucking volumes, ensuring the project stays on time, rather than waiting for a call from the foreman. The insight you get from bringing on technology can help each stakeholder make business decisions for the coming days that align with the overall strategic plan for a project. Ultimately, leveraging technology to make business decisions will boost productivity and result in higher schedule reliability and lower costs.

 

Risk Management

If risk is one of your top concerns, you aren’t alone. Safety hazards on the job site, change orders, damage to equipment, and issues with subcontractors top the list but are not the only risks contractors need to manage. Everyone on the job site feels the impacts of risk because the effects are widespread. When risks materialize, performance is impacted - along with schedules and budget. You will never be able to fully avoid risk in construction; however, you can mitigate risk and work with partners that help to limit the amount of risk you face on projects.

 

How does technology reduce risk for your construction company? There is a multitude of ways to mitigate risk using technology including wearables and sensors on the job site. However, one additional way that some technology is limiting risk for contractors is by automating the process of hauler insurance documentation. Every time a dump truck is on the job, there is quite a bit of risk involved. Starting with the basics and ensuring that each truck on the job is properly insured and has appropriate PPE can go a long way towards mitigating your risk. There are technologies that will even do this for you. Solutions like TRUX connect you with insured drivers in your area when you need them.

 

Increase Productivity and Reduce Stress With Technology

Contractors across the country are leveraging technology to stay on schedule and on budget. If your construction business relies on logistics to stay on time we recommend evaluating a trucking logistics software to help achieve your goals. Otherwise, take steps to implement technology that will help solve your largest problems. Talk with your team and find out where the largest gaps are, get them on board with a solution that can help alleviate their largest pain points, while providing the business valuable information. If you start with tools that provide better opportunities for communication, better in-the-moment decision-making, and reduce risk you are far more likely to get your team on board.

 

TRUX is a technology company focused specifically on the construction industry with tools to help you manage your existing business and connect with local haulers when you need them. If you are serious about leveraging technology, connect with our team to find out if TRUX is the right tool for your team.

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About The author:

Elizabeth Oberg

Elizabeth Oberg is the Marketing Director at TRUX. Since joining the company in 2018, she has worked to introduce new features to the TRUX platform -- helping haulers and contractors shape their businesses with the adoption of logistics technology. With over 10 years of marketing experience, Elizabeth brings her passion to this innovative tech platform.

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