The following is a guest post by Matt Coffey, Marketing and Communications Manager for Wincourse Technologies Inc. Wincourse provides the construction industry with strategic technology services designed to help reduce IT management and support costs. This industry requires the latest in technology to stay competitive, reduce costs and increase efficiency. Wincourse's Cloud Solutions for construction allows your team to have access to all your information and applications in the office and on the job site. By partnering with Wincourse, you can work from Anywhere, Anytime, on Any Device!
The US National Institute of Science and Technology defines cloud computing as offering 5 essential characteristics: On-Demand Self Service, Broad Network Access, Resource Pooling, Rapid Elasticity, and Measured Service.
By migrating to the cloud, a business has the opportunity to have all of the information and process availability from anywhere, at any time, on any device.
Why is this important for the construction industry? Below are just three of the reasons you should be making the move.
It is important to be able to have all the correct information to make quick decisions and create reports. This isn’t usually the case in the field. The cloud gives your team the opportunity to have all the required information available to everyone that needs it, when they need it.
From RFIs to updated drawings, the cloud will host all of this. Your contractors need to be able to easily collaborate with subcontractors, owners and architects. The ability to instantly get answers to questions and have all essential updates can make the difference in staying within a projects timeline and budget.
The construction industry has a constant change of workforce and jobsites continuously across a wide area. Taking your business process to the cloud allows a seamless move from jobsite to jobsite, from employee to employee, and from the office to jobsite.
You are able to scale up or down when a project ends and begins, as well as when you bring on new team members. This flexibility saves you infrastructure costs that may rapidly increase or not even be used, depending on work load.
Essential information has to get passed form the jobsite to the office and vice versa every day, usually to multiple locations. The cloud gives you the ability to have access to the necessary applications to keep everything updated, without having to go to the office.
In the past, simple tasks such as processing payroll, creating financial reports, invoicing and logistics had to be documented at each job site, then sent to the home office to be keyed into the system. With the cloud, your timesheet applications, Sage, Timberline, or whatever your application preference is can easily be accessed from anywhere, at any time, on any device.
More than many other industries, construction has a large amount of processes and documentation that follows from jobsite to jobsite and from the jobsite to the office. With teams working in a spread out area, with most of them using tablets and smartphones, moving to the cloud seems like a no brainer.
The key is to find a cloud service provider who has the experience and know-how to maximize your results.
There’s no shortage of company’s trying to improve the world’s roadways. Asphalt and concrete each have their own disadvantages, especially when maintenance environmental factors are taken into consideration. Plastic is a major problem for landfills, as well, as it can take an estimated 500 years to fully decompose. One UK company believes they can solve both maintenance and environmental problems through the use of recycled plastic.
Feeling the pressure of 9 straight quarters with a decline in total revenue, Caterpillar has acquired the equipment sharing startup, Yard Club, to get help dig themselves out of the dirt. Their most recent quarter was the company’s first positive revenue quarter since November of 2012.
I’m a firm believer that before robots start taking over construction jobs, we’ll first be working with robotics to make workers more efficient and our job sites more functional. Instead of using 3D printing robots to build an entire project, why not use them first to create intricate details and bring character back to buildings? Instead of pushing human labor out of the way, why not use robotics to enhance the abilities of our workers, to improve their health and productivity? With rise in development commercial exoskeletons, workers will soon be able to harness additional strength by just slipping on a suit.
Last year, Tesla announced a new disruptive product to the market in the form of solar roof shingles. Unlike traditional solar roof panels, these shingles mimic the look of traditional terra cotta, clay, and slate tiles, creating a more aesthetically pleasing look. This week, the company began taking pre-orders for the roof shingles and also released a cost calculator.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is constantly researching ways to improve construction process and materials, like this material 10 times the strength of steel, or this solar cell that’s lighter than a soap bubble, or this “reversible concrete.” This time the Institute is showing off its autonomous robot that can spit out building structures on site within hours.
Tracking employees instantaneously is a dream scenario for employers. It gives them tons of data to analyze to determine where money can be saved and where resources can be placed to be most efficient. The struggle is convincing the employees that tracking their every move is not going to get them in trouble or fired. There’s a balance in there somewhere and that’s the challenge facing both employers and tech companies right now.
Two of the most critical concepts of construction safety are the ability to see what you’re doing and to also be seen by others around you. Construction workers rely heavily on their employer providing lighting systems when working in low light conditions, but those systems are not always adequate.
There’s no doubt that the construction industry is behind when it comes to technology, but things are beginning to change. In the past few years, our industry has seen millions of dollars poured into new technology, including smartphone apps, advanced construction materials, and advanced safety equipment. One of the struggles –and perhaps the main struggle- with introducing new technology to the field staff is that many of them have been managing their jobs the same way for a long time. It can be difficult to convince them to change, especially if they have been successful with their current process.
It’s that time again to begin Construction Junkie’s annual search for the best construction podcast! Last year, newcomer to the scene ConTechTrio took home the crown for best podcast and they’re continuing to make waves on the platform, with interviews with heavy hitter guests from the world of construction each episode. 2015’s winner was Cesar Abeid’s Construction Industry Podcast, but unfortunately there have not been any new shows released since August of 2015.
read on to nominate your favorite podcast