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.
Pete Schott, Senior Product Marketing Manager for PlanGrid, recently published a blog post on the company’s website with 6 helpful tips for how to get field teams on board with construction software. We’ll highlight a few of our favorites below and encourage you to visit the original post to find out the others.
Detail How the Software Improves Their Jobs
There are many advantages to harnessing technology on the job site, but many of them may not be very clear immediately after rolling out a new software. Take some time up front to tell your team why a software was chosen and how it can make their life easier. “Will it mean fewer trips from the jobsite to the office, or make it easier for them to share progress updates? It’s hard to turn down your proposal if it gets them home earlier, or saves them three or more hours per week.,” Schott says in his blog post.
Focus on a Small Amount of Functions of the Software
Sometimes introducing new technology can be overwhelming for people that either don’t use it in the free time or are new to a particular program. You don’t want to scare your team away from the technology with a large learning curve right out of the gate. Schott further explains, “Start by selecting just a few key software functions to focus on, and learn to use those well. Don’t worry about being experts immediately — that will come with time.”
Train and Support Your Team
It’s easy to hand your team a new tablet or smartphone with some new software loaded to it and walk away, but that’s also a recipe for failure. Everybody learns differently and at different paces, so it’s important to keep them interested and build confidence with support and training. The great thing is, many software companies have a variety of helpful videos on their website or Youtube that you can utilize. “Any construction software company worth its salt will offer onsite training, online webinars, a responsive chat support team, and more,” Schott explained.
To read the full blog post with more helpful tips, click here.
The construction industry has historically been slow to adapt to new technologies, but with a recent push from Silicon Valley, a lot of money is being poured into research and development. Just a few short years ago, robotics on the construction site was thought of as a pipe dream, but now there are several companies around the world that are making it a reality. It still may be years away from being adopted in a large scale, but the industry should begin to take note of the technological changes that are happening around them.
Robotics isn’t the only construction item that made headlines last year, there have also been advances in construction materials, Augmented and Mixed Reality, smart sensors, and RFIDs.
Below is our list of the best advances in construction technology from 2017:
Getting your communications right is critical on any construction site. For effective planning and coordination, for efficient management of different teams and for health and safety, having a reliable means of keeping everyone in touch at all times is essential.
Several years ago, Microsoft released their introduction into the mixed reality headset market with the Microsoft HoloLens. The headset, which looks like a pair of bulky, futuristic sunglasses, was touted as a game changer to many different industries. After teaming up with Trimble to directly tackle the construction industry and developing a couple construction technologies for the headset, construction companies have still been extremely hesitant to try out the technology.
Consistent documentation is one of the keys to running a successful and productive job site, but if you’re still using pen and paper, you’re falling behind. There are several web-based applications available to help you manage and organize your reports and photos in the cloud, including Raken, which has recently updated their web and mobile applications.
There is an opportunity to revolutionize the way we protect construction workers from fall hazards while dramatically reducing waste and inefficiency in the construction industry. The Hilmerson Safety Rail System™ was designed and engineered with feedback from industry experts with one goal in mind: Reinvent the guardrail to eliminate inefficiencies, cut costs, send zero waste to landfills, and improve workplace safety.
If you can believe it, we’re already in the middle of gift giving season as December is quickly approaching. Sorting through dozens of aisles in stores and hundreds of pages on line looking for that perfect gift for the construction professional in your life can leave you confused and frustrated. Construction Junkie is here to save the day with our 3rd Annual Ultimate Construction Holiday Gift Guide. Be sure to check out our 2015 and 2016 guide for additional ideas!
FieldLens, a web based application available on both Android and iOs, allows for real-time documentation of safety hazards, job site notes, and punch lists. The app eliminates the need to re-type your notes or send separate emails to the correct people, because it can create instantaneous reports on all the information you typed in to your phone or tablet on the job site.
Recently, Fieldlens added three new features that the company says are requested often
The Netherlands has a ton of bridges, especially pedestrian and biking bridges, thanks to its abundant system of canals. Perhaps because of that, they have become a leader in 3D printing technology when it comes to bridges.
It seems like every month there’s a new robot being debuted for the construction industry, with the promise of reducing costs and improving productivity and safety. There are robots for laying brick and block, placing concrete, and even self-driving mining trucks. The most recent robot to hit the job site is Built Robotics’ Autonomous Track Loader (ATL).
Concrete is an extremely strong building material, but has a notoriously weak tensile strength. In order to resist tension, bending, and shear forces, steel rebar or other reinforcement materials are added either prior to the placement or into the mix. Even with reinforcement, concrete is still extremely rigid and prone to cracking. In the event of a major earthquake, the uneven and horizontal forces can cause structures to crack and, in the worst case, cause failure.