Technology in Construction

2016: The Year of Frictionless Technology in Construction

During the past few years, technology enabled a paperless jobsite; then there was a focus-shift toward mobile; and now “frictionless technology” trend taking construction businesses by storm.

 

The term frictionless means technology-aided experiences that remove time-consuming or inconvenient processes. Examples of technologies offering these benefits are already popular in day-to-day lives; for example, being able to remotely program a Nest thermostat from a mobile phone, or being charged automatically for an Uber taxi. This year’s prediction is the introduction of many frictionless technologies to the construction industry.

 

Real-Time Construction Collaboration

Whether it’s a new warehouse facility or a luxury office space, construction projects always bring together a multitude of stakeholders who are all on the go and either spread out across a single project, or around the city. The use of mobile apps and cloud-based construction software allows for these groups to communicate quickly regardless of physical location, offering features such as project communication (messaging or chat), live document markup, real-time scheduling and more. Moving forward, communication practices that allow people to get all of the project information and updates they need—on the go and in real time—will be a non-negotiable in construction. 

 

Onsite Workgroup Applications

eSUB Construction Software is getting a lot of industry attention for its Filed Works Mobile App that allows laborers to track hours worked based on when they arrive at, and leave, the project site. This same type of technology also can be used for things like tracking who is onsite in the instance of a safety emergency, or by foremen to keep tabs on their teams.

 

eSUB Field Works mobile application enables the team to document and update project data from anywhere in the field. Utilizing cloud technology, eSUB’s mobile application allows team members to communicate quicker enhancing productivity.

 

For project team members, the ability to stay connected to stakeholders and each other while on a jobsite can shave minutes and even hours from the work schedule. And, by not having to chase down contracts, insurance documents, RFIs, change orders and the most current project plans, employees can keep the project moving forward while working in the field.  The office personnel and field staff become essentially one unit. 

 

Automation

With more technology comes more information. In general, this is beneficial. However, more information also means more for everyone to remember—a growing challenge on fast-paced construction projects. Because of this, technologies that allow for the automation of daily tasks are gaining popularity in construction and saving teams both time and peace of mind. For example, eSUB’s application allows subcontractors to send automated emails and alerts to stakeholders on a daily basis. This eliminates the time required to compile daily reports and draft individual emails. 

 

Staying Innovative

The important thing to remember about new technologies that promise to reduce friction in construction is that, while they are great, they are not the first step. In order to take advantage of many of the newest technologies available, companies must first have a good understanding of paperless practices, have an organized mobile device program and promote a culture of constant innovation. Technology is evolving at an exponential rate, and staying in touch with the latest tech trends is more important today than ever before.

 

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