Construction Podcast

#PowerToTheTrades eSUB Podcast Sixth Episode with Travis Voss

On this week’s episode of the #PowerToTheTrades Podcast, our host Rob McKinney has a conversation with Travis Voss from the Helm Group. 

eSUB Podcast Sixth Episode Recap 

The sixth episode features Travis who is the Leader of Innovative Technology for the Helm Group (aka Mechanical Inc) and part of the #ConstructionDorks podcast! The Helm Group is a Mechanical Contractor based in Northern Illinois and long time leading members of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA). Travis is a technology enthusiast who has a lot of experience in building software and mobile solutions. 

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He has learned a lot about the differences between Information Technology (IT() and Construction Technology (CT). Travis now manages what he refers to as the “Operational Tech” for the company. He is focused on developing the process and workflows to better utilize technology in their operations. 

The Meaning of #PowerToTheTrades  

4:49 – 4:59 Travis “It’s a lot about empowerment, right. Empowering of different sectors of our different demographics. Empowerment of our technology inside our industry to push our companies forward to get through this pandemic.”  

Travis points out that trade contractors, mechanical contractors in particular, seem to get involved ate in the bidding process even though they represent one of the larger scopes of work on a project. He would like to see Trade Contractors get more involved with projects earlier in the process to offer their key input on design, product selection and even ongoing maintenance. 

4:59 – 5:43 Travis It would be great to drive things in a new direction instead of just kicking things out the same old way.” 

How has technology made an impact to the company? 

Travis provided some thoughts about the need to get more information to workers in the field and how there are many software companies developing new options for contractors to use. One of his key roles areas of focus as a “Construction Technologist” is to search for and review the available options and assess them for how they align with his teams current workflows.  

7:56 – 8:22 Travis “What has really powered us the last couple of years is as we are pushing more to the offsite construction, as we are getting more of these complex buildings with the shortend schedules and the compressed timelines. The last couple of years we doubled down on our virtual design construction process on making sure that our tooling talks to the model and vice versa. 

His team is really trying hard to push as much design information as possible into the field. They are focused on getting work installed correctly the first time to get paid as soon as possible. They want to be make sure that the date they generate is accurate and actionable. 

A new mantra: 3D design = NO Pencil, NO Pencil, NO Tape Measure …. 

How can we improve the industry? 

Travis has always been a big proponent of getting the Trade Contractors a seat at the design table a little sooner.  It would good to get the designs a little more constructable and  try to eliminate the amount of trade stacking that occurs due to scheduling issues. 

15:05 – 15:21 Travis We always talk about the shrinking workforce and our labor shortages. I have a military background, I went through that rebranding of the Army on One. I think that the construction industry needs something like that. Some sort of BIG PR push, let’s make construction cool again!” 

Wrap up 

This was another excellent discussion about the use case of technology in the construction industry, and how we can improve moving forward this year! As we continue to dive into the world of trade contractors and how they use technology, let us know who you’d like to hear and what you’d like to hear about. Interested in being on the podcast yourself? 

We would love to have you join us for a chat about tech. Apply here, and we’ll be in touch.  

To all the trade contractors out there reading or listening, keep up your incredible work, and thank you for building and servicing the world we live in! 

Let’s continue to bring #PowerToTheTrades!