Technology has changed the way many industries operate around the globe. It is little surprise that construction would be among those building a new reliance upon mobile technology.
Paul Bedard is the director of Global Enterprise Data Solutions with Verizon Wireless. Bedard published a blog stating mobile technology is becoming a foundation for construction. Bedard made several points across his blog, often dealing with contractors and how the application of new technology is changing the way projects are completed.
Clarification, Communication, and Coordination
As with any business that relies on teams of employees working in concert to complete parts of a whole, construction requires constant coordination and communication. For years, the industry relied upon blueprints drawn and redrawn by hand or in a computer program. The foreman would have copies of the blueprints and talk to team leaders to then relay the information to the individual teams.
The old method had many points where communication could break down or be inaccurate, creating delays, cost overages, and confusion. If a foreman is out sick or not available, work could slow to a crawl or even stop.
Reliance upon walkie-talkies has been a way to speed up and improve communication on a job site, but interference and static could hinder transmission or alter the words received on either end. While an improvement, walkie-talkies are not the solution.
Bedard believes smartphones and tablet devices will create seamless communication possible amongst all workers, regardless of where the foreman is located at the time. Blueprints can be accessed across the entire project, reviewed by the teams, and cross-referenced at any time. Cell phones allow verbal or written communication amongst team leaders, foreman and crew, or crew members, even in different places within the site.
The biggest question regarding the construction industry is always the cost. Finding ways to reduce the cost without sacrificing has been a huge hurdle for companies, from large multinational construction firms building casinos and high-rise buildings in Las Vegas or a local firm working in New Jersey residential construction.
Technology reduces the costs of completing a project. It reduces the amount of labor by having workers working constantly. It reduces mistakes and costly repairs throughout the process. Technology can improve the ability of a company to manage their inventory and material needs.
Improvements in technology and it’s application on the job allows New Jersey residential construction firms to compete with the biggest firms because their costs are low without sacrificing quality. Bedard’s assessment is that computerized tracking, coordination, ordering, and management will improve building speed while reducing overall costs to customers.
Before rushing out and buying the latest technology, Bedard recommends construction companies look at the needs of the project. Opt for products that will be rugged enough to survive repeated impacts, long drops, confined spaces, or environmental debris such as dirt. Having the right technology is identical to requiring the appropriate mechanical tools and equipment to complete the construction project.
Image Credit: jef safi ‘pictosophizing
Derek often likes to blog about technology and smart phones. He also writes reviews for new smart phones and tablets. The following article is for New Jersey residential construction.