It’s no secret that every day we are advancing in the area of technology and increasing the number of tasks completed by computers and/or automation. The construction industry is one that may overall be slower to adapt to incorporating advanced technology into their everyday duties, but as we see technology beginning to become a standard for even them, we see the impacts technology has had on the industry overall.
When we say technology, we are not only talking about the obvious, like going paperless or the use of tablets on job sites, but also the increased capabilities of machinery. We are continually seeing increases in the quickness, durability, capabilities and effectiveness of machines and tools used on and off site.
Here are some ways technology has truly changed our industry and helped to increase productivity, and time management:
- The use of iPads. The use of iPads or tablets has not only increased organization by allowing all paperwork to be safety stored in one place, but it has also improved timeliness. Now documents and contracts can be sent where they need to be sent immediately and from there, next steps can be scheduled almost immediately as well. Real-time data is a huge advantage for the construction industry. Not only does it allow for instant sharing of information, but it also helps to increase the amount of jobs that can be taken on, as well as improves accuracy of the data to be used in future decisions/research.
- Elimination of “doing it by hand.” On top of the easiness created by going paperless, tablets in the field has also eliminated the need to do things by hand. One small mishap or miscalculation used to mean potential for hours of added work. Now it means one simple click of a button, or swipe of a finger and the mistake is fixed. At The Brothers that just do Gutters, we are fully digitalized and when our Contact Center schedules an appointment, it is sent directly to our estimator’s iPad, During the estimate, photos are taken and the scope is fully laid out in a digital document created on the iPad.
- New skillsets required. Workers entering into and/or working in the manual labor industry for years are now required to have new skills they never needed before. Knowing how to use these technologies is a huge requirement for being qualified for these positions. Of course these skills can be taught, but in a pool of candidates, those that already posses the technology knowledge and skills needed to operate in the field, may be more likely to secure a position.
- Software, programs and apps. Chances are, unless you are still running your construction business under the “old school way of thinking,” your company is probably using some sort of software, technology system, or application to schedule jobs, complete payments and monitor jobsites. At The Brothers that just do Gutters we teamed up with Servicebridge and ServiceCEO to become fully digitalized. We also use GPS within our trucks to monitor job status.
- Health and safety. Health and safety within the construction and trades industry is not like it was 25-50 years ago. There are now strict rules, regulations, and guidelines for jobsite safety and working environments. These rules have been put into place to ensure the safety of the workers. Many construction companies also now offer workers compensation and require OSHA certification. If these guidelines and certifications are not followed or taken seriously, there are now stricter punishment possibilities for managers.
Adapting to change is extremely important in the success of a business as technology continues to change and advance. Often if a company or worker is not willing to adapt, and/or learn new skills, they may find it hard to grow with/maintain a position of success. Leadership is a huge part of adapting, and recognizing your team for their achievements is often a huge factor in fostering their continued success. The skillsets now required to work in manual labor, and the lack of skilled tradesmen begs the question, will skilled tradesmen eventually be making as much as doctors?