On October 24th, Triax joined JBKnowledge and the ConTechCrew in Dallas for their fourth roadshow, an event dedicated to educating the construction industry on all things tech. Over the course of  six sessions, the ConTechCrew and other guest speakers provided strategic and tactical advice on adopting new and emerging construction technologies. Our Marketing Manager attended the roadshow and wrote down key highlights from the day’s sessions, which she’s shared here. Read on for her recap.

The second session, Revamping Jobsite Productivity Through Tracking & Analysis Tools, outlined four project cost buckets: hard costs, staff time, reimbursable expenses and preventable mistakes. Benham cited that only 37% of a construction worker’s day is spent on “value-add tasks,” meaning the other 63% of their day is not as productive as it could be. By automating the countless “5 minute tasks” that comprise a construction worker’s day – whether it’s conducting manual headcounts or transferring written safety documents into another paper report and then into Excel – contractors can minimize waste, optimize staff time costs, and work to boost productivity.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

To illustrate the cost of preventable mistakes, Benham discussed a real-world $1 billion hospital project example where one untethered worker fell to his death, resulting in a $53 million lawsuit settlement. One preventable safety mistake cost 5% of the total project costs, a staggering figure that is unfortunately not an anomaly in the industry.

The old adage “measure twice, cut once” or “better safe than sorry” applies here. Safety incidents can happen to any worker or contractor and on any jobsite. By formalizing safety processes, thoroughly recording and documenting incidents and analyzing the data, contractors can identify and proactively mitigate risks. A safer jobsite is a more efficient, cost-effective, and successful jobsite.

Pull Technology

The same session featured a guest speaker, Todd Wynne, Director of Applied Technology from Rogers-O’Brien, who distilled construction technology into two categories: Push technology (the “eat-your-vegetables-because-they’re-good-for-you” solutions) and pull technology that workers come to you saying they won’t work without. Recognizing a combination of both will be necessary, but keep in mind that the “push conversation” goes a lot smoother when solutions are user-friendly, low maintenance, and provide demonstrated value to the worker.

Location: The Common Denominator

Productivity is a problem that can be solved with data analytics. GPS is a solution that has variable accuracy of the jobsite, and there are a lot of emerging technologies to monitor worker location. One example, RFID, is cheap but requires workers to go through a gate. Independent of the method, it’s clear that location is the common denominator within the construction industry, and that knowing where your resources are on site is the first step.

Across the day’s sessions, two things become clear:

  1. Across the industry, the biggest pain points are inadequate communication and performance management.
  2. Without a doubt, it is an incredibly exciting time in construction with the attention, investment, activity and innovation that is occurring. Contractors will have to leverage technology to keep up with workload and demand.

Join Triax on December 5th in Oakland, CA for the last ConTech Roadshow of 2017!