Read on for more examples of how real-time data can be used to unlock actionable insights and create unprecedented value.

Industry Challenges

According to FMI research, the average general contractor earns a net profit margin of just 1.46%, which is perhaps why many firms today feel they lack the financial resources (in addition to the technical know-how) to invest in innovation and technology. According to the 2017 JBKnowledge Construction Technology Report, 46% of respondents reported an IT budget of less than 1% of annual sales volume and almost 13% didn’t know how much their organization spent on IT.

With growing resource scarcity and rising costs, construction companies are feeling the pressure to boost productivity and reduce risks, ultimately adding more cash to the bottom line. But how can they do that? Increasingly, contractors are turning to innovative IoT technology and real-time data.

With new, data-driven visibility into resources, operations and safety on site, construction firms can better manage resources to minimize downtime and improve safety.

Data to Build Safer

When you have the data, you can act to remedy the hazard. Wearable and sensor technology like Spot-r detects and records worker falls on site and triggers an automatic notification to safety leaders, so the appropriate medical response and attention can be provided. Not only can this reduce injury response time by 91%, helping to mitigate overall loss severity, but by capturing key safety incident data, including trade, location, weather, and height of fall, safety leaders can drill into the data to identify behavioral trends.

On one site in New York City, for example, the safety super was seeing repeated alerts for low height activity within a certain project zone. After monitoring the situation, the supervisor was able to determine that workers were jumping off the third rung of a ladder instead of walking all the way down. While 9 times out of 10 this does not result in an incident or injury, this data provided an opportunity to reinforce proper safety procedures, including avoiding shortcuts and making safe choices.

Known throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic for its commitment to safety and quality, KBE Building is another organization using Spot-r to measure the success of its safety program and help eliminate risks. As KBE’s Corporate Safety Director told For Construction Pros:

“In the 60 days since we implemented Spot-r, we have already stopped three conditions where employees were jumping up and down heights more than 19 in., and they were immediately corrected….

OSHA doesn’t allow anyone to access areas that have a change in elevation of more than 19 inches without stairs, a ladder or a ramp. If it picks up that a person fell, it could be that they are jumping off a foundation wall or a loading dock, because there isn’t a safer way up or down in place. When this happens, our team becomes alerted of it via the Spot-r dashboard and notifications. Then we can go investigate and fix the condition.”

In addition, objective safety data can help combat potentially false claims. At the same KBE project site, a subcontractor’s employee said that he fell and hurt his back the day before, but when safety leaders went to the Spot-r dashboard to verify, it showed that no fall had occurred:

“When we went to have a conversation with him and his employer and showed the data; he admitted that he had not fallen at this project and had actually hurt himself at home.”

Data to Increase Tool Time

The typical construction project runs 61% behind schedule and 49% over budget, meaning there is substantial room for efficiency and process improvement at the jobsite. Systems like Spot-r provide contractors with new sources of data and actionable insights to enhance efficiency. With new understandings of resource movements on site, Triax’s VP of Product (and go-to data scientist), Ian Ouellette, was able to identify that a specific trade was spending about 60% of their time on the 12th floor and the rest on the 1st floor or in transit. Looking at this specific project, it became clear that workers were wasting valuable time getting tools materials, prompting project leaders to move material caches closer to the 12th floor so less time could be spent getting materials and more time utilizing/installing them.

As projects become bigger and more complex, so do project risks, and solutions to monitor site operations and automate manual processes show great potential to recover lost time, minimize costs, improve safety, and speed up project delivery.

Get Started Today.

It’s important to pay attention to the transformations and trends that are impacting the industry. Construction contractors need to be proactive when it comes to technology in order to stay agile and competitive in today’s changing marketplace.

Are you interested in adopting new digital tools but are not sure where to begin? Check out our quick tips below and download our E-Book for the 5 things to consider before investing in construction technologies.

  1. Ask yourself how the solution fits within your company’s existing technology strategy. If you don’t have an innovation strategy, develop one.
  2. Determine a business case for the technology. What problem are you trying to solve?
  3. Incorporate different stakeholders to create processes for implementing and utilizing the tech.
  4. Consider how the technology can benefit industry partners. What do they stand to gain from the solution?
  5. Plan for the data. If no one owns the insights and is prepared to act on them, you won’t be leveraging the system’s full capabilities