Triax understands the complexities of a construction site, which is why we developed Spot-r to provide comprehensive visibility into worker and equipment location, utilization, and safety. By automating manual processes and providing actionable insights that help supervisors see what’s happening across their resources, Spot-r helps contractors unlock new efficiencies and safety benefits.
One of our first pilot customers, KBE Building Corporation is known throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic for its commitment to the highest quality, award-winning safety, and strong relationships. In April, Ricardo Anderson, Project Superintendent at KBE, and Phil Epifano, Strategic Account Manager at Triax, teamed up for the Construction Institute’s BIM & Beer panel, where they discussed how KBE is utilizing Spot-r on their jobsites. After the event, we talked with Ricardo and Phil about construction tech and what KBE learned from implementing and focusing on the connected jobsite.
How did you get involved in the construction industry?
RA: When I was younger, I wanted to be an architect. While growing up, my parents were building our house and I thought it was very fascinating. Here I am today still in it, and love it…
PE: I am fourth-generation construction industry. I started in residential construction working with my father and then eventually shifted into commercial construction, starting as an Assistant PM/Super on several large projects with Turner. I then moved into the insurance side of things with Turner Surety Insurance Brokerage, a sister company of Turner. Seeing and touching all aspects of the business has been exceptionally interesting and beneficial. There’s no industry quite like construction!
What does an average day look for you right now? What work-related things keep you up at night?
RA: Putting out fires, planning ahead, coordinating with the players, meetings, trying to get a project started, and setting up…I try to solve problems before I leave, though, or make a plan to attack it the next day. It’s important to not stress too much about/over it and to sleep. Then on the drive to work I think of it again!
PE: When I was working in the field, I was constantly stressed over schedules and monthly OAC meetings and making sure I had the right answers for upper management’s questions. On large scale projects during punch list time, it’s difficult to quantify/understand exactly what is being done daily and where each trade is spending time on site.
Especially on large sites, it’s difficult to know real-time headcounts and keep up with daily construction reports when you’re running around tracking down other information! It’s also difficult to know your headcounts in real time during these highly stressful times. Having tools like Spot-r to automate these processes allows you to focus on the more important, value-add tasks during the day.
How did you first learn about the Spot-r technology?
RA: Through my Safety Director Adam Peters.
PE: I was introduced to Adam Peters through a friend, who said KBE in particular would love our technology since they are highly focused on safety and using new tools to improve safety and manage risk on jobsites. KBE has been a great partner from the beginning, and they’ve been using our tools to become more efficient and effective in managing worker safety and larger site risks.
What has been your experience with Spot-r to date?
RA: Due to my project size at the time, we just did a pilot program, but the use of it during that time was smooth. It was easy to manage the software, and it was user-friendly. It assisted me with the daily items of concern for safety, and it kept me abreast of items that a sub was doing. It provided me with the info to let them be accountable.
I love the evacuation feature that is available when needed.
PE: I love the system’s evacuation feature as well. For those that don’t know, supervisors can trigger an audible alarm to each worker’s wearable device and amplify it with 100-decibel, flashing Spot-r EvacTags around the jobsite. On large projects like the ones that KBE builds, it’s difficult to rely solely on traditional ways – air horns, self-rigged alarm systems, or sending people back into the building – to evacuate a building or site. Our Clips and EvacTags overcome some of these traditional challenges and have reduced evacuation times by up to 72%.
What advice would you give others in the industry looking to adopt tech like Spot-r? How has it changed your day-to-day?
RA: It is a useful tool, especially for larger scale projects, and especially now with some of the added features available. It makes me knowledgeable of safety/fall hazards as well as the players on-site for that day and their locations. It keeps me updated on their activity.
PE: I would just add that it’s important to plan for the implementation process. Designate a Spot-r “Champion” or team to do the research, testing, implementation, and on-going evaluation. You need to understand what problem you’re trying to tackle and have a process for fully leveraging the solution and acting upon the data it provides.
What trends are you following in the construction industry right now?
RA: BIM 360 / BIM Field Docs. [Editor’s Note: Spot-r integrates with BIM 360! Spot-r users can log into the dashboard using their existing BIM credentials and easily pull in project details and existing 2D drawings and 3D models, facilitating easier set-up. Users can then see real-time worker locations and headcounts over existing BIM models.]
PE: I think you’re going to see technology increasingly impact safety, whether it’s helping with jobsite hazard analysis, alerting to unsafe situations, or identifying risky behaviors and predicting incidents. I look forward to seeing what contractors and tech company like Triax build together.