With 1-3% profit margins, demanding schedules, and tight competition, construction companies have little extra time to devote to IT and technology investments that don’t work. Construction companies are lean, mean, operating machines that adapt on the fly, and new products—whether tools, gear or software—must clearly demonstrate value and relieve administrative burdens.
Perhaps it is not surprising, therefore, that the construction industry underspends cross-industry averages when it comes to technology by upwards of 60-70%. Few solutions to date have been deployable, practical, scalable and user-friendly enough to warrant widespread adoption.
It is essential that construction technology is developed within this context. Solutions that require exponential hardware, extensive user training, and constant charging or maintenance will not work on the jobsite. In addition, contractors don’t have the time to flip between 10 different platforms to get the information they need; solutions must integrate with other systems to eliminate double data-entry and maximize value.
Despite the value add and efficiency of tech, the construction industry is slow to adopt new solutions: it only spends 1% of its revenue on Research & Development (compared to 3.5% by the automotive industries).
What’s more, in our experience, it isn’t a lack of willingness to try new technology that is the issue, so much as the strategy for how to implement it, who will own the process and how to get management approval. Construction companies of all sizes want to try new tech to improve efficiencies and have an agile mindset of research and testing, but rarely have the extra time to discover emerging technologies.
It only takes one technology champion to get innovative tech on a company’s radar.
Nearly 50% of construction professionals manually prepare and process daily reports, meaning that the majority of builders are missing the daily data and real-time analytics that reduce jobsite error, waste and inefficiencies.
Help move construction technology from a hot topic to a living, breathing practice by educating yourself on the solutions available in the marketplace today. Invest in basic research, ask to pilot the product, and demand technology that is intuitive and provides actionable insights. With a little time, and the right solution, you can be the difference for technology adoption—and the competitive advantage—at your organization.
What’s the best way to become a technology champion? Technology should be used on the jobsite, but there needs to be more education about its advantages at the individual level.
- Get field teams involved. End users want a seat at the table and want managers to invest in technology that will actually help them day-to-day.
- Test it with a single project first. This will help you understand the benefits and address any concerns before widespread adoption.
- Determine processes: What will implementation look like?
Once you have established a rollout and education process, and the rest of the organization has seen the benefits of the new technology first-hand, you will be recognized as the technology champion for your company.