As project owners begin to demand the adoption of various technologies as a condition of funding, a growing number of excellent solutions tailored to the sector are becoming available.
FREMONT, CA: Construction has been one of the most technologically behind industries.That's partly due to culture: people in the industry tend to solve problems with their inventiveness, many businesses are still family-owned, and tradition is still held in high regard. Finally, this is a low-margin business where equipment and employees are the top objectives for investment.
The industry is now finally waking up to the impact technology may have on the bottom line as more technology enters the picture.Here are a few technology opportunities that construction companies should be aware of:
AR and VR
Augmented and virtual reality are trying to take the output of BIM software and create virtual models of a structure that subcontractors can walk through before it gets built, allowing them to collaborate and spot potential problems in a virtual environment, whether on a computer screen through a headset.
AI: Not yet
Artificial intelligence may also have a significant impact on the industry, but not for some years. Job site safety is one immediate application. There are currently some essential tools for analyzing footage from job site cameras and detecting risks. They can also tell whether employees are accessing a scaffold or hauling things up a flight of stairs based on their movements.
Internet of Things
When it comes to seeing some success with AI, such as health care and manufacturing, everything is occurring in one location. It's now easier to attach sensors to a machine or robot and collect data.However, when you have several job sites and a lot of moveable equipment, it's a little more complicated, so taking data capture out of the hands of individuals and automating it, and keeping data in a centralized location where it can get controlled, is the current frontier.
Back Office Efficiency
The majority of businesses use an automated accounting platform. However, there are still some gaps to be addressed.
The routing and approval of invoices is a significant task. People have invoices scanned in the back office and then sent invoice photographs to the project superintendent through email. Images of invoices are "digital paper," which means they aren't actual digital artifacts.Any information stored on them must get manually entered and the entire routing and approval process by hand.
Most ERP systems provide many reports, but users want to combine this information with data from other sources. They want to be able to view data in three dimensions and drill down into it. ERP systems lack that power, and as firms gain access to more data, the need for a business intelligence platform to bring it all together and provide insights develops and models.
See Also: Top Construction Tech Solution Companies