Technology in Construction

The construction industry – one of the most fundamental and traditional sectors in the world, is at last rapidly adopting technology to help solve its daily challenges, the potential of technology to solve its most pressing problems is far beyond what is currently realized.  The ability to carry a powerful computer in one’s pocket allows contractors to access the benefits of technology directly on the field, having all relevant information directly in hand and back at their office desktop.

While technology adoption on the jobsite continues to grow exponentially, many construction professionals are left wondering: “what does technology means for me? where do I fit in? and, how can technology ultimately help my business?”. In this post I will discuss some of the technologies that are being adopted rapidly and what that means for GCs and subcontractors.

For General Contractors:

The GC is the center of every construction project and for the better part of the last decade, companies such as Textura Corporation and Procore Technologies have built a comprehensive set project management solutions for estimating, scheduling, budgeting, bidding, document management, internal and external communication, etc. For GCs adoption of these technologies has translated in, higher control, less risk and higher margins.

Due to construction project’s complexity, often owners, architects, subcontractors and vendors, are required by GCs to use these construction technologies when working on specific projects.  Basic understanding of these can come in handy when seeking work with technology forward GCs and owners.

Other emerging technologies are drone management, procurement andequipment rental.

For Subcontractors:

Subcontractors today are required to (at least) navigate the most popular project management solutions as GCs will often require everyone to join their working platform. Often when working for different GCs you will be required to use multiple platforms, therefore employee training and engagement is highly recommended.

Due to their spending power, other technologies are emerging around subcontractor’s needs. Whether it is for purchasing materials, renting equipment or keeping track of worker’s time, companies such as Tobly Inc., and SupplyHogare offering on-demand solutions to historically relationship based businesses.

Furthermore, subcontractors can also benefit from using online marketplaces such asAngie’s List, Thumbtack and Taskrabbit to source business. These companies have made it easy for people to find and hire the right professional for the job. By implementing reviews and past experiences from others, these platforms are a great resource for subcontractors to find new leads.

In conclusion technology is transforming the industry starting from the bidding process to project management and execution, changing the fundamental way this industry works. For constructions professionals is important to start using technology, not only, to work better but also, to comply with the minimum requirement when working with forward thinking peers.

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