The construction industry is experiencing a renaissance of sorts as it moves from a rather singular focus on heavy iron to one that merges technology and machines. How today’s jobsites are run and how equipment is designed, used, managed and maintained are changing dramatically — and the industry has barely scratched the surface on what’s achievable.
While the changes are occurring quickly, implementation within the industry is not. Construction lags behind most industry sectors in technology adoption, despite numerous studies on its potential to improve productivity and cut project costs. Take a recent report by McKinsey & Company, which shows a mere 1% labor productivity growth in construction globally over the past 20 years, compared to 2.8% for the economy as a whole. The report identifies under-investment in technology as a root cause of this lack of productivity. A Texas A&M study further illustrates the industry’s lag in the use of mobile apps, cloud-based systems and other technology, though it also shows more contractors are starting to recognize the potential cost savings that such technology can offer.
There are numerous reasons contractors can cite as to why they fail to embrace today’s advanced equipment, systems and processes. Yet, it often boils down to a lack of understanding as to how they can work together to help their businesses become more productive and profitable. There is a great deal of education that still needs to take place to reassure the skeptics and “connect the dots” for them. There is also a need for assistance and training to ensure early adopters have the information and tools they need to maximize their ROI.
Because providing such information is a primary part of our mission, the April issue of Equipment Today features The Connected Jobsite, a poster sponsored by Volvo Construction Equipment. In it, senior editor Curt Bennink identifies the top trends affecting construction projects and how they interconnect on today’s modern jobsite. He also touches upon the changes to come that promise to influence jobsites over the next decade and beyond.
Since this is a lot of ground to cover within the confines of a few pages, our talented designers have also developed an interactive site at www.FCP.news/ConnectedSite that takes the technology discussion to a whole new level. The site doesn’t just provides additional content and links on the topics described here. It serves as a one-of-a-kind visual and interactive experience utilizing some of the latest advances in digital media — including a virtual reality-type experience incorporating video within a video.
The objective of the poster and the ConnectedSite is to give you a glimpse into what’s possible for your construction operation now and down the road. We hope you’ll check them both out to see what is currently being achieved, what is achievable in the near term and what may be coming in the (potentially sooner than you think) future.