4 Steps to Get Your Construction Team to Buy Into Automation Software

A step-by-step procedure can help construction teams easily transition to a more technology-driven system

The construction companies that look to technology to improve business performance will find that they’re staying ahead of industry standards and their competitors.
The construction companies that look to technology to improve business performance will find that they’re staying ahead of industry standards and their competitors.

Despite the impressive capabilities of emerging tools and software, many firms haven’t made the leap to modernize the way they run their business, and as a result, are working harder than they really need to.

The construction companies that look to technology to improve business performance will find that they’re staying ahead of industry standards and their competitors. What’s needed now is a step-by-step procedure so that teams can easily transition to a more technology-driven system. Successfully implementing technology into the business is a full team effort, but with the right leadership and thinking, can be easier than you think.

Step 1: Explain how technology will make everyone’s lives easier

It is the business owner's duty to let the team members know that a significant change is coming their way. This will give them time to prepare themselves without disrupting the way they work.

The good news is that new technology will almost always simplify processes. Your team might require brief training or onboarding at first, but once you’ve explained how the software will streamline operations, it will be that much easier to implement.

Emphasize the problems faced by the construction industry

All industries have their own share of problems. Construction, however, faces quite a lot.

It’s a well-known fact that construction is one of the industries with the most occupational hazards. While crewmen have adapted to these risks, the project heads should make them understand that there are more ways to guarantee better safety.

Accountability, or lack thereof, is one of the major issues that construction managements face. The general failure to identify who is supposed to do what creates new complications like unfinished tasks and unexpected delays in schedule. There have even been incidents where contractors are either unfairly compensated or unpaid at all, caused by unrecorded work hours and failure to monitor the progress of the crewmen.

It’s worth noting that there may be team members who firmly believe that nothing is wrong with the way they do their work. Whether this is completely or only partly true, they should understand that their work process is far from perfect, and can be made better.

Give an idea of what the technology can do

Demonstrating the functionalities of the tools can be considered a big opportunity to persuade the team why they are needed. Sometimes, the sheer capabilities of the tools are enough to convince them that they are indeed beneficial to the team.

Step 2: Show how technology is perfect for the team

Once the team has been convinced, the project heads should focus on explaining how the tools can provide support for each particular problem they are facing. List the major problems down, then elaborate on how the features of specific software can mitigate them.

Improve security standards with wearables

As mentioned above, safety is the most important concern in any given situation. Wearables are more advanced versions of safety equipment such as hard hats and vests. Modern technologies like GPS tracking, fatigue sensors and even cooling systems are embedded into them to ensure that the crewmen are always in safe areas and their physical condition is closely monitored.

Plan more efficiently with business information modeling

The sheer amount of data that needs to be considered make construction planning a long and tedious process. Geographic information, aesthetic requirements and project specs need to be well-documented and organized so that teams can execute properly.

Business information modeling, or BIM software, can be used to create more accurate budgets and schedules. These can help prevent reworks which, according to research, equates to roughly 4% to 6% of the total project cost. Using BIM tools lead to better efficiency, fewer setbacks and potentially more earnings for the team.

BIM software also support cloud features, which allow anyone involved in the project to access the files should the need arise.

Manage teams better with time and project management apps

Due to the nature of construction projects, it’s difficult to ensure that every member of the team is making use of their time efficiently. A report shows that 35% of construction professionals’ time is spent on irrelevant tasks.

Time management problems like this can be fixed with the use of time tracking software. They are basically time clocks for construction workers, and they have GPS location tracking capabilities which ensure that accurate time records from the crew are received by the management on a daily basis. Some time management apps come with additional features like automatic invoicing and support for virtual payment options, which make things much easier for contractors.

Streamline work processes with artificial intelligence

Miscalculations on the construction site can affect the entire project plan, and may require expensive adjustments to fix. These potential delays can be lessened with the use of artificial intelligence. One of AI’s unique capabilities is generating useful information such as blueprints and 3D maps, which help make planning and decision-making easier.

AI can also be utilized to further improve safety in the workplace. Modern AI such as Smartvid.io’s VINNIE is capable of performing assessments of sites to determine safe working areas and identify if anyone isn’t following safety guidelines via photo and video analysis.

Step 3: Conduct onboardings

Set aside time for training on a new tool or bring in a representative to conduct a learning session. This will ensure the software is used properly and to its full extent, instead of avoided and ignored.

Designate people in charge

It’s vital that there are people assigned to lead the transition to technology, and these people should be experts in the particular tools. They will be responsible for making sure that everyone on the team is able to keep up with the changes and must always be there to answer questions or if anyone needs help.

Don’t force the change

It’s possible that the implementation of the technology goes smooth, but if it doesn’t there’s no reason to worry. Such a major change in the way the team operates will take time until everyone gets used to it. Rest assured that work will be easier and more efficient once the technology has been fully integrated into the business.

Step 4: Listen to feedback

Managers should make it a point to listen to team members who have something to say regardless of which stage of the transition process the team is in. Accepting feedback is an important part of the process because it is through feedback that the management finds out if there are better ways to implement the technology into the business. Often, feedback can be addressed right away because it stems from a lack of communication or misunderstanding that can be solved with a simple conversation.

Additionally, feedback allows you to understand the team members better, which leads to a more fluid and faster implementation.

Technology will unlock your team’s capacity for high productivity

The transition to a more technology-driven work routine will require significant efforts from both business owners and everyone on the team. It may take some time to change something as big as a work routine that has been followed for years.

Once the team has fully adapted to the new digital tools, increased levels of productivity and better team performance will follow.

Dave Nevogt has created several million-dollar companies, and is the co-founder and the current CEO of Hubstaff, a time tracking software for on-site work crews with online timesheets, scheduling, billing and invoicing.