While life as we know it came to a grinding halt this past year, the world went on. And we’ve all seen massive change that seems to be here to stay. One key shift is the vast and ever-expanding use of technology, especially in sectors that didn’t previously see its full value.
In the construction field, a lot of work has been able to continue. But that’s often because of tech that was already in place. Company owners are now seeing the need to expand their use of technology and to value the solutions that being interconnected offers. So as you navigate your way through this new frontier, be sure to take a serious look at these five ways that technology impacts your business.
1) Increase Remote Access
The pandemic made remote work a necessity across every sector. Companies that already had the right technologies in place could allow office staff to do business from afar and address changes in personnel at any given job site. Having this hands-off access to data actually helped to increase productivity during an otherwise challenging time. Digital solutions that enable remote work also made major contributions to jobsite safety and general worker connection. Besides everyone being on the same page, remote options allowed contractors and staff to monitor equipment at all times, clueing supervisors in to potential risks or issues without the presence of an in-person inspector. This data could then be quickly and seamlessly shared with an array of partners. Having so much information at your fingertips helps to simplify increasingly complex projects and keep the whole team aligned.
2) Identify and Track Key Data
From day-to-day operations to long-term planning, wrapping your mind around how time is spent is vital. It ends up that billions in annual labor costs go towards fixing mistakes and tracking down data. Miscommunication and inaccuracies or hard-to-access information are also expensive, causing folks to have to spend time reworking tasks. Poor communication is at the heart of so much wasted potential, and it can seriously hurt your company’s bottom line. One way to rectify the issue is to build access to real-time data into the workflow. Instead of operating on gut feelings and biased opinions, decision-makers can then work from a more informed perspective. Technology helps hard data to speak louder than the loudest voices and can bring a new dynamic to your team. With so much more information available at all times, quick decisions can be made efficiently. Tech-based solutions will require an upfront cost along with training and ongoing learning. But contractors can use an asset-management system to gain visibility into how time is used, finding ways to amp up efficiency and develop a robust return on their original investment.
3) Digitize Workflow to Increase Efficiency
Pencil pushing is the way of the past. And this isn’t just because new-fangled tech solutions are trending, but because it directly affects profits. It’s been found that workers lose hours or even days every week handling avoidable situations and hunting for project information. On the other hand, workflow digitization can condense the time spent and increase availability of key data sets. A good rule of thumb is that unless something absolutely has to be kept in a paper copy, it should be available digitally. This holds true even for complex equipment allocations and other workflows. If you find the right technology, the sky’s the limit. 4) Use Technology to Help Boost Productivity
Especially when it comes to new job site norms, up-to-date tech is key. Business operations before and after the pandemic show clear distinctions, and well-expressed goals are vital to moving forward. You’ll want to dedicate some time to studying the tech you do have in place and identifying areas where it overlaps. Then focus on trimming back applications to create a leaner system that’s resilient and can stand up to change.
As you evaluate the technology you have on board, consider adding virtual or augmented reality and more video- and device-based access. Standardizing risk management solutions and data collaboration also presents a great opportunity to lend a collective mindset to projects. All the while keep your company’s vision and strategy in mind, ensuring that your use of tech supports your end goals.
5) Work With the Right Partner
From the technology perspective, you’ll want to be sure that you stay grounded when searching for a company to work with. Flashy presentations or demos can woo many a capable contractor, only to later reveal fundamental flaws or redundancies. A solid partner will listen with an aim to understand your full suite of concerns and feel out your day-to-day in order to evaluate your true needs. They won’t try to push a product that isn’t going to benefit your company, and they will be sure to keep working to advance and tweak the system’s effectiveness. They’ll also spend the time and effort necessary to educate, train, and aid adoption of new technologies. As always, open communication is at the core and will determine success.
Big Picture, Tight Focus
As contractors adjust to their new everyday, the right technology can be the difference between growth and stagnation. But to take that leap, many a contractor will have to let go of their reluctance to change. View technology as just one more tool in your arsenal, one more piece of equipment to help you do your job even better. We’re not saying it’s going to be easy, but it will be so worth it for your company, employees, and customers alike.
If you’re ready to make the shift, be sure that your insurance partner is also up to snuff. New tools mean new risks, and you want to be sure that they’re covered. We admire your ability to build and grow and are happy to support you as you reach even higher heights. So reach out to your trusted ZINC agent and learn how solid protection comes into play as you adjust to this brave new tech-focused world. Let’s take the fear out of moving forward.