How Mechanical Contractors are Maximizing their Technology Investments

Stephanie Patterson, Rhumbix InsiderDecember 06, 2017 • 3 min read

What trades are leading the way when it comes to adopting new construction technology? Mechanical, electrical and plumbing seem to be close to the front of the pack. That’s the impression the Rhumbix team got after attending the MCAA Technology Conference in Austin, Texas.

The three-day event was attended by an enthusiastic group of construction professionals, spanning from those in the C-Suite, to field operations, superintendents and even foremen.  While many associations hold annual conferences, the MCAA event is unique because it is one-hundred percent focused on showcasing technology solutions for the mechanical trades. The event featured dedicated workshops covering targeted solutions like laser scanning, prefabrication, and BIM as well as overarching topics, like what it takes to form a strong and effective technology committee. Smaller sessions meant more time for individual connections and our team was able to learn a lot about what has made the mechanical trades successful when it comes to adopting new technology.

Stay Focused on the Future

Mechanical contractors are fully convinced that technology plays a key role in their long-term sustainability. While others are still evaluating the value of technology to their organization, they clearly know and understand that their future success and legacy is closely tied to how they are using technology today.

Solutions like BIM and prefabrication are more organic fit for the mechanical specialities which has paved the way for high adoption. But there’s also an intentional choice MEP contractors have made to use technology to stay competitive and maximize the effectiveness of their workers.

Prioritize Exposure to New Solutions

Keeping technology front and center means contractors need to familiarize themselves with new solutions before their competitors. Ninety-five percent of the construction technology available is already known and widely used by the industry. It’s the five-percent of emerging solutions that can make the difference between good and great.

That’s what attendees at MCAA Tech got to hear about. Presenters were very open to share business practices that have made their organizations successful during in-depth sessions. Some highlights for us include Chris Weaver, Director of Technology at Andy J. Egan Co. who shared about their use of Total Stations, 3D scanning and drones, and Doug Smith, Corporate Detailing Manager at Dynamic Systems, who oversees their BIM team as well as other solutions that support efficient planning, design and construction.

Use Field Technology to Boost Value of Existing Investments

Contractors are also beginning to understand how they can maximize existing technology investments with emerging field solutions. Labor is the biggest variable in project profitability, and firms that are using technology to track labor costs are reaping the rewards across the board. For us, it was great to connect with customers and others who have looked into our platform and hear them talk about the central role labor productivity plays in overall effectiveness.

Without baseline field data, tools like BIM and prefabrication can only go so far. It’s like putting up a foundation and siding without any plumbing. The companies that are seeing the biggest gains are taking a holistic approach to adopting technology at every level of the organization.

Take the first step; the next one gets easier

With all the enthusiasm among mechanical contractors, perhaps the only challenge is creating a sense of urgency. For those struggling to keep technology front at center at their organization, we recommend making the first step towards innovation small and manageable. Schedule a demo, form a committee, or test a new field solution on a single job. You’d be surprised at how the flywheel of innovation starts spinning once you take action.

Interested in seeing how to take the first step with Rhumbix? Reach out to our sales team to schedule a demo today.

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