construction technology —

New Technology Adoption – De-Constructing Management’s Reluctance

Francine HarrisApril 05, 2018 • 3 min read

While most industries have undergone tremendous changes over the past few decades, and have reaped the benefits of technology and innovation, the construction sector has been hesitant to fully embrace these opportunities.  

Shrinking budgets. Lack of IT experience. Fewer overall resources. No matter the industry, no matter the solution offering, those are common objections when confronted with embracing new technology. After all, adopting a new technology can sometimes be costly and require some level of expertise to implement. But today, very few markets and industries can be competitive or successful without some measure of adaptability and willingness to incorporate new technology into their business.  

Ultimately, what prevents companies from trying new technology comes down to people and budgets. But let’s be clear. Employees are not the obstacle. Quite the contrary. In fact, Contech’s 2017 Report notes that while ‘the majority of builders are very comfortable trying new technology,’ management is the primary roadblock. The report notes that “management reluctance to try new technology is the only factor steadily increasing since 2014.” Perhaps it’s a bit of the “late adopter” mentality that says: “Let’s wait and see if that solution or app is really worthwhile first…” But we think if it’s viable and works for your business, adopt and adapt.  And here’s why.

It’s the perfect time to change.
Sometimes it makes sense to hesitate and evaluate the landscape. But the construction industry is poised for another – or some say continued – boom. A robust job market, low-interest rates, and post-natural disaster building all contribute to strong spending report. For example, the industry added 36,000 construction jobs in January alone. Is your business prepared to manage those numbers?

It’s far easier (and less risky) than manual.
We’re guessing that your current manual process is paper-based, requiring supervisors and other personnel to use manual collection methods, including phone calls, text messages, and paper timecards, to submit time on a weekly basis for payroll. Of course, managing this data manually wastes valuable man-hours and is highly prone to human error. Better to embrace an automated solution that modernizes your construction field operations, helping builders go paperless and is also union compliant.

It’s paying off in labor savings.
According to the World Economic Forum, in 10 years the construction industry will be almost entirely digitized, with an overall possible savings of $1.2 trillion globally due to increased efficiency and productivity. So, yes, your biggest liability will be labor costs. But that’s also the good news. It’s also the biggest opportunity for improvement. For example,  even using a mobile app for your foremen to enter timekeeping data electronically, versus filling out paper timecards means they can spend more time driving production with their crews. And we know from experience that a solution like Rhumbix improves labor productivity by 5 to 10 percent, which translates to a 200 to 300 percent increase in project profitability.

We invite you to read more on this topic and download our newest white paper: ‘The Data-Driven Journey: How Data is Changing Construction.’  You’ll learn even more about how executives to project managers and foremen, construction teams are leaving opportunities on the table when they ignore the tools currently available to automate and improve data collection quality.

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