The construction industry is highly competitive, with tight margins reliant on streamlined operations. Saving time and money is key to being able to pass cost savings on to the customer while maintaining profitability. And as construction technology and equipment become more complex and expensive, the pressure is on to get the most from these valuable assets and extend their lifecycles to maximize return on investment.
These days, digitalization and automation are increasingly adopted by construction companies to help them successfully revolutionize their back-end administration, asset management, workflow and innovation capabilities. Smart construction asset and equipment tracking technology helps construction companies prevent costly damage and theft, control their inventory, and predict maintenance requirements, all of which allows them to manage projects in a more profitable way. So, how does it work in practice?
Today’s construction asset management and asset tracking technology leverages the Internet of Things (IoT) to track materials, workers and equipment. Smart tags are attached to any assets and individuals on your construction site, and data from these tags is transmitted via a secure network to a bespoke management dashboard in real time. A cloud-based construction asset management platform can be accessed through any smart device, putting a full overview of your operations into the palm of your hand. The system provides unsurpassed visibility into the construction supply chain and site operations, allowing managers to determine when maintenance should be carried out, when they need to repurchase equipment, and which assets can be shared between sites.
The system also allows teams to set predefined geofence locations to alert them instantly if any expensive assets are removed from a particular location by accident or by criminal activity. Taking control of construction assets in this way helps companies and contractors to recover lost time and expenses – which can then be redeployed in revenue-building activities.
What can this smart technology be used for?
Truth be told, the applications are endless, but some of the most common use cases of smart technology in the construction industry include the following:
- 24/7 asset tracking provides total visibility across various sites so that you can track and monitor all your construction assets and personnel in real time.
- Many construction businesses experience repeated theft, but smart networks can integrate with other security systems to secure remote areas and perimeters at all times.
- A good construction asset management solution allows companies to gain valuable insight into their construction site asset utilization across different sites and projects, providing invaluable insights and allowing them to optimize their operations.
- Enables more informed and effective assessment and management for similar projects in the future.
- Custom reporting enables better planning for material and equipment availability and maintenance.
- Monitoring and demonstrating high levels of worker safety and productivity helps construction companies provide a good working environment to attract and retain the best talent.
- Lone worker monitoring with instant SOS alerts, panic buttons and direct links back to the main operations team.
The smarter way to become more sustainable
Working in a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable way is becoming increasingly important in the construction industry, with more regulations being introduced to ensure this, along with client, consumer and financer pressure. By using smart sensors for asset and operational monitoring, construction companies can identify efficiencies to streamline their processes, maximize resources, and prevent unnecessary wastage and repetition, which helps to reduce their carbon footprint.
Minimize project risk and increase client satisfaction
Every construction project comes with inherent risk. By programming a smart system to send different data depending on the desired project outcomes, companies can plan each project
In summary, the benefits of smart construction technology include:
- Streamlining your workflows
- Assessing and predicting risks
- Responding to problems immediately
- Improving labor productivity
- Improving health and safety
- Reducing theft and damage
- Saving time and money and increasing return on investment
Transformation is the foundation
To gain a competitive advantage, meet customer expectations, and become more sustainable, construction companies of today need to harness new, disruptive technologies to digitalize their businesses. Smart, secure, connected technology is the foundation upon which construction companies of the future will be built.
For a list of the sources used in this article, please contact the editor.
Matthew Margetts is a Director at Smarter Technologies. Smarter Technologies tracks, monitors and recovers assets across the globe in real time, providing asset tracking systems to the open market and fulfilling the world’s most complex asset tracking requirements. Its services cover a vast array of business sectors, products and equipment from container or pallet tracking to military-grade devices; and can be used across a broad spectrum of industries.