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Why Jobsite Productivity is Easier Said than Done (excerpt)

Why Jobsite Productivity is Easier Said Than Done

The following is an excerpt, to read the full article, click here.

The vision is there.

Wouldn’t it be great if all entities on a jobsite – including the general contractor, subs, designers, owners, equipment vendors and material suppliers – were working in sync with the data that shifts with each condition change, progress report, change order, telematics warning, and machine inspection? That the right people got the right information at the right time to make informed decisions?

This one-dashboard vision is much, much easier said than done. The journey of one equipment manager shows the roadblocks.

“There’s an immense amount of data that’s created throughout the course of a construction project. Jobsite connectivity is making sure that information is transferring to the right individuals at the right moment in time so that they can more effectively do their job.” -- Trimble's Patrick Stevenson

Overall technology infrastructure advances such as 5G networks, LiDAR scanning, GNSS and edge computing is laying the foundation for jobsite connectivity.

“Earlier, you had to be selective about what data you pushed into a smaller pipeline,” said Elwyn McLachlan, Trimble’s vice president of civil solutions. “Now we’re seeing that we can push large volumes of data with high reliability.”

Contractor attitudes have also shifted, said Trimble’s McLachlan. “We’ve seen a big jump in adoption of connectivity solutions,” she said, “especially now that we can push a design update out to a machine remotely instead of having to drive out to the job site.”

To have a connected job site in the future, however, contractors need to become familiar with what’s already available, no matter their size.

Although larger contractors may have more resources to devote to technology, smaller contractors may have more on the line, Stevenson said. “One job goes wrong, and they can go under, so there are some really progressive contractors who have gotten on board with technology,” he said.

For those who need to play catch up, Stevenson suggested a good first step is putting a base and rover into place. From that entry point, contractors can go into 2D and then 3D solutions, which will give them the basis for a connected job site.

“Analytics enables us to not only predict the impact on the schedule and job cost but also explore how we can change the outcome,” McLachlan said.

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