The following content has been created by Trevor McDonald.
4 Ways the Internet Influenced the Construction Industry
Compared with other industries, the Internet was slow to influence construction. It took time for some construction companies to even see the value of setting up their own website. But we’ve come a long way since the early days. Now, most understand that the Internet can bring increased visibility, enhanced customer reviews and more educated customers – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The impact of the Internet on the construction industry is not only limited to marketing and customer satisfaction. Connectivity has transformed the way cutting-edge construction companies operate. And it’s only getting better.
Here are some of the ways the Internet has had an impact on the construction industry.
Construction tools and equipment tracking
According to NICB reports, $300 million of equipment is stolen every year, and only 20 percent of stolen equipment is ever recovered. Equipment theft is a major problem for construction companies, but the Internet of Things (IoT) has stepped up to help solve the problem.
Within a matter of 15 minutes, business owners can install GPS tracking on virtually any piece of equipment. These locators are built to handle a wide range of temperatures and working environments, so they are suitable for most construction uses.
The tracking device is wired into the equipment and monitored with a tracking program. If a piece of equipment is stolen, the owner can easily track its whereabouts, recover the lost item and take disciplinary action.
Building Information Modeling (BIM)
For years, architects and general contractors have relied on computer models to plan new construction, but new technologies take this a step further by providing more information on existing structures. You can now place sensors in a physical location to collect information that will be sent back to the computer model. The sensors can help evaluate the structures and provide the contractor with information like how materials will be affected over time or in changing climates. Contractors can also use BIM to simulate a structure’s response to earthquakes, which can help ensure safety.
Equipment servicing and repair
With the help of the Internet, equipment diagnostics has come a long way. Similar to how your auto mechanic would use a computer to run a diagnostic check on your car, you can evaluate the health of construction equipment. Easy access to diagnostic equipment can help site managers service equipment before it breaks down, which can equate to a significant savings over the long haul. And it can help limit the number of construction industry accidents, including bulldozer and skid steer loader accidents, related to mechanical issues.
Cloud Construction Management Software
With the help of cloud-based management programs, project managers can view time logs and project-critical information in real-time, which can expedite decision-making and problem solving. The project manager can predict profitability and identify areas for improvement after a glance at the dashboard.
As technologies advance, the Internet will play a larger role in the day-to-day business of construction. Advances are continuing to make the industry safer and more efficient.