A new study by FMI Corp, sponsored by Procore Technologies, found that contractors are not only not taking advantage of existing technological advancements in their current work, but don’t have a plan in place to implement new technologies in the future. This is concerning, though not surprising, as construction has traditionally been slow to adopt new technology despite the promise of savings and efficiency.
Of the 666 contractors survey for the 2020 FMI Industry Report showed that the top concern was jobsite safety, although only 54% of respondents said that they turned to technological solutions to help with those safety concerns. Hiring and retaining employees was an important issue for 57% of participants, but even there, only 25% said they use technology solutions to help meet their employment goals. In addition, 52% said they wanted to maximize efficiency, but only 40% were using productivity software.
The survey also revealed a disconnect: Many of the contractor have an appreciation for how valuable data is to their firm’s success, but they don’t feel they have the ability to accurately and efficiently crunch the numbers and use that data. 65% said they did not have a “stated point of view” about technology and 70% said they had no technology roadmap.
There are four things that have happened in the last five years that have led the technology adoption in construction: First, the availability of software as a service (SaaS) offerings. With SaaS, contractors typically have better access to customer service and can scale the products to their needs. Second, software is being developed for mobile devices rather than just laptops and desktops. Third, connectivity on jobsites has improved. And fourth, Millennial workers expect work technology to work just as well as their home technology.
Yet, as this latest study indicates, contractors aren't using the technology that is available to them.
One reason is that tech companies don't always place the benefits to the end user above the excitement of introducing a new solution. "It all goes back to what supports the strategic initiative of the contractor," the report said