Every week, it seems like a new construction technology claims to revolutionize the industry. But are these technologies right for you, and will they succeed as the claimed magic bullets that completely revamp your workflow? Here are five questions to ask:
1. Does the technology solve your problem?
Many contractors anticipate great results from technology and jump to implementation, only to realize that their problems still exist. Things to think about are: who will be using it, how often will they use it, is it a real benefit or a fad, and does it make the job easier?
2. Are technology companies rooted in construction? Or are they just tech guys who thought up a product?
Every software and hardware developer wants to create a new and exciting invention. So they might look at construction figures (that it’s slow to react to changing technology) as a blue ocean where they can expand with any old product. But do these developers know construction? How many times have they set foot on a job site?
3. How easy is the technology to use?
Many great technologies claim to make things more simple. Still, if you could do the job easier by walking to the problem area with a screw gun and drilling a few holes, then maybe the steep learning curve of the new technology isn’t worth it.
4. What hidden costs lie in the cracks?
Implementing technology is a complex process; it requires compiling all systems into a whole. If a company advertises technology priced at $50,000 as doing extraordinary things—but demands distribution of iPads, drones, expensive software, and specialized cameras, the outcome might not be economical.
5. Does the technology make it easier for your office staff to work with your job site?
Any job site technology should ease communication between the field and the main office. Information such as time tracking, safety documents, and BIM data smooth operations. Not all info requires instant sync between locations; regardless, technology should enable multi-site instant access to all digital assets.
When evaluating new technology for your construction business, it’s wise to consider these questions. Of course, exceptions exist, but this framework helps analyze technological time savers, safety precautions, and error-correctors.