The construction industry has seen its fair share of technological advancements in the past few years, with BIM, laser scanning and the proliferation of drones rapidly revolutionizing projects. But the story doesn’t end there.
Every day, contractors of all sizes are inundated with the latest and greatest gadgets and software the technology industry can throw at them. They can’t implement every new tool presented to them, so how do they decide which ones are worth a shot?
Goals of implementing new technology
“Everything we do, we try to put the client first,” Shawmut Design & Construction CEO Les Hiscoe said. Shawmut, he said, strives to be a “leading edge” company and aims to engage its customers in a way that allows them to get to market faster with their product, whether that is a new hospital wing or a university dormitory.
The constant question, he said, is whether or not the company’s current technology allows Shawmut employees to accomplish those goals on its more than 500 projects each year. Hiscoe said that as legacy systems become “cumbersome,” he and managers work to make sure employees don’t get bogged down and are able to deliver the most quality, efficient and speedy experience for the client.
Tony Colonna, senior vice president of innovation construction solutions at Skanska USA, heads up a team dedicated to technology, and as part of the company’s “culture of innovation,” ideas come from the top down, as well as from the trenches. “A lot of the ideas and a lot of the innovations bubble up from our teams in the field, and part of my role is being visible and doing a little bit of mining for ideas sometimes,” Colonna said.
McCarthy Building Companies focuses on delivering customer satisfaction, so the company emphasizes enhanced visualization technology, according to VDC Manager Jordan Moffett. “We’re looking at it not only from how is it going to benefit us, but how is it going to make that client’s experience more memorable on the project,” he said.