Opportunities for technology to solve common construction industry problems
There are a number of problems that all trades struggle with in the construction industry and it’s nice to see technology deployed to solve these. It is interesting to note how often we do not even see the problem until someone else has solved it and shows us how to do it properly.
Here we highlight some common construction problems and solutions:
- Site safetyConstruction sites can be dangerous places with large machinery, lack of space and crowded offices/workshops etc causing people to get injured every year. According Safety comes first on site (and off site too!) , One way of keeping track of your workers is through RFID tags which you can sew into clothes or simply have a sticker under their hard hat so they can only enter certain areas only when other workers are not there. This prevents collisions and removes the need for manual safety checks which is just ever so frustratingly time consuming to do, especially if you’re checking 100+ people.
- Order picking efficiencyWhen your warehouse becomes flooded with thousands of different parts it becomes extremely difficult to manage all the workflow in an efficient way. It’s even harder when staff members can’t find what they are looking for since their system only allows them to search for one specific item at a time. To get past this problem many Wakefield companies use QR codes on items so that employees can quickly scan the item and get all its information before moving onto pick another item . This especially speeds up order picking speed.
- Waiting timesWaiting rooms are not only boring for children, they are expensive too. A hospital in West Midlands has overcome this problem by using iPads to entertain sick kids so that their parent can use the time to carry out other tasks . This not only solves the boredom factor but also cuts waiting times down by 30%.
- Communication across teamsWhen you have multiple teams working on different aspects of a project or piece of work it is pretty hard to keep everyone updated with what’s happening unless someone does all the updates manually. GatesAir has come up with an awesome way of getting around this, they created smart screens which allow employees to update each team member via twitter or FB feeds.
- Building managementWe saw recently how IKEA used Google glasses as a way to assist construction workers when they are in the process of building furniture . It is definitely an innovative way of solving the difficulties that come with this job.
- Travel plansPeople planning their holidays is another seemingly boring task but actually very important, there are millions of people out there trying to book flights and hotels online every day so it’s important for travel agencies to manage all these tasks efficiently in order not to miss out on any clients . This has become even more difficult since many people access websites on mobile phones which is hard for many high street travel companies who tend to do things fairly slowly! They have now started developing apps that can be used by staff members on iPhones which give them all information about holidays, flights etc at their fingertips rather than having to carry around files and folders all day.
- Document distributionMany industries such as the legal service offer extremely time-consuming and inefficient processes for sending documents across different departments . This also includes sending documents between employees within a company which is just frustratingly slow and wasteful of resources. Luckily there are some websites that specialise in document distribution like DocSend where they scan your file and distribute it on the internet making it available to anybody who needs them at any given moment.
- Work rostersWork rosters can get very complicated especially when you have many people working for different companies (which is common in the construction industry) . A good way of solving this problem is by using apps like Timeneye which allows you to manage work schedules, time offs and even sends automatic alerts for free!
- PaperworkPaperwork is everywhere; on our desks, on the floor, on shelves, basically on every surface of your office . To solve this issue some companies like Google have come up with ways to use the latest technology to cut down on file storage by creating digital filing cabinets via G drive. This allows employees to access files within seconds without worrying about finding files since they are always available.
- Manpower planningManpower planning is an important task in most industries so it’s no surprise that there are many apps out there which help managers schedule shifts accordingly whether it be basic basic or somewhere more specific like bars and restaurants etc. These include ShiftPlanning which lets you schedule unlimited workers using Excel or CSV, updates them on their shifts and even alerts them of these changes.
As you can see technology can be used in many different ways to solve common problems within the Wakefield construction industry however it’s not always the case that they are used correctly . A lot of companies simply use tech because they think it will bring them more customers but if your core business is not tech-driven then how does this make sense? . This raises the question about whether tech should only be implemented into businesses where it makes sense or whether all firms should invest in tech since otherwise they could fall behind.
What are your thoughts on this, can we help you exploit new tech to improve the efficiency of your business? Contact Wakefield Apps to know more about technology to solve common construction industry problems.