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QUICK LOOK - Three Trends to Watch

January 16, 2020

As 2020 begins to unfold, it’s important to examine key trends that will help shape America’s second-largest industry, construction. Given the relentless demand to operate more efficiently and productively, it’s not surprising these trends have one feature in common: technology.

Technology, and the transformation it promises, have been identified as The Solution – or at least, a partial solution – to most major challenges the industry is facing these days. With that in mind, here are three trends worth knowing about and keeping an eye on.

An even greater use of the Internet of Things

It’s no secret and no surprise that the construction industry is opening its mind wider than ever to IoT. It has to, given the many challenges companies are faced with.

Flattening productivity, decreasing profit margins, more frequent schedule overruns, more demanding safety requirements, and increasing competition – all are problems IoT can help solve. In short, IoT’s relatively simple, low-power sensors and devices collect large amounts of jobsite data that enable PMs to affordably, efficiently, and proactively deal with these challenges – and do so without having to visit every jobsite.

Motion-based sensors like those from Recon Dynamics are finding more and more use cases each day. Completely wireless, these durable sensors work by measuring vibrations and movements, and by proximity to the antenna receiving their signal. With sensors that track more than just location PMs know if a particular tool or piece of machinery has been used and for how long.

Properly analyzed, this motion-based utilization data reveals useful patterns and has become a valuable asset for construction companies, helping them make critical decisions at every stage of the construction process with more detail than ever, without spending any extra time.

Data that’s useful and actionable

A second trend we’ll see in 2020 will be meaningful progress in the analytics and decision-support tools used to develop insights from the vast amount of data being collected.

PMs will turn to these task-specific insights to better forecast job estimates, determine the number and type of workers required on a project, and identify patterns of behavior that can impact budget burn rates, safety compliance, and many other previously immeasurable metrics that drive business.

Customizable software allows PMs to set and manage expectations on their own terms, saving time and energy over many difficult to learn off-the-shelf solutions.

A growing and serious interest in modular

Although modular construction represents only a small fraction of industry activity, many firms are actively figuring out how to do more of it. Prefabrication typically means less waste, increased efficiency, and faster construction time ­– with no compromises in quality or safety. Who wouldn’t want more of that?

One North Carolina company, DPR Construction, is using prefab plumbing, electrical and conduit materials, and tilt-up walls to construct a new hospital slated to be completed three months quicker than with traditional methods. That represents a minimum 15% increase in time efficiency and a measurable increase in material efficiency.

Early in 2020 DPR began putting Recon’s motion-based sensors on trucks and tools on other projects and is discussing tagging prefab sections in transit to record any excessive g-force events that may have caused damage. By noting these events in real time, further onsite inspection can take place – before the section is installed. Learn more about DPR’s project with this article and video.

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One thing these trends make clear is that 2020 is going to be about our ability to know more about our jobsites so we can work smarter and more profitably. Recon Dynamics can help.

The construction industry building projects faster, more efficiently and with unprecedented billing transparency with the help of modular techniques and motion-based utilization systems.

About Recon Dynamics

Recon's action-from-data service starts with patented motion-based sensors that not only track assets, they reveal actual usage and automatically transfer clear, actionable data to any device without scanning. Construction companies, electric utilities, the tree care industry and many others benefit from our systems. With a proven track record of improving efficiency, safety, and the bottom line, we'd love to hear how we can help you.

Care to learn more? Just let us know.

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