Although many in the heavy construction sector have the right technologies in place, only one in ten businesses (9 per cent) feel they are getting the full value from the jobsite and measurement technology they use. This finding comes from the joint CCNZ and Teletrac Navman Construction Industry Survey for 2018.
According to the survey respondents, the three major obstacles to reaching the full value of these technologies are:
1. Understanding the technology: Well over half (59 per cent) would get more value if the staff better understood the capabilities of the technology.
2. Integrating the technology: 57 per cent would get more value if the technology was better integrated with other systems.
3. Using the technology: 46 per cent would get more value if more staff used the technology.
Fleet management software, which provides you with a dashboard of machine and vehicle data combined with GPS tracking, can be a very powerful tool. It gives you in-depth information on asset utilisation, asset location, preventative maintenance, and health and safety. But you do need to be able to use the technology effectively to set and reach your goals.
We’ve got here a few ideas to help you make the most of the jobsite and measurement you have, whether it’s fleet management software or GPS based survey equipment.
Understanding fleet management technology
Some technologies can be applied in a multitude of different ways. To understand how it can be used, head to the provider website and read through some case studies of other businesses in your sector. Look at the key goals they are reaching, and how they’ve set up their systems. Teletrac Navman keeps its NZ construction case studies here . And via this link you can read case studies for other sectors such as transport and services. Another place to find construction case studies is in the trade’s magazines such as Contactor, NZ Construction News and Concrete Magazine.
Training unlocks value
To understand the full range of capabilities, your staff will need training on how to use the software. For large businesses, you can often request that providers come to your office for a teaching session. You can also look to do distance learning through webinars. Teletrac Navman have a range of regular small group webinars, in which those attending can speak and ask questions along the way. You’ll find the timetable for our training webinars here.
Integrating fleet management technology
Before you search for a provider, list what systems and software you have in place already that work well for you. This could include job costing software or time sheet and invoicing software.
Also write out some of the key goals that you want to achieve. For example; “we want to have insight into machine utilisation on site, so we can maximise each machine we have before buying or hiring another”; or “we want to know when vehicles and machines are being used to make sure our timesheets are accurate.”
Bring these key integrations and key goals to the system provider. Ask them how they can help achieve the goals and what partner integrations they have in place.
Ask the technology provider for a good quality demo of the technology, so you can see how it works and what you’ll see on the software system. It’s also useful to let them know what you already have in place and ask it the technology can integrate with one another.
Boosting staff uptake
Getting staff and management on board with new technology can be a challenge. It’s important to use their point of view when communicating the benefits and explaining how it will (or won’t) impact on their daily work. It’s also very important to lead from the top. Global management consulting firm McKinsey found that when senior leaders make the behaviour changes, they’re asking employees to make, major changes are 5.3 times more likely to be successful.
Here’s a few steps that can help with encouraging staff to use the technology more.
- Designate project lead — they should be responsible for finalising the scope of works, executing the rollout plan, managing the timeline and budget. Lead through actions — use the technology you’re installing, embody good driving behaviour.
- Treat your vendor as a partner — you’ll get better results if you think of them as an extension of your team. Teletrac Navman has a dedicated NZ-based customer support team and an online training schedule to make sure you reach your goals.
- Bring employees on-board — ask for their feedback, include them in any planned changes and address their concerns.
- Provide extensive training — employees need to understand what the solution does, how it works, and what impact it will have. The project lead needs to use and understand the new technology themselves. The key focus should be on ‘education’ and not just ‘information’.
- Set short-term goals — a progressive approach allows everyone to get comfortable with the idea, the interface, and new procedures expected of them. Incentivise reaching the goals.
- Be prepared — test and input all relevant data in the system, so employees don’t have to revert to old processes. Use your project lead as an inhouse trouble-shooter.
What we usually find is that businesses install the technology for one or two goals or areas, and then find they can use the insights to help with other areas. Over time, you’ll have a wealth of historical data, and this information can help drive business decisions around pricing, timeframes, purchasing new plant and fleet, and your compliance risks.
It’s time to maximise the technology through integrating technology systems, becoming a master of fleet management software and taking action on the rich data from your connected site.