The road to success for New Zealand’s civil construction industry is paved with new technology and sustainability. This was the consensus from the recent webinar hosted by Teletrac Navman and Civil Contractors New Zealand, as a panel of four experts from various fields within the industry put their heads together to discuss the findings from the 2021 Construction Industry Survey. Based on the insights and case studies discussed by the panellists, practical tech tools such as telematics will be key in a sustainable future for New Zealand transport companies, particularly those struggling with the effects of COVID-19 restrictions.
Heading up the telematics discussions was Jim French of Teletrac Navman. With over 20 years of experience in the construction, mining, transport and survey industries, Jim contributed valuable insights into the key role technology plays in improving company processes. He argued that investment into technology, along with a renewed focus on sustainability, could be just what companies need to successfully come out of a post-COVID recession. The question is, what technologies?
Jim walked participants through the highly efficient ‘Digital Construction Site’, that gives managers the ability to connect, monitor, analyse, predict, and optimise in real time. To better illustrate the tangible benefits of Teletrac Navman’s asset tracking technology, Jim went through a recent case study from Australia. He delved into the role asset tracking technology has played in increasing the safety, efficiency, and sustainability practices, focusing on the Rozelle interchange site. As a part of an integrated transport plan to keep Sydney moving, the Rozelle interchange site is part of WestConnex - Australia’s largest road project.
In particular, the real-time visibility for operational staff and executive management played a big part in ensuring efficient operations throughout the project. Traditionally, staff had to juggle a radio in one hand and a telephone in the other to manage vehicle and asset movements on the site. Now, constant visibility and fleet tracking allows WestConnex site managers to track all vehicle movements as they approach and leave the job site. “It’s like air traffic control,” Jim explained, “except you replace aircrafts with trucks, vehicles and machinery, to get a full picture of what’s going on at the job site.” This real-time full picture allows quick and easy decision making, which frees managers up to work on more complex tasks and increase productivity.
And it isn’t the only win for the WestConnex team. According to Jim, safety standards and communications, both on and off-site, have also benefitted from Teletrac Navman’s solutions. He explained that with Teletrac Navman’s driver guidance, when truck drivers arrive at the site they get a spoken message reminding them to stay in their vehicle with a mask on and the windows up. If there are any problems on site, these are also pushed out by engineers to the approaching drivers.
What are clients wanting from contractors?
More clients mean more revenue, and panellists were asked what specific technologies clients want contractors to be using in their projects. Their insights revealed that clients commonly want contractors to use telematics and machine control and guidance. They want access to insights into the process and objective evidence of contaminated waste being delivered to an appropriate disposal site.
This transitioned into a discussion around sustainability practices within construction and transport. Investors and clients are increasingly favouring companies that provide evidence of sustainability measures. One of the webinar participants questioned the link between sustainability and quality. In response, Jim said that using technology, companies can provide evidence of sustainability measures with recorded data around recycling, contaminated waste disposal, wider waste management, as well as numbers of new employees and the level of diversity brought into the industry.
To give participants a better understanding of these features, Jim explained how tracking software and digitalised information can offer evidence to clients that proactive sustainability measures are being taken. Real time tracking and data shows that trucks have gone to the correct disposal site and the volume of materials that have been recycled.
Thanks to the insights from the webinar, construction companies can feel better equipped to make decisions around where to invest in effective technology tools and sustainability measures to take. Forget the paper, forget the outdated communication methods, and get ready to guide your company down a road of sustainable, profitable and efficient processes.
Construction Industry Survey Report 2021
Technology and Sustainability
Want to find out more information on the results and how technology and sustainability practices have benefited from these practices, download the full report today.