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What we learnt from the Construction Industry Survey: Technology and Skills Edition

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

For a second year running, we teamed up with Civil Contractors New Zealand to run the Construction Industry Survey, which gathered insights from the construction industry on key topics shaping the industry. We asked directors, owners, CEOs, project managers and others: What are the issues faced? Where are the opportunities? How is the industry using technology today and what’s the outlook in the future?

The technology section revealed that large businesses in particular are using a combination of jobsite and measurement technology to boost worksite productivity and gain valuable insights into what’s happening on the ground. Here are two of the key themes:

Measurement is useful

In New Zealand, labour productivity is the number one area measured by 77 per cent of businesses. This metric is followed by maintenance costs per vehicle or asset (69 per cent), operator and driver behaviours (55 per cent), cost of on-site injuries and lost time (52 per cent) and asset utilisation per day per site (47 per cent). These areas are also perceived to be the most useful measurement for improving productivity. Only 7 per cent of businesses say that they aren’t measuring.

Measurement is incredibly useful in construction because a range of metrics from site can be formulated into smart real-time dashboard insights in fleet management software and project management software. Site data can also be used for running monthly reports on a range of goals – which helps businesses see patterns and understand what is happening on site.

The top 5 goals that businesses are achieving through jobsite and measurement technology are:

1. Understanding where savings and efficiencies can be gained

2. Increasing customer satisfaction

3. Evidence-based decision making

4. More accurate employee timesheets

5. Operator safety and safety of staff on site

If you need help to achieve these goals, talk to your technology providers for resources and support.

Technology is thriving in construction

Nine out of ten businesses (89 per cent) are using some type of jobsite and measurement technology – and many are combining several on site technologies. The top three in use are GPS-based fleet management/telematics (63 per cent), plant, machine and asset monitoring (56 per cent), and project performance and management tools (51 per cent). Understandably the uptake in these jobsite technologies is higher for large businesses with over 50 employees.

On top of that, many businesses are looking into newer technology to see how they can be applied in the sector. Around 9 out of 10 businesses (87 per cent) are seriously investigating new technologies. Integrated mobile technologies, such as smartphone apps for project management or connected in cab devices with electronic form capabilities, are one of the hottest tech areas. The key benefit with mobile apps is that much of the information is collected on site and in real time – and not recorded after the fact. Moving paperwork such as forms and checklists to electronic format is one of the easiest ways to boost productivity, which results in faster information transfer, more accurate info (added bonus: no messy handwriting), and the collation of additional information such as GPS location data, signatures, images, and timestamps.

Our customer Pemberton Civil Construction use MNav devices in its trucks to streamline processing detailed quarry dockets and get real time insight into what materials are coming from where. Drivers also use the MNav for messaging, managing a number of personalised forms and to store documentation, policy and health and safety info, required for the trucks and staff. The in-cab MNav’s have reduced paperwork for drivers and sped up the processing for office staff.

Get on board

Jobsite and measurement technology helps businesses to safely manage large complex projects, control resource distribution and costs, and understand where efficiencies can be gained. If you’re looking for a business edge, take a look at how we serve heavy construction or get in touch about a demonstration.

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