Construction National

Magazine, Online Directory and Web Design Service

Sun20082017

Last updateFri, 18 Aug 2017 9am

Technology

Tech Tracking for the Jobsite

Knowing where vehicles are at all times is an essential, yet not always simple task for contractors. High-value equipment, vehicles, and other critical tools can often go unaccounted for on a jobsite, leaving contractor looking for technology that can help them track such assets more effectively.

Electrical contractor Brooks-Berry-Haynie, www.bbhelectric.com, Mableton, Ga., for example, is taking a proactive measure against the loss of high-value assets. Its strategy centers on accurate data for driver behavior and location of valuable trucks through the use of connected devices.

By mounting small devices on the dashboard of the company’s roughly 150 electrical utility trucks it has dispatched across Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Florida, Brooks-Berry-Haynie is getting a realtime view of data.  Inside the tracking device is a CDMA modem for high speed wireless connectivity.

Read more: Tech Tracking for the Jobsite

Collaborating around the World

All the data associated with a construction project can be difficult to manage. However, with a good collaboration solution, construction teams can easily share information electronically with other project participants across the globe.

As a recent example, Skanska, www.skanska.com, Stockholm, Sweden, decided to implement Revu from Bluebeam Software, www.bluebeam.com, Pasadena, Calif., for PDF-based collaboration, offering the solution to its project teams throughout the world.

Read more: Collaborating around the World

Tech Mitigates Jobsite Hazards

Whether it's by automating monitoring processes in dangerous environments, helping first responders find us in our moment of need, or locating workers in hazardous work environments, M2M is being put to work for worker safety. And construction is one industry in particular that stands to be in direct line to benefit.

While technologies such as Wi-Fi and LBS (location-based services) are often associated with products and solutions in the consumer realm, such as mobile devices and gaming systems, these two technologies also enable the Accenture Life Safety Solution--a wireless multi-gas detection system that allows companies to remotely monitor locations such as chemical/industrial plants and construction jobsites.

Read more: Tech Mitigates Jobsite Hazards

Estimating Ahead

Tried-and-true construction solutions for project management, bidding and estimating, and accounting and job costing are getting an infusion of new and innovative features—just in time for the New Year.

Take On Center Software’s, www.oncenter.com, The Woodlands, Texas, enhanced product announcement as one example. During a Webinar yesterday, Cecilia Padilla, president, On Center Software and Angelo Castelli, vice president, operations, On Center Software, announced the latest release of its portfolio of solutions, which includes On-Screen Takeoff, Quick Bid, and Digital Production Control.

Read more: Estimating Ahead

Stocking the Shelves with Construction Technology

A good technology partner can help your capital-project management needs well after the facility has been constructed. Large corporate owners across the country are looking at new ways in which to leverage the technology investment for the long term.

For example, The Home Depot, www.homedepot.com, Atlanta, Ga., which operates more than 2,200 retail stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and China, and conducted more than 6,500 capital-improvement projects in 2011, relies on the use of Web-based project management and collaboration technology. This is certainly nothing new for the national retailer, as it has been using the technology from Systemates Inc., www.projectmates.com, Dallas, Texas, since 2004.

Read more: Stocking the Shelves with Construction Technology

Oracle Talks Skire Plans

Piecing together an integrated technology solution is never an easy process. So when construction technology vendors engage in M&A (merger and acquisition) activity, the thought is that integration between the two products should be seamless. However, that is not always the case.

Still, you do have some technology vendors making concerted efforts to ensure products being acquired won’t simply fall off the digital map, so to speak. For instance, Oracle, www.oracle.com, Redwood Shores, Calif., is looking to tie together some recent acquisitions under the mission of helping improve project and portfolio management for the construction industry.

Read more: Oracle Talks Skire Plans

Fund Management in Construction

Keeping track of funding sources can be a difficult process, particularly on large-scale capital programs. Whereas in years past, large organizations managed such a process through a series of disconnected systems and applications, we are seeing the continuing trend of migrating to integrated technology.

One of the more recent examples comes from the New Mexico Public School Facilities Authority (PSFA), www.nmpsfa.org, Albuquerque, N.M., which is a state agency that manages funds for public schools’ capital outlay. The organization recently launched e-Builder Enterprise from e-builder, www.e-builder.net, Plantation, Fla., as its new construction program management system. The system will be put in place at PSFA to help track project costs, implement standardized business processes, and create reports to track project performance.

Read more: Fund Management in Construction

Prequalification Tech for Construction

Is a subcontractor qualified for a project? Technology not only helps answer this question, but also stores data associated with subcontractor qualifications for use on a project. These days, more general contractors are using such technology to manage sub qualifications electronically.

One recent example comes from Miller Construction Co., www.millerconstruction.com, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., which is encouraging its subcontractor and supplier base to maintain a complete qualification profile inside the platform from jobsite123, www.jobsite123.com, Plantation, Fla.

According to jobsite123, open access to the platform allows for sharing of qualifications information between all project stakeholders. The data within the jobsite123 platform can also be automatically distributed to other construction software such as SmartBidNet from JB Knowledge Technologies, www.jbknowledge.com, Bryan, Texas.

Read more: Prequalification Tech for Construction

When Disaster Strikes

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many business owners and IT managers are looking at DR (disaster recovery) and determining the best plan to put in place in situations of emergency. In the case of Hurricane Sandy, some businesses might not be able to reopen doors for weeks or even months after the storm. Determining how to best backup data and allow employees to work off-site is key for construction companies today.

Kevin Hicks, vice president of IT, M.J. Harris, www.mjharris.com, Birmingham, Ala., says, “At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself the following question: How important is the technology and data to my company’s business continuity?”

Read more: When Disaster Strikes