When we talk about how important the use of digital technology is within an industry, some people may consider improved communication, new channels for lead generation, efficiency in the workplace….and some have a nervous reaction where their eyes start twitching. But the reality is that we can’t begin to talk about growth within the equipment industry without first discussing how technology has completely transformed how we purchase equipment, build, and manage projects.
The term “digital technology,” originally used to represent the binary communication of 0’s and 1’s, now exemplifies a new age of communication. According to Forbes, 82% of consumers conduct research online prior to making a major purchase. With the shift to digital, equipment listings that were once originally located in hard-to-find niche markets are now gaining wider visibility. In just a few keystrokes, and with help from large advertising portals, consumers can easily find their desired piece of equipment even if it’s outside of their traditional marketplace.
For John Porter, Senior Project Manager at Carolina Marine Structures, the use of technology is not an option but absolutely necessary- from the use of drones to more easily survey and map sites that his team and their machines can’t reach, to equipment operating primarily from GPS coordinates, to downloading PDF copies of blueprints on the go. All of these technologies that were once considered luxuries are now incorporated into John’s daily workflow, saving his company enormous amounts of time, money, and resources.
Technology isn’t just about making machines more user friendly- it’s also about developing new methods to manage risk. These programs can analyze building plans for structures before construction even begins. Capterra Inc. explains how “engineers and contractors can then pinpoint areas of high risk for worker injury, improve maintenance access, and maintain a safer job site.”
Next time you visit your jobsite, look around. Think of all of the advancements that have occurred within the last 5 years with the assistance of digital technology. Then, imagine 5 years from now, and how much different this same job site may look. While it isn’t always immediately obvious, technology continues to have a huge impact on the construction industry. Despite your own personal feelings about these developments, they will continue reinventing everything we currently know and do.