Success in today’s heavy construction industry largely depends on making the right technology investments. Modern construction technology can drive efficiency, reduce rework, and help you get the most out of talent while making workers’ jobs easier and safer.
But a premature investment in a costly or overly complicated technology can pressure budgets that are already stressed by looming deadlines and a labor shortage.
Beard Technology Solutions, a division of Beard Equipment Co. and a leading construction technology provider, is witnessing a surge in technology use as more contractors recognize the benefits. They share three quick tips for evaluating whether a specific construction technology is right for you.
1. Consider the return on investment.
“When our team has the opportunity to visit a contractor’s office and share our vision for their job site, they realize that these efficiency gains outweigh the initial cost of the technology.” — Paul Cunningham, territory manager, Northern Florida, Beard Equipment Co.
Beard emphasizes that technology is an investment, not just an expense. Entry-level grade control systems are often less expensive than surveying and rework, as the technology and machine control eliminate grade stakes and the need to coordinate with surveyors.
Cost Comparison Example >
Cost Comparison Example
Last year’s survey budget:
Approximate cost for dozer system, tilt rover base station, and tablet:
In this case, performing your own surveying and as-builts would save $20,000.
“Companies can now eliminate many of the survey costs for all jobs going forward,” explains Jake Walker, vice president of operations for Beard. “This system will continue to pay for itself over and over again for several years.”
2. Get a hands-on demonstration of the technology.
“Request a demonstration of new gear that is suitable for your team. At the minimum, schedule a quick meeting or webinar to stay informed; this allows you to plan properly for the future as well as stay ahead of the curve as new products are introduced into the market.” — Jake Walker, vice president of operations, Beard Equipment Co.
Beard is witnessing a surge in technology use on job sites for cost and efficiency. They anticipate this trend will escalate, especially with Federal Department of Transportation projects mandating machine control.
In Beard’s experience, if you test out the effectiveness of a machine control technology for yourself, you’ll quickly discover its potential. Projects that previously took a month can be completed in only a week. The time and cost savings, as well as the danger of being left behind by competitors investing in the technology, become self-evident.
3. Select the right partner.
“What really impressed us early on in our technology journey was Leica’s commitment to providing cutting-edge, easy-to-use software that we were able to integrate throughout the entire construction process. We now have a partner that allows us to provide a solution to our customers at every step — from the bidding and pre-planning stages of the project, all the way through to the documentation and final delivery.” — Jake Walker, vice president of operations, Beard Equipment Co.
The right technology partner will maximize the return on a machine control investment. Their machine control technology will be innovative and intuitive, mapping onto the entire construction lifecycle and enabling connectivity between the office and jobsite.
Additionally, the manufacturer should have a robust customer support and troubleshooting service to help limit any downtime on the site when a piece of equipment goes down.
“Once we understood the breadth and depth of the Leica product offering — coupled with the Leica team’s expertise in the survey and construction technology business — we knew that we’d chosen the right partner,” Walker says.