Category: Technology

Outdated Equipment Adds To Low Productivity Measures For Construction Industry

Construction has never moved at the same technological pace as other industries. The large_galileo_10_4140_webnature of the business is that conditions change from job to job, and even construction of “cookie-cutter” restaurants and hotels present different geographic, regulatory and labor challenges.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that when a tool or system works—outdated though it may be—there’s hesitation when it comes to changing it on the mere promise of a better deal. As the old saying goes, if it’s not broken, why fix it?

However, the old way of doing things is broken. Continue reading “Outdated Equipment Adds To Low Productivity Measures For Construction Industry”

No Industry Is Safe From the Threat of Cyber Fraud – Especially Construction

TRESTLES - Nn industry is safe from the threat of cyber fraud - Especially Construction!The internet is an informational super-highway, tethered to how business is conducted. But like any heavily-traveled road, it can also be a place fraught with danger. Just when companies think all is well and are cruising along without a worry, with anti-virus seatbelts securely fastened, they suddenly get slammed by a big rig with the words “cyber fraud” on the side.

Some companies survive the wreck, while others aren’t so lucky, but the ensuing damage is devastating.

According to an article in Forbes, cyber crime costs are projected to top $2 trillion by 2019.IBM Corp.’s Chairman, CEO and President, Ginni Rometty, recently stated that cyber crime is the “greatest threat to every profession, every industry, every company in the world.Continue reading “No Industry Is Safe From the Threat of Cyber Fraud – Especially Construction”

Protected: 12 Construction Apps To Improve Jobsite Productivity

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Construction Technology Report Available

Since 2012, JBKnowledge has partnered with leaders in the construction industry including the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), the Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA), and Texas A&M University’s Department of Construction Science to compose the annual Construction Technology Report. The 2016 report analyzed the responses of over 2,000 builders to gain insight as to how construction professionals budget for, and implement, technology on and off the job site. Continue reading “Construction Technology Report Available”

‘Top 5 Expectations For The Industrial Future

For more than 10 years, the construction industry has been consumed by the potential of the data-driven job site. For the equipment industry in particular, one of the hottest topics has been telematics. With telematics, project managers can keep track of not only what equipment is on a jobsite, but also how each piece is functioning. Such information can improve efficiency, reduce costs and boost profits.

In spite of its potential and the fact that the technology has been widely available, only about 15 to 20 percent of heavy equipment is instrumented with telematics today. While this number is partly due to long decision-making cycles and expensive hardware, the current telematics vendors bear some of the responsibility for the limited adoption.


One of the reasons for the low adoption rate is that telematics vendors have taken a “walled garden” approach to their go-to-market strategy. Instead of empowering equipment owners to display telematics information on any user dashboard, vendors require that data from their boxes only be displayed on their specific user-facing software. As a result, a construction company that owns machines equipped with different telematics devices must juggle several dashboards and consolidate the differently presented data from each screen. The annoyance and inefficiency of this disparate data arguably cancels out the benefits of telematics-enabled machines all together.

An additional frustration to the current telematics solutions is the design of the user-facing software. The user dashboards available from telematics vendors are often confusing and overwhelming. The data is presented in a disorganized fashion, with little discernible effort put into making a user-friendly experience. These dashboards inundate the user with every data point, obscuring any key insights that could be gained from the information.

Finally, telematics adoption has been limited because telematics vendors blind themselves to the limits of the physical technology. Job sites do not always have reliable cell, wifi or satellite access. Instead of building in a contingency plan to collect important data in these cases, telematics vendors simply ignore the problem.

In short, the current telematics offerings have pain points, but not unsolvable ones. As the market demands solutions to these shortcomings, the industry can expect the following developments.



As the challenges of using telematics boxes continue, equipment managers will look for simpler tools that enable operators to easily gather equipment data, even without a functional telematics box. For example, a mobile app on an equipment operator’s phone could allow him or her to quickly collect information, such as hour counts, fuel levels, location and maintenance needs, which would be instantly accessible by the equipment manager back at the office. Such an app could be used for every piece on a job site, even if there is no satellite coverage.


Telematics data will be set free via APIs. Instead of limiting data from a vendor’s box to the vendor’s dashboard, customers will have the option to pay for access to the data itself, which could then be fed into any user dashboard. This will allow the equipment manager the flexibility to consume, integrate and visualize data from all machines in a manner that works best for his or her workflow.


As more construction management software shifts to mobile apps, so too will telematics dashboards. Moreover, mobile access to data will enable increased collaboration among all workers on a job site. For example, one can imagine an equipment manager getting an alert regarding low utilization of a backhoe, which automatically triggers an alert to a site foreman to uncover why it’s being underutilized.


Instead of simply showing as much information as possible, data will be streamlined and packaged into the most important insights. It’s one thing to show a bunch of charts showing the utilization pattern of all machines, but it’s another thing to say, “The weather at job site X was bad, and based on historical data, the utilization for this category of machines was as expected.”


Even with functional telematics boxes, most equipment managers spend significant time dispatching machines and increasing their fleet’s utilization. Determining which piece of equipment should be at each job site and whether rentals need to be sourced is currently a manual process. As databases of utilization information grow, however, telematics will help equipment managers evaluate dispatching decisions to optimize utilization.


As with any new technology, it will take time to overcome the shortfalls of the earliest versions. Cooperation within the industry across contractors, vendors and OEMs will continue to be a challenge. Vendors will still struggle to understand how to make telematics data user-friendly. Satellite coverage will remain limited on remote projects.

Eventually, though, the market will demand that these problems be overcome. While it may seem natural for vendors to take a protectionist approach to telematics, those vendors who understand the benefits of a more open and flexible ecosystem will be the ones who eventually win market share. With the help of such industry leaders, telematics will fulfill its promise to revolutionize equipment management.

Originally posted at