Construction is expected to grow by 85 per cent within the next fifteen years, bringing with it opportunities for work and expansion. Taking on bigger and better projects means issues you could previously dodge or work around become way more pronounced.
In a recent a benchmarking survey commissioned by Teletrac Navman, all the big concerns facing construction were highlighted, from managing costs to improving driver safety. As telematics is fast becoming a priority in the industry, it has become far more than just a dot on a map.
What more can technology do for you in construction? Here are the top four ways you can turn your challenges into opportunities.
Balance Your Books
You won’t get ahead when you spend more than you make. Exploring expansion opportunities, investments in new equipment, or even just hiring staff just aren’t possible when you are unsure of the hidden traps within your business. Are vehicles getting preventative maintenance checked too often? Are you undercharging clients by mistake? Are you wasting unnecessary fuel? A digital reporting tool keeps your workflow in line and allows you to enter, update and view all expenses and activity in one place; this allows your staff to add expenses from the road, which you receive instantly from the back-office. Paperwork can run the risk of being misplaced, can often be doubled-up on information and must be manually entered before a report can be generated.
Extending this with vehicle tracking allows you to record all work with GPS positional data making it easy to show clients that invoicing is accurate. Tracking vehicle movement also records any speeding, harsh braking or engine idling. Operators can be warned with an alert so they aren’t wasting any fuel while on-site. Construction managers who participated in the survey reported a 5-10 per cent decrease in fuel spending by implementing telematics.
Expand Your Business
As the economy improves, construction companies are high in demand. Getting assets and operations in tip-top shape is crucial for taking on more work, which means it’s time to invest. Purchasing or hiring new assets might mean you can tender for bigger, more lucrative jobs. A quad-axle truck & dog might set you back, but in the long run it improves efficiencies by loading more aggregates. You’re doing more with less! Big investments can come with risks however as profit margins on projects can change or operators may hang onto newer equipment ‘just in case’. This prevents it from being moved to another site for another project. Soon enough, that asset becomes more of a liability as upkeep costs weigh you down. GPS fleet tracking monitors your asset usage so you know where your assets are located, how often they are used and the state of their wear and tear. Hoarding can be reduced and assets can be moved to where they are needed. Telematics means investing in expansion isn’t a gamble. You have proof of what your fleet needs to do its job. You can invest in the right equipment your business needs and make sure you get a return on your investment for future projects and plans.
Secure The Right Talent
There’s no point buying new equipment if there’s no one around to use it. A growth period might mean there’s more jobs up for grabs but if drivers and operators are stretched thin, your business won’t keep up. There’s a shortage of construction labour, so businesses need to invest in talent. This could mean possibly increasing pay rates, investing in training programs and creating more work benefits within the industry. As millennials and digital natives are entering the workforce, telematics becomes an added job perk. As tech is part of their everyday they are more likely to approach companies that are using technology as part of the daily operations. In-vehicles devices and software are useful tools for tracking driver performance and on-boarding. On-site activity can be replayed and used in training exercises as examples of good or bad behaviour. Real-time alerts for curfew periods, site boundary violations or harmful activity means drivers know when they mess up and can easily fix their behaviour. Electronic work diaries used alongside paper fatigue logbooks means rest periods on long trips and projects are tracked without hassle so working conditions are more comfortable and accommodating.
Improve Safety Standards
With moving parts across multiple sites and an array of operators, managers, admin and client reps to keep track of, construction needs to be more efficient and safer if it’s going to be successful. Two large cranes operating at the same time may mean work gets done quickly but at the risk of endangering everyone on site. Using geofencing software means vehicle movements are tracked more accurately at specific locations so assets are always in the right place at the right time and alerts are sounded if a violation occurs. Creating and maintaining forms and checklist for all your vehicles and equipment means drivers know the state of assets before they use them.
Unexpected breakdowns or incidents are less likely to happen and being able to create and edit it yourself means you can cater them to each unique asset. Our survey noted that businesses that already incorporate telematics said that they offered peace of mind regarding employee safety and daily operations. Construction is on a drive to increase efficiency and safety. Telematics lets you make more informed decisions to minimise risk, give you peace of mind and helping to declutter the confusion within your fleet.