With all the options for innovation in the construction industry, you can quickly become overwhelmed while researching and looking for products that will solve a problem your company has.
Before you embark on any technology implementation, you should assemble a team that represents a good cross-section of your company. Field workers and finance professionals are important members of this team.
It will benefit your company to involve this team at the beginning of your research into solutions. The construction industry has some extraordinary problem solvers, even if they don’t think of themselves that way. The same critical thinking skills someone might use to manage a concrete pour can be applied to your tech implementation.
Technology adoption by experienced field workers may be more of a challenge than for someone right out of school. For instance, there are workers with years on the job and lots of project experience that have a mindset against technology – what some call the “we’ve always done it this way” outlook. Having a dusty, loud, fast-paced environment brings additional challenges. If the tech is not going to work for someone, it’s more likely going to be them. However, if you can involve jaded workers from the beginning and get their buy-in for the transition, they are likely to champion your implementation with others. It can also increase the likelihood that the chosen tech will have features designed to work for them.
The finance department has the “money people.” They will be focused on return on investment (ROI), which is critical for any tech transition. Someone needs to be mindful of the business side of tech implementation – the internal foundation that innovation is built on. Companies can’t just throw money at fancy technology and hope it sticks. Not only does the innovation have to work, its success has to be tracked. For the health of the company overall, there must be an ROI with solid results. Having an experienced, detail-oriented finance person on your side will introduce a framework for ROI and help ease the transition.
Before and during implementation, share practical stories of tech successes to encourage everyone in the company. Take advantage of articles, books, blogs, videos, podcasts, and conferences that share user experiences. It’s good for everyone in the company to know they are not alone in technology challenges.
It’s also important to encourage your tech-savvy users to empathize with co-workers who are less tech-savvy. Everyone has their gifts and strengths. Since the skilled labor pool continues to be limited, your company should do what it can to attract and keep talented, valuable workers. There are more choices than ever for building a satisfying career in construction and making a difference every day. Technology can play a part in making your company attractive to prospective and existing employees.
The construction industry is an innovation laboratory right now, and innovation will impact the industry for years to come.
Tune in to Bridging the Gap Podcast episode 124 and learn what Bob Armbrister, President and CEO of Spark Business Works, has to say about strategies that construction companies can use when adopting digital tools.