The Power of IoT Connectivity

OP INSTITUTIONALBy Ryne DeBoer

Technology and innovation will continue to significantly impact the construction industry – and 95 percent of executives in the space agree. By 2020, global IoT spending is expected to reach $1.29 trillion while the number of connected devices could surpass 20 billion.

But despite their growing popularity, Internet of things (IoT) and telematics devices remain a mystery to many construction managers. Clear up any confusion and unlock the full potential of these  technologies with a new approach to implementation. From engaging employees to identifying your organization’s most immediate needs, here are a few ways to harness the power of connected devices and take your business to the next level.

Win Over Workers

Engaged workers are 59 percent less likely to look for a different job in the next 12 months. With an increase in retention comes the opportunity for significant savings. On average, enterprises face a cost-per-hire that’s upwards of $4,000, and typically dedicate nearly 42 days toward filling an open position.

Avoid such costs and keep top talent by teaching employees the ins and outs of operating connected devices. Your younger, tech-savvy employees can help shorten the learning curve for those who aren’t as familiar with new technologies. As workers become more comfortable using connected devices, you’ll have an easier time showcasing the advantages these innovations bring to your business.

Better yet, new devices help set the stage for more frequent and efficient communication. Too often, employees are left wondering about the status of a project or the location of a specific piece of equipment. That’s where connected devices can make all the difference. Using real-time data such as geolocation or utilization rates, employees can stay in tune with jobsite activity.

Find the Weak Link

Plenty of companies will welcome connected devices over the next few years, but their reasons for doing so often vary. Take some time to consider which areas of your organization need the most attention. Whether it’s monitoring driver hours or tracking speed, new devices can benefit your business in more ways than one.

Equipment theft is one of the most common problems in the construction industry. Around $400 million worth of equipment is stolen each year. And of the 11,574 reported thefts in 2016, only 2,442 cases – or 21 percent – ended in recoveries. By alerting you the moment a piece of equipment leaves the jobsite, telematics technology helps put an end to such problems. Compliance may also come a little easier when dealing with new regulations like the ELD mandate. Instead of rushing to implement the appropriate technology, you can rest assured the proper logging devices are in place.

Set up one-on-one meetings with a few seasoned employees to talk about which area of the company you should focus on. Opening up the discussion to the rest of your company in a town hall or quarterly gathering may reveal which connected tools are best suited for your business.

Put Data into Action

Data can help determine the direction of your company. Nearly three out of four construction executives feel data plays an important role in their strategic vision. Leverage such insights by looking for new ways to analyze data. While online resources may help sharpen your data analysis skills, don’t be afraid to tap your network for additional tips and tricks. Something as simple as focusing on one data point over another may be enough to keep up with a constant stream of information.

As you become more adept at parsing through data, better decision making may follow. The average speed of a vehicle, for example, can potentially shed light on dangerous driving. If an employee consistently exceeds the speed limit, you may need to set up extra training. Addressing such behavior before an accident takes place can lead to big savings.

Over the next few years, interest in the IoT and telematics devices is set to reach a fever pitch. When it comes to capitalizing upon such innovations, however, construction managers need to take the proper precautions. While it may be tempting to quickly implement the technology, devote time toward gaining employee buy in, identifying your organization’s biggest needs and analyzing relevant data to maximize the benefits of connected devices.

Ryne DeBoer is the vice president at electronics manufacturing services provider Morey. Ryne’s primary role is to lead strategic growth for Morey as the company continues to innovate and expand its services and customer base. 

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