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ABCSD TECH STORY
June 23, 2020
Reasons to Embrace Technology
Instead of writing a piece today on different technologies I would recommend to help you out with your construction business, I want to discuss how embracing technology will play a role in your continued success as a business, focusing on 5 key reasonings; culture, ROI, recruitment, winning, and collaboration.
Company culture comes in all shapes and sizes, however, there are a few things I have learned about helping your team embrace technology regardless of where you start. First, promote dual education, meaning allow new workers to educate the seasoned veterans on new technology, and vice versa, have the seasoned veterans showcase their years of industry knowledge to the next generation of leaders. This dual education can be on different areas of expertise, which allows new technology to develop culture and trust.
Second, if your company is widely known to embrace technology and try new things, you will not end up in a place many have been, which is having seasoned IT leaders blocking innovation and technology to advance a perception that they are doing a great job when in reality, they are blocking new initiatives that could cause them more work and may affect their status at the company. Lastly, it comes from the top. If the CEO uses a fax machine, it is unlikely the team is investing in virtual reality and robotics.
Used properly, technology will provide your company with better ways to document, manage, visualize, and deliver your projects. This will improve your ROI in the long term, and most likely in the short term as well, if you strategically choose the right technologies, and understand and manage them appropriately. Companies get into trouble when their workforce is told to deploy one technology, and then they singularly use their own, which causes inefficiencies, lack of trust, and require changing the entire tech stack at a premium cost.
As an industry, we need to do a better job of educating the future workforce on how exciting and advanced our industry is. That said, the companies who are still utilizing carbon paper, and not heading towards a more paperless workflow will have a much tougher time recruiting the generation born on smart devices. Construction is also great in that we can give a coder or video game developer an opportunity to soar in an industry lacking tech expertise, with increasing demand for those skills. Someone who may be a spoke on a wheel at a big tech company, can lead tech efforts at a sizeable construction business with their tech efforts and achieve a leadership position quickly.
The demand for technology continues to grow, and people have more insights into their spending than ever before. Using technology is a need, not a want, and is the ante for winning bigger projects. Embracing tech and being tech savvy will lead to more business, and the trend is only growing. This includes technology for safety, project management, and workforce development.
In these quickly changing times, the need to collaborate, especially virtually, has never been higher. Creating a visual command center and utilizing collaboration tools is something that companies need to embrace in a consistent manner to maximize the workforce.
Summing it all up, embracing technology is not an option. Now more than ever it is vital to your company’s success to be focusing on ways to technically advance your businesses practices; strategically planning and building for your future.
Matthew Abeles is the vice president of construction technology and innovation for Associated Builders and Contractors. Abeles spearheads efforts to integrate construction technology and innovation into all aspects of ABC’s strategic initiatives, particularly total human health, world-class safety, and workforce development.
Abeles has advised and raised capital for many construction technology companies and is a recognized leader in the field. In 2014, he co-founded BuiltWorlds, a media company and digital network for construction, real estate, finance, and development leaders, which hosts global events and produces industry research. In this role, he was responsible for outreach to established and emerging players in the construction and real estate sectors developing next-generation technologies, as well as talking to influential audiences about the future of the construction industry.
Abeles holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and real estate from Indiana University Bloomington.