How Your Contracting Business Can Use Technology Without Letting It Eat Your Lunch

It’s a fear that people have had for centuries. Develop a piece of technology that replaces a skilled worker, and soon it starts replacing skilled workers. This is why industries like construction tend to be so hesitant to adopt innovations. But staying stuck in the 19th Century or even the 20th Century isn’t the best way to go, either. Here’s a few ways you can incorporate technology into your business with less worry that it will render your services obsolete.

Why Is the Construction Industry Averse to Technology?
Most of the technological devices you use to do things used to be done by someone manually. You might not complain too much if you are able to use gasoline and an engine to power a vehicle instead of horses. The horses may not be upset by this, either. But if it’s a professional doing the work that can now be done by a machine, that’s where people tend to worry. Innovations in building practices, as well as technological developments, require fewer workers at the jobsite to accomplish bigger projects. In short, people tend to fear adopting technology if they think it might make their own positions unnecessary.

What Counts as Technology, Anyway?
If you ask people from different generations what counts as technology, you might get widely differing answers. Many people tend to look at tools that existed when they were young as just tools, while everything that came after is technology. In truth, everything from a hammer to your smartphone qualifies as technology. The tools you use nowadays might be far more advanced than your predecessors building in the 19th Century, but they’re still tools. If it makes your job faster, safer and more accurate, it’s worth considering.

Why Should Workers Learn to Use Construction Technology?
If you’ve already been working in the industry or even your chosen field for several years, you might wonder why you should change your processes at all. It’s a matter of remaining relevant. Think of something you use every day off the jobsite, like a smartphone. Clients and construction professionals in their 20s and 30s may be far more comfortable using their phones to communicate or fill out a quick estimate to provide concrete information in real-time. Pros who still need to go back to the office to fill out a form and mail it might be hours or even days behind. Even if you don’t choose to take in all the technology, it’s important to know what it is and how you might use it.

How Can Contracting Businesses Test Out New Technology?
There are so many tools out there for you to try that you might not ever get through them all. The Internet of Things is revolutionizing every aspect of our lives, so it’s not surprising that it has made it into construction. When you go to a construction conference, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to browse the floor. Many businesses producing tools for construction will demonstrate their latest products or let you try them out. This will help you determine which ones are right for your business.

How Quickly Should Contractors Adopt Technology?
Being willing to adopt technology doesn’t mean you have to incorporate every innovation the moment it comes out. That’s unrealistic if not impossible. Instead, keep an eye on the fastest-growing technological areas as they relate to construction. These include:

  • 3-D modeling/printing
  • Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Automation

Be careful about your purchases, especially if they commit you to using a proprietary system. This might limit your options if you decide to pursue something else. It’s easy to start with tools that work on devices you already own, like your smartphone or computer. Once you get more comfortable with the offerings in one area, you may have an easier time making a choice about other products.

Developing an understanding of construction technology is one way that your contracting business can meet the needs of construction in a new decade. To begin building your contracting career, visit CSLS today!

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