Construction companies are quickly adopting artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and IoT networking to drive efficiencies and maximize operating margins. That’s because tech companies have figured out how to make it easy.
As the engineering and construction industries continue to grow, especially in North America, an increasing number of savvy companies are implementing strategies to outpace the competition. Irrespective of capital or operational size, these firms are building stronger, more sustainable bottom lines despite the usual headwinds. Supply chain volatility, for example, remains front-of-mind for every CFO, while factors like labor costs and site safety continue to play the heaviest hand in profit-and-loss.
Still, analysts see ample reason for engineering and construction companies to be optimistic about the future of the industry and, just as importantly, the health of their business. Especially, if they’re focused on their digital future.
The Future is Digital
Smart Construction, a data-enhanced operational model, is quickly becoming the norm throughout the industry. More companies – from venerable megafirms to smaller enterprises – are leveraging data and predictive analytics to improve project outcomes, create safer worksites, and streamline internal business operations. And the reason is clear: for an industry that returns a hard-won 5 – 7% operating margin over any recent twelve- month period, even a modest increase in operational efficiency can deliver a substantial ROI. Combine this with fewer costly safety incidents, access to reduced insurance costs available exclusively to data-driven companies, and increased project-by-project/year-over-year productivity, and the direct financial impact of Smart Construction becomes immediately evident.
Accelerating the adoption of Smart Construction platforms is the recent availability of viable technology partners and solutions. When approached entirely in-house, it can take companies upwards of three to five years to effectively lead a so-called digital transformation – even with a Chief Digital Officer at the helm. In the construction industry, which is by comparison slower to adopt high tech solutions, the process can take even longer.
Fortunately, two parallel landscapes – solution providers and enabling technologies – have been emerging simultaneously in recent years, each with some clear front-runners. Leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and the explosion of technologies related to the Internet of Things (IoT), Smart Construction solution providers are bringing advanced, secure, and easy-to-adopt technology platforms to an industry that needs them. As we approach 2020, the barrier to entry to scalable digitization has never been lower.
Choosing a Tech Platform
While the landscape of solution providers may appear fragmented and uncertain, there are clear signposts by which companies and CIOs can navigate. Is the provider financially sound? Are they adequately positioned for the demands of global enterprise partners? Is their technology stack robust, secure, and simple to on-board? Construction companies must weigh these factors with tremendous care as they will make or break a corporate technology strategy.
MachineQ, a Comcast Company, has built a robust, enterprise-grade IoT platform that provides immediate access to the wireless infrastructure needed to securely collect, transmit, and receive data. Built on LoRa® wireless technology, MachineQ’s IoT platform offers best-in-class power efficiency, network security, range, and propagation. By providing a secure, off-the-shelf LoRa network, MachineQ empowers solution providers to build, develop and scale IoT solutions to achieve the fastest time to market.
Download the case study to learn how Kwant.ai leveraged the MachineQ infrastructure to deliver a full-stack Smart Construction solution that increases worker safety, streamlines construction operations, and drives incremental operating income for construction companies.