As technology makes its way further and further into everyday life via the Internet of Things (IoT), the construction industry has seen innovations and improvements that make the buildings, roads, and other projects they’re responsible for become stronger, more energy efficient, safer and “smarter.” And if that’s true of the creations they’re responsible for, why shouldn’t that also be true for the construction industry itself?
Things are Changing
One of the simplest, most cost-effective ways that the construction industry can bring itself into the modern era – and see significant financial gains because of it – is by using the power of GPS (Global Positioning System) tracking. By using GPS, construction companies can not only monitor the vast number of expensive vehicles they employ to get the job done, but also the construction workers who operate that machinery.
Protect Your Vehicles and Equipment
Since the fleet of equipment a construction firm operates is so critical when it comes to the success of a project, why wouldn’t you want to make sure that equipment is always working at its best? With GPS technology you can help prolong the life of your equipment by keeping a close eye on usage hours, the driving habits of your employees, and more. By monitoring your equipment you have a better idea of when maintenance is needed, as opposed to waiting for things to go wrong and then suffering through prolonged downtime, as well as job delays and upset customers. Monitoring also helps you more effectively manage the lifecycle of your equipment by determining how long to keep a particular piece of equipment, and when the right time is to let it go and achieve the greatest return on your investment.
Increase Worker Safety
It’s not just the individual working your equipment who can put his own life at risk on a job site. How he or she behaves behind the wheel also affects all the other individuals around them. And while human life is of paramount importance, damage done to materials and other equipment can also be costly. With GPS tracking, however, workers know that their behavior behind the wheel is being monitored. Workers who drive appropriately can be rewarded, and unsafe operation can be dealt with. As an added safety precaution, some GPS systems offer emergency buttons which operators can use to instantly inform management of troubles on the site.
Reduce Fuel Usage
One of the biggest costs a fleet manager is responsible for is fuel. It’s also one of the more difficult costs to manage. Every driver operates their vehicle differently and the variable cost of fuel can wreak havoc on the most thoroughly planned budget. Vehicle tracking is one way to try and bring a little order to a chaotic environment. It allows you to see the various habits of all your drivers. You get a better understanding of which ones are accelerating or braking harshly, letting their vehicles idle for long periods of time, or “taking the long way” out in the field.
Retrieve Stolen Equipment
It’s a costly problem that almost every construction company on the planet has had to deal with at one time or another: the theft of equipment. With work spread out among numerous sites it’s always tempting for thieves to think a company might not miss just one or two pieces of equipment. With asset tracking you’ll know exactly where each and every piece of equipment you own is located. It even allows you to set up geo-fencing, so if you want one piece of equipment to stay on one site, then just draw a line around the area where you want it to stay. Should something happen and the equipment leaves that “safe zone,” you’ll be instantly notified that something is wrong.
Revolutionize Your Payroll
Is your company one of the many construction companies out there that has employees clock in at the office, even though they won’t actually begin working until they reach the job site? With time and attendance solutions, you can have them log in electronically right in their vehicle. This way when they track their hours you have an exact cost associated with the job. Electronic filing also means you can do away with all the clutter that comes with traditional paper time sheets.
There’s a reason your employees aren’t legally allowed to spend more than a set number of hours on the job: it’s for safety purposes. By not abiding by these rules you’re not only putting employees in harm’s way, you’re doing the same for your company. But by tracking your assets, you can also track the number of hours your equipment has been at work on a particular job, and thereby know the number of hours your employee has worked. You’ll also be able to track when employees may be operating equipment past local working hours, even if they’re miles and miles away from your home office.
Win New Business
Yes, the work you’ve done before and the price you bid a job at are key indicators for whether you’ll be able to land new business. But if you’re the bidder who can also say you use an asset tracking system, you’re letting potential clients know that you can not only effectively bid a project (with minimal waste) – you’re also serious about the safety of your workers, and of the overall project.
The digital age, complete with the Internet of Things, is here. Can the same be said for your construction company? Asset tracking is a quick and easy way to put technology to work for you and run a more efficient, safer, and more profitable organization than ever before.