Technology Investment Guide For Contractors

  • Editorial Team
  • Heavy Construction Equipment
  • 4 October 2023

It can be difficult to invest in technology for a lot of contractors. In addition to the cost, learning new technology takes time in order for it to be genuinely useful. Telematics and machine control are two examples of technologies that, fortunately, have become quite useful for the construction sector.

You really need to broaden your perspective on what technology can manage to do for you if you want to fully profit from the new technologies available to your construction company.

Benefits of Modern Technology

Equipment technologies offer both immediate and long-term advantages. Contractors might take on more complicated work using the time and resources saved by the upgraded technology, which is an indirect benefit.

One of the problems, according to John Somers, vice president of AEM’s construction and utility business, is that telematics is often solely thought of in terms of locating equipment. He remarked that people do not really necessarily think about also monitoring all the diagnostic trouble codes so they know when to do proactive maintenance. With it they can also monitor idle time to educate an operator to turn the machine off when it is actually not doing any productive work. A lot of people in this industry don’t consider all the potential benefits of technology properly.

Manage your expectations 

You must be aware of what is required of you while planning your budget for incorporating cutting-edge technologies. Your annual budget most likely includes a financial breakdown of this. You must refer back to those direct and indirect benefits when speaking with investors or anyone else involved in your contracted work who has access to a cheque book, while clarifying that the ROI isn’t always immediately apparent.

Somers thinks that contractors really start realizing the ROI when they actually think about all the other benefits that trickle down and add all those together. Although there will undoubtedly be some immediate advantages to investing in technology now, the noticeable returns on investment may not materialize for another year or more. In the interim, you should keep reminding yourself, and your investors, of all the indirect advantages during this timeline. Investing in this technology can also help your company compete for new workers, so keep that in mind as well

Educate your team 

While a shortage of constructing workers continues to be a problem for the industry, utilizing modern technology in your operation will help you retain your present staff while hiring potential new employees. It is also entirely possible that you will need to fill more positions as you deploy technology.

Somers remarked that 15 years ago contractors wouldn’t have had a data scientist and their team but now a lot of them do because they are learning how to evaluate all this equipment data, search for efficiencies, and reduce downtime. There, that is a completely new role that had opened up.

Hard labor is physically exhausting for the human body. Our bodies eventually either become more resilient, or we suffer a serious accident that drastically alters our lives. Modern technologies make it possible to train your present employees who might require a change in direction from their current position or who just want to broaden their skill set. These employees can be taught how to use the new technology or machinery you intend to use. Then, there are more positions that become available for new hires.

First Step

There are some things that you have to consider, like what are your company’s biggest financial or human resource drains? What issue does your business consistently have that causes more stress or financial strain? Most likely, there is some technology that exists to assist in resolving your issue. It can be challenging to find time on a construction work site to sit and think about your company, but just like any piece of used heavy equipment, that time is an investment. Making plans now will save you money and time later when you will be under more pressure to get the proper technology.

You can find a solution that immediately addresses the issues that your organization is facing while also providing protection from other potential problems since technology like telematics and machine control offer both direct and indirect benefits.

What you can do next?

Technology has a tendency to evolve continuously, sometimes more quickly than we want it to. After putting your new technology into use, you might find yourself unsure of what to do next. The technologies used in telematics and machine control are not intended to perform just a single task.

You should instead make sure that you are fully implementing and using it to its full capacity. You should get the most out of what you are already working with before you start investing in something else.

Remember to take a close look at all of your current technology’s capabilities before investing in the next “big thing.” Maybe you’ve experienced an increase in productivity because of a new technology, but you want to make progress toward your sustainability objectives too. The machine technology you already have may even be able to assist with a different issue or improve something your business currently does effectively because it is not designed to accomplish just one thing.