Technology is changing the industry rapidly. Only two decades ago email was brand new, and it has quickly become vital to running a company. In the recent Engineering News-Record webinar, “The Mid-Sized Construction Firm’s Guide to Technology Upgrade Success,” speakers offered valuable tips and advice on how to successfully implement new technology into industry companies.

According to McKinsey Global Institute, construction is one of the least digitized industries. Historically, there have not been many tech-savvy tools available in construction, but this is changing. According to JLL, construction is the newest “darling investment” for venture capital funds. JLL reports more than $1 billion was invested in global technician start-ups in 2017. Already this year, investments are up 20 percent over the previous year.

Christine Acker, senior product marketing manager of PlanGrid, offered preliminary tips for successful technology implementation:

  • Incorporate the needs of the field;
  • Train employees on their new tool; and
  • Structure the roll out.

Following these tips, Mike Oster, president and CEO of Gemba Technologies, delved deeper into tech implementation. He discussed many helpful tips and advice; here are two of the most useful suggestions Oster discussed:

  • Use the newest technology to attract younger workers– With the labor shortage increasing in the industry, one way to attract younger workers is to implement the newest technology. Industry companies need to improve productivity and invest in new technology to stay competitive, said Oster. Better technology will attract better employees.
  • IT needs to be a team effort –Information technology (IT) needs to work with the whole company to make progress. When new products or technology is implemented, it needs to be implemented across the board, and not just in IT. Oster suggested changing the way companies discuss technology, by making it a companywide discussion.

Chris Voros, senior project manager at Snyder Langston, followed Oster with additional helpful information. He discussed a step-by-step approach to implementing new technology.

  • Make a time line– Set an achievable time line, and make it known across the board.
  • Test out technology – Try and embrace new technologies. Invest the time into working out the kinks, and work with the vendor if there are questions or problems. Develop training tools and classes for employees.
  • Communicate and collaborate – If something doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. Pay attention to what employees are saying about technology. Collaborate as a team to solve problems or work through difficulties.

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