Smartphones and tablets provide access to online tools that significantly boost productivity in the Concrete industry. Some of these tools include online Dispatch, Batch and Delivery Management platforms. Mobile technology has taken on an important role in the Ready-Mix industry and continues to expand as a critical tool for the job. While devoting a considerable amount time in transit or in the field, the need for quick and effective communication with all project stakeholders is non-negotiable.
When looking to innovate, the natural tendency is to lean on easily available technology. Smartphones and tablets are easily available, user friendly and offer a wide range of impressive tools that meet the needs of the modern construction worker. Users can talk using VoIP (voice over internet protocol), text message using a variety of Apps and take pictures of the jobsite using the built-in camera.
The greatest contribution of mobile technology and smartphones, however, may be the ability to easily exchange, share and collaborate online. The ability to share information online and relay expectations based on real time information has tremendous value. Mobile technology and online portals enable that to happen. Using online collaboration platforms such as Sysdyne’s fully integrated Delivery Management platform, iStrada, helps concrete producers leverage the intrinsic ability of mobile devices to capture and display information in an organized and coherent manner. Details such as time performance and order information including yards poured/yards remaining will be displayed coherently on a dashboard. Additional information including water details and batch weights are contained in the paperless ticket. Information is what drives the concrete delivery process for producers, contractors and inspectors, so easy access all in one place is a huge advantage.
Ruggedized smartphones and tablets are quickly becoming an essential part of all constructions worker’s tool set. They can better withstand the wear/stress/abuse, and protect against the elements such as dirt/dust/water that construction workers may encounter on a daily basis. Combined with off-the-shelf MDM (mobile device manager) software, these devices can be secured and updated from a central location, saving significant time and resources for IT and support personnel.
The evolution of 5G as the 5th generation of mobile cellular communication technology offers faster data speeds, greater reliability and massive data capacity. 5G will impact how users, machines and devices can connect anytime and anywhere. Coupled with cloud-based technology and easy-to-use mobile Apps, the construction industry is headed towards a monumental technological shift. The ability to digitize, transform and communicate large quantities of data quickly and easily is a real game-changer. This also means is that material tracking, dispatching technologies and technical support can be done visually in real-time, offsite. This will reduce the need for batch technicians or operation managers to be on-site, which will help boost productivity and efficiency significantly. Increased access to data at faster speeds over a reliable nationwide network is an important shift in the right direction concrete producers – especially to those with plants in rural areas.
Having the right technology infrastructure and tools will allow construction companies to work smarter. Our industry as a whole can gain a lot by harnessing the power of big data, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and mobile devices.