4 Can’t-Miss Trends from the Show Floor
Connecting with real construction professionals is essential for us to understand what matters most to people in the industry. Last week, we attended World of Concrete 2019 in Las Vegas where we spoke with many field and office workers in concrete and construction. Throughout the week our team met countless individuals committed to driving the concrete sector forward.
Armed with our latest product innovations such as PlanGrid Connect (our new powerful integration capabilities); Tasks (helping to track work throughout a project lifecycle); and PlanGrid’s new security and privacy certifications our booth introduced customers to our new features and shared insights with both current customers and those unfamiliar with productivity software.
Software such as PlanGrid is critical for the concrete industry to help easily capture project changes and quickly communicate them to all stakeholders on that project. In turn, this helps to minimize costly mistakes.
“Construction is poised for major advancements in productivity technologies and there will be many opportunities for innovation in 2019. It was clear at World of Concrete 2019 that contractors are eager to seize opportunities to empower their field teams which energizes the PlanGrid team who are excited to continue to partner with the construction industry to revolutionize the way we communicate, collaborate, and mobilize the world’s largest workforce,” said Josh Progar, Global Director of Customer Advocacy for PlanGrid.
So what are the emerging trends in construction for 2019? We’ve summed up our top four themes that we gathered from speaking with industry insiders on the show floor.
Top 4 Trends from World of Concrete 2019
1. Transitioning paper to tech
In speaking to hundreds of concrete industry professionals at World of Concrete 2019, we found that a lot of construction companies are still way behind in adopting tech software. We heard of the uphill trend of companies equipping their teams with tablets for their field workers and while it’s a promising first step, utilizing construction productivity software takes efficiency to the next level by upgrading old school mentality with new school processes. It’s this willingness to now adopt tech that is going to help push the concrete sector forward–saving paper, reducing rework and saving time.
Ray Combs of George J Igel & Co. in Ohio says the foremen on his team use PlanGrid to help dictate to field workers.
“Our boss likes PlanGrid for communication and reports on the iPad. He can show them in person and it eliminates all papers,” said Combs.
Guy Cohoon of Clark Contracting Services in Michigan and his colleague Ryan Kidd, said their company is 100% paperless. “Out of all the stuff that we use it [PlanGrid] is by far the best. It’s easy-to-use and I can show them in five minutes how to use it–it’s not overwhelming for them,” said Cohoon.
2. Bringing data to the spotlight to improve team communication
By harnessing the power of a construction productivity software, a construction team can improve communication from the field to the office and from worker to worker by completing forms and documents in the cloud and instantly submitting them to the decision makers. As a result, the data is at their fingertips–easier to store, search for and edit whenever, wherever it’s needed.
Jason Armstrong of Wildish Construction in Oregon has loved using collaboration platforms like PlanGrid on his team’s projects to help with seamless communication.
“It’s (PlanGrid) a great tool and has been very handy with field to office communication,” said Armstrong.
We also spoke with Frankie Valenzuela of SKA Group on how having easy access to data out on the field has helped communication amongst his team. “It makes subs take on more ownership of the problems. When I punch something, they get inundated with emails. PlanGrid helps me save time as a manager because it allows me to own more of my project. Instead of spending time sending emails, I just get to check to see if my guys completed their punch lists,” said Valenzuela.
3. Integrated project delivery is on the rise
Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) is helping construction teams across the board deliver finished projects more collaboratively. Construction productivity software helps teams collaborate, efficiently work on tasks and provide instant feedback for changes, making for a more integrated process.
“I feel like it’s [PlanGrid] the best thing we’ve done as a company in a long time,” said Boone Beagley of Innovative Concrete in Utah. His brother and colleague, Matt Beagley said,
“It’s changed the way we collaborate with the field as far as guys on site, it’s so much easier.”
We also met with Peter Ruttura of Ruttura & Sons in New York and a PlanGrid customer that appreciates the introduction of both tech and software at his company.
“I can’t tell you the amount of time it’s saved us. It’s also allowed my guys to be more independent, which has made a huge impact.”
4. New growth of tech
As companies jump on the train of adopting tech for their teams, we are seeing an increase in interest of BIM amongst other tech innovations for the construction industry.
There’s no better expert about the rise of tech and innovation in construction than Rob McKinney, commonly known as the ConApp Guru for JBKnowledge. At World of Concrete 2019, he sat down with Josh Progar to discuss emerging construction tech trends.
“It was great to geek out on ConTech with Josh at the World of Concrete. We talked about a number of interesting topics across the changing landscape of construction technology in 2019. From our Workers First approach to data connectivity to accurate field-level data, there was lots to talk about.”
Be sure to check out our interview with the ConTechGuru on emerging construction trends of 2019, out next week.
A Bright Future Ahead for the Concrete Sector
We learned a lot last week at World of Concrete 2019 and hope all attendees have a new understanding of what’s to come for the future of construction as we dive into 2019.
Ross Wagner, customer advocate at PlanGrid summarizes the top insights from World of Concrete and our goals at PlanGrid to help connect the field to the office with our ever-updating construction productivity software.
“The world of concrete was an eye opening experience after talking to many construction professionals and learning that they are improving efficiency, however, are still facing challenges today when it comes to tighter timelines and complex projects. Collaboration is key and data loss is not an option from precon to construction. It was great to see so many excited customers admitting that PlanGrid helped bridge the gap from their office to field. We have a lot of work to do, but excited that we are heading in the right direction!” said Wagner pictured below with Elizabeth Manning of Construction Business Owner magazine.