We are hard at work on our June issue, which will focus solely on the various technologies that are coming together to creates what amounts to the digitally conceived, planned, organized, managed, and administered job site. The pieces are all here, there are people working hard to knit them together, and if you aren’t paying close attention to what’s going on, you’re going to find yourself having to play catch-up or, worse still, on the outside looking in.
For years, construction—particularly in the dirtmoving arena—was resistant to technology…but no more. The field has seen more change in the past decade than in all the years following World War II, a fact that is most apparent in the equipment that is being delivered today. But stunning as these changes have been, the real advances have come in (and as a result of) our ability to manipulate digits…those little ones and zeros that in the not-too-distant past made Pacman a voracious monster. Think back to when you bit the bullet and took your first tentative steps into the computer age, and then compare that vision to where you are today. You may not like all the changes that have descended on you at the speed of heat, but your knowledge of and control over the factors that affect your business are light-years removed from what they used to be.
A contractor friend challenged this by saying, “I can still work up a darn good bid on a coffee shop napkin,” and I don’t doubt that he can. But his understanding of the factors that led to that ability come not from some magic vibrations in his genetic caldron, but from the electronic wizardry that allows him to peer deep down into the entrails of his business with a precision more reliable than the witchcraft and superstition of bygone days. The bottom line here, whether you’re talking about estimating software or machine-control systems, is that if you’re not using the most advanced tools and your competition is, sooner or later you’re going to get stomped….and to help prevent that you’ll want to get, read, and save for future reference our June technology issue.