Last week I attended the AGC of America at the Annual Convention in San Juan. I had the honor to join James Benham and Co-Present with him on his “Construction Technology Forecast: Harnessing Integration, Mobile, Sensors and Augmented Reality”. The presentation focused on the results of Mr. Benham’s survey of construction over 1,000 firms in 2014. The survey asked companies about their uses for technology on construction projects. Topics included…

– The Internet of Things: OnStar, IFTT, Nest…

– What is the “Cloud”? A self service, resource pooling, scalable, programable thing…

– Software for Accounting, Estimating, and CRM.

– Type and usage of Mobile Devices.

One Mr. Benham’s main points is…”The point of technology is too solve pain points in companies.” He asked the crowd “What do we bother?” He reminded the crowd about previous construction projects that did not use modern technology to build them such as the Giza Pyramids, the Empire State Building, and Hoover Dam.

It was interesting to learn Empire State Building (1930) had a rather short design period for plan delivery. How long did it take to deliver the full plans to the Owner? Would you believe just 2 weeks! The building is a copy of another building. It took less than a year to build without a computer.

One of the more interesting points that Mr. Benham brought up was the fact that many CEO’s of Construction Firms look at tech as a necessary evil or a money drain. Inside his report there is a start that reveals most Construction firms spend around 1% a year on technology for their business.

Mr. Benham encouraged the attendees to adopt technology 3 reasons…

  1. Greater margins…

Construction companies can make money off of technology! One example that he provided was a large CM recently invested $100 million in BIM for clash detection. They saved a lot of time and money by using BIM in the Pre-Construction Process. The old way was using over lay tables that is no longer cost effective.

  1. Changing competitive projects…

In today’s economy projects are getting more and more competitive. The use of new Tech can help companies create a competitive edge over other companies.

  1. Safety…

Technology can save lives, ex. Safety vest are in development that will track vital signs. Projects designed in BIM can be viewed by safety professionals to look for and eliminate potential hazards.

In closing, Mr. Benham reminded the crowd that “The only constant… is CHANGE!” He encouraged the crowd to “improve, not sit still, and get better.” One of Mr. Benham’s clients recently told him “We do not want to be WAY ahead, just one year ahead” of most companies.

This presentation at the AGC of America “Technology Showcase” at the Annual Convention was very popular. The attendees made several comments after the presentation about the amazing things that new technology for construction that they learned about.

If you would like to see Mr. Benham’s presentation in the future join him for the AGC IT Forum this summer on July 30 and 31 in Chicago for the Annual IT Forum Conference. (CLICK HERE for more information).