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  • Writer's pictureArizona Contractor & Community

The Ongoing Evolution of Job Site Connectivity

By Gregg Wartgow


Wouldn’t it be great if the entire job site – the general contractor, subs, designers, owners, equipment vendors, and material suppliers – worked in sync with the data that shifts with each condition change, progress report, change order, telematics warning, and machine inspection? That the right people got the right information at the right time to make informed decisions?

This one-dashboard vision is much, much easier said than done. The journey of Langdon Mitchell, an equipment manager for Morgan Corp., illuminates the roadblocks.

Several years back, Mitchell needed someone to go machine-by-machine to physically update the software in his fleet. The next big hurdle: each OEM (original equipment manufacturer) had its own proprietary telematics portal. Morgan, like most contractors, has a mixed fleet, and getting a unified fleet view from all the disparate systems was time-consuming.


The company is now using a third-party product that amalgamates the information from each brand in the company fleet and its rental equipment. “It’s become a single source of truth,” Mitchell says. “Beyond the raw telematics data, it’s allowing us to have tools to have actionable items.” But Morgan’s eventual goal is to allow project managers to see the machines on other projects and identify those with little utilization.


JOBSITE CONNECTIVITY IS COMPLEX.


This is one example of the information needs of one division of one company. Multiply those needs company-wide and then by all the entities with which that one company does business. Now add the industry at large, and you understand the complexities involved.


"It sounds pretty simple, but when you look at the disparate systems GCs, subs, developers, and agencies use, everybody has different formats and protocols, so it’s extremely convoluted,” says Brian Juroff, senior vice president of sales at Topcon Positioning Group. "While job site connectivity is easy to define, executing it is a completely different matter. Every contractor has a different soup mix of software for office, modeling, scanning, etc. So it becomes a huge hurdle."


What’s needed is a connective tissue that integrates fully with all pieces of information, creating a living, adaptive body of data.

To read the rest of this article, you are invited to purchase the digital issue here.

This article originally appeared in the bimonthly Arizona Contractor & Community magazine, May/Jun 2023 issue, Vol. 12, No. 3.

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