TECHNOLOGY GOLDEN AGE
By Eric Kesler, IT Director
Construction technology is entering a golden age. The conventional wisdom of the past several decades held that the pace of tech adoption in construction was among the slowest and most reactionary in the world. Any number of internal and external factors were blamed: the cost of adoption, the difficulty of changing processes without impacting deadlines, the lack of industry-specific solutions. Construction was not interested in tech, therefore tech was not interested in construction.
Pushing against this headwind to “Pioneer Proactive Solutions” has always been a part of Wayne Brothers’ DNA. Now, in 2023, that wind is now at our backs. The market that once struggled to provide convincing products and services is now saturated with options, and today our challenge is not in seeking out any viable solution, but in finding the correct solution for our teams among a constellation of offerings. And we are finding that the work of continuous improvement can be met and won in the same way we would approach a difficult task in the field – with honest communication, caring people, and relentless hustle.
An idea exchanged during a hallway conversation, a moment of inspiration from a brainstorming session, emails that open with “I was wondering” or “Have we ever considered” – any of these seeds begin the process. Over the past year, we witnessed many tech initiatives move through their lifecycle; shepherded at each turn by employees and teams who were invested in the outcome. We have also experienced false starts; products where reach has exceeded grasp, initiatives that seemed promising when sketched out in a vacuum proving to cause more issues than they solve once put into practice.
We are not perfect, but neither are we timid. We strive to identify and adopt solutions that either support or improve our processes, and that fit into the overall work flow. Saving time in one department at the expense of another is false progress. Training is a key component for any system change, and in every department we have been fortunate to have enthusiastic early adopters willing to light the way.
Which is good, because technology is a journey, and solutions can become obsolete overnight. I have a Blackberry Storm at home somewhere, likely in a desk drawer near a Palm Pilot and a Blockbuster Video membership card. The hardware and software tools so critical to our operations are not passed from one generation to the next; this golden age will give way for the next. I am fortunate to work with peers who are willing to be lifelong learners and embrace change with optimistic curiosity.