New Technology in an Old Business

The last 16 years came with an enormous amount of technological advances, from smartphones, how we drive, watch TV and work. The Internet is no longer a luxury, rather a necessity. While most industry’s take new technology and runs, the construction industry has been slower to adopt.

Old Business

The term “Old business” refers to the famous mindset “This is how it’s  always been done”. It keeps many construction companies from adopting new technologies. It keeps businesses from propelling themselves ahead of the competition.

Ongoing success in your business depends on your ability to recognize inefficiencies and make appropriate changes.

  • Grab hold of issues and determine the best way to solve it.
  • Continuously look outside the box, and be open to new ideas.
  • Investigate new tools for your industry – ones that build upon things that you already do well.
  • Often within inefficiencies, you will find the cost savings that justify the expense of new technology.

All of us are on some level reluctant to change.  Many seasoned construction workers view technology as something that will put them out to pasture. When in fact it will keep them in business longer and increase their value and efficiency.  If you have employees that feel this way in your company reassure them, give them time to adapt.

New Technology

New technology is not intended to fix your business, it enhances and builds upon the strengths of the business you have already built.

Research new technology, test it out and use all the free trails you can. Test if smartphones, tablets or computers are the best delivery system. When you find the one that will work best grab it and hold on tight. Bringing in new technology takes patience and commitment.  Increased profitability and control over your time determines whether it was worth the payoff.

Adopting the Technology

The success of new technology is reflected from management’s attitude, communication, and presentation of new technology. Let your employees know change is coming, and remind them multiple times. Unexpected change often results in an unwillingness to cooperate. These four key points will help increase your adoption rates.

  1. Have “champions” within the company that are great with new technology.  Let them stand out and influence others to participate. Work with your supervisor so they will be excited and knowledgeable about the product.
  2. Break technology down into smaller pieces. A positive attitude toward technology will increase if you move forward in smaller steps. Giving them all the information all at once just makes them feel overwhelmed.
  3. TRAINING, training, and more training! Don’t simply hand it to them and expect them to figure it out. Create a lasting relationship between the technology support team and your team. When you pick a new technology to check out what support will be available. Good customer support is easy to contact, and that in turn will keep your employees happy. Most importantly, make sure your employees know that they can go to the supervisor with questions. Then when employees have questions they can go to their supervisor first and customer support second.
  4. Encourage communication by having meetings where you discuss pitfalls and success with using the technology. You want to address any problems that they have, but don’t just focus on the negative! Support communication between your team and management. They should be the first person they go to for help, and they need to feel like they can.

Benefits of Bringing in Technology

Technology will provide visibility that never existed before.  It allows you to find and fix problems much quicker. Receiving accurate information gives you the ability to make profitable decisions.

Whether you are at a business meeting, family vacation or just out to lunch, you can see what is going on at all times.Technology makes it possible to check on things while you are away, giving comfort and reassurance that everything is going smoothly.

Going Further

Once you are set up with technology, hire people that have some technology capability. They don’t need to know how to write code, but they should have a small foundation of knowledge. They need enough knowledge to work their way through the system without having extensive training.  Create a partner system with new hires and champions. Learning from workforce peers is less intimidating and contributes to a more unified workplace environment.

Technology is going to continue to be a big part of our lives. Be open-minded to new ideas for new systems that will increase your profitability and catapult your business ahead of the competition.