Construction industry looks at new technologies for growth


New study reveals current global market trends in an increasingly demanding space

Construction industry looks at new technologies for growth
A majority of participants said they plan to increase fleet size in the short-term.

 

The construction industry across the globe is adopting new technologies to manage costs, increase revenue and expand business, a new report has revealed.

The study found that a majority of construction companies plan to increase fleet size to meet growing demand for their services.

Teletrac Navman’s new report, Telematics Benchmark Report: Global Construction Edition, is based on a survey of more than 1,200 fleet operations and fleet management professionals from around the world.

While the report does not break down findings by country, it does note that an analysis by The West Australian newspaper "reveals the planned construction projects will deliver about 30,000 new construction jobs, primarily on commercial property developments due to start or ramp up over the next 12 to 18 months".

The survey, which provides a view of telematics trends affecting the global construction market, outlined the top challenges for business in an increasingly demanding market: managing costs (46 per cent), growing revenue (30 per cent) and business expansion (26 per cent).

Other key trends observed across the sector include: economic optimism, technology disruption and labour shortage.

Economic optimism

The study found that over 90 per cent of companies plan to invest in their business in 2017 by upgrading their fleet (45 per cent), finding, retaining and developing talent (38 per cent), and integrating new technologies and systems (34 per cent).

Over half of the participants (64 per cent) stated that they will be increasing the number of equipment/fleet size over the next year as a result of more demand for services, while 55 per cent said they plan to replace older equipment/vehicles.

Technology disruption

A majority of companies stated that they are looking for ways to improve efficiencies and reduce accidents using new technologies related to: fatigue monitoring (27 per cent), machine vision technology (19 per cent), drones (16 per cent) and big data analytics (14 per cent).

Over 80 per cent businesses say they currently use telematics or plan to do so in the next year, citing equipment tracking as the most common use (75 per cent), followed by tracking speed (61 per cent) and driver hours (53 per cent).

Over half of the companies currently using telematics say they have seen reduced fuel costs, and almost of third stating they have seen fewer accidents.

Despite the increasing discussion on automated vehicle technology, one 9 per cent of the participants said they plan to invest in self-driving vehicles in the short-term.

Labour shortage

A quarter of participants said shortage of skilled labour was impeding business growth.

While payroll remained the largest business expense for up to 55 per cent respondents, nearly as much said they plan to more drivers/equipment operators this year.

Up to 53 per cent companies said they are increasing pay to address worker shortage in their business, while 36 per cent said they are developing training programs, offering better benefits (33 per cent) and hiring freelance equipment operators (29 per cent) to tackle the problem.

"The construction industry has long faced pressures to do more with less – more output with fewer resources – to meet customer demands, while also ensuring the safety of its workers and profitability of the business," Teletrac Navman global vice president of marketing Rachel Trindade says.

"It’s no easy task to balance these competing interests, which is why so many fleets are turning to modern technologies, such as telematics, to find efficiencies.

"We’re committed to supporting the industry by helping them understand and navigate these market shifts."

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