Overcoming Workforce Inertia: Easy Technology for Construction Firms

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The brick-and-mortar world of construction and engineering is surprisingly slow to adopt the technological advances that drive change in other businesses.  When it happens, however, construction technology software can change the future of the industry.

Out of 19 major American industries surveyed, a 2014 Gartner IT Key Metrics Data report showed that the construction industry only spends 1 percent of revenue on information technology – dead last out of the industries. A factor in this lack of investment is workforce inertia: older workers have never used technology to do their jobs, why should they start now? Who likes to be told how to do their jobs?

Ben Bigelow, writing in the Engineering News-Record, recounted a story illustrating this tendency:

An executive at one GC, recently shared the challenges he had in getting older personnel to embrace company-implemented technology. He told us it was cheaper for them to hire one of our students to follow his older guys around and use the technology for them, than to allow the job to be done without it. Think of what it would cost your company to employ an assistant superintendent, project engineer, or assistant PM because a veteran employee won’t learn to use the technology! If it makes sense to hire someone to use the technology, what advantages are possible through its use?

How do effective companies overcome this resistance? They can lower the learning curve with easy-to-use mobile technology synchronized with cloud data storage. Old-fashioned spreadsheets and text documents are no place to store important job information. A purpose-built application can allow data to be organized and indexed and, most importantly, accessed by the leaders managing mission-critical projects.

That’s where Raken comes in. Named the No. 1 daily reporting software and mobile app at Associated General Contractors National, Raken simplifies the process of managing your construction daily report forms. It can save more than an hour daily with its report typing features. Its intuitive mobile interface makes it easy to use – even for the reluctant veterans.

It also lowers another barrier to technology adoption: budget. With slim margins in the construction industry, executives might be reluctant to invest in technology that might take years to pay off, but the simple act of using Raken for daily reporting can save thousands per month.

At a typical construction firm staffed with 12 superintendents making an average salary of $75,000 each, it would cost more than $10,000 per month for those workers to take the time to fill out daily reports in spreadsheets and unstructured media. With the time saved by using Raken, the monthly cost of reporting would fall to $3,130 – a net benefit per month of $7,182. That's an annualized return on investment of 12,948 percent.

To find out more about Raken, visit www.rakenapp.com or call 866-438-0646.