Making the Most of the IoT and Telematics Devices

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From increasing driver efficiency to reducing maintenance costs, telematics devices have the power to improve a construction organization's bottom line. But the novelty surrounding telematics technology has left more than a few construction managers scratching their heads.

Instead of reaping the rewards of these innovations, construction managers are still trying to figure out how they can make the most of new equipment. Tap into the true potential of the internet of things (IoT) and telematics devices with these three tips.

It’s one thing to grasp onto an industry trend. It’s another to determine how that trend applies to your business. Avoid bringing aboard new technology simply because everyone else is. By identifying your business’s most important areas for improvement, you can get the best bang for your buck.

Known for their many applications, telematics devices can impact your business in a multitude of ways. Many organizations use the technology to track equipment, speed or driver hours. Access to such data can help address safety concerns while also setting the stage for fewer repairs later on. Better yet, having the right technology in place can make it easier to comply with new regulations such as the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate.

Sit down with your staff to discuss which issues are in need of the most attention. Whether it’s trimming down operation costs or curbing the number of accidents on the jobsite, telematics is poised to deliver some much-needed relief. By pinpointing the top two or three problems facing your organization, you can carefully narrow down which devices will be most helpful.

Data is only as good as what you do with it. Although connected devices can help collect relevant insights, their impact largely hinges on your willingness to leverage them. That’s at least part of the reason nearly 80 percent of organizations require data analysis skills for mid-level managers.

Reach out to your network for tips and tricks on interpreting data. Other industry players who gather similar data points may have some idea of what’s most important. The more comfortable you become with data, the better chance you have of pulling out insights that can inform your decisions. If, for example, a piece of equipment consistently reaches high speeds or logs a lot of miles, that may indicate it’s time for more frequent maintenance checks. Getting ahead of such problems can result in big savings later on.

From performance to location, there may be quite a lot of data coming in. Share some of the data analysis responsibilities with other managers or long-standing employees. A fresh set of eyes may help uncover insights that have previously gone unnoticed.

Have you been keeping an eye on staff retention rates? If not, it’s time to start. Seventy-eight percent of contractors say they are currently having a difficult time finding qualified workers to hire. Minimize the cost of recruiting by keeping existing employees engaged.

Simple steps – such as teaching employees how to use new technologies on the jobsite – can give them a heads up on changes before they go into practice. Empower younger employees who have a knack for technology to dive deep on telematics and share their knowledge with co-workers. As familiarity with IoT and telematics devices increases, so will your chances of touting the benefits for both the business and your workers.

This approach may also make it easier to foster collaboration. By quickly sending data across a connected jobsite, workers can leverage the power of the IoT to keep others in the loop on upcoming projects as well as ones that are already underway. Valuable information like the type of equipment being used along with any necessary repairs can help employees see what’s going on in real time.

Telematics devices have burst onto the construction scene in a big way. Connected jobsites of just about every size have become home to these new innovations. But while adoption rates have soared, many construction managers struggle to realize the potential impact of these innovations.

With a new approach to implementation, however, that soon may change. By first diagnosing your organization’s most pressing needs, putting data into action and winning over skeptical employees, you can get more out of the IoT and telematics devices than ever before.

Ryne DeBoer is the vice president at electronics manufacturing services provider Morey. Ryne’s primary role is to lead strategic growth for Morey as the company continues to innovate and expand its services and customer base. He previously served as the business development manager at Morey from 2010-2012, returning to Morey again in 2016 to assume his new role as vice president. These roles have provided Ryne with a breadth of experience in guiding business growth, particularly in the technology industry. Ryne attended Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois and studied business and marketing and communications.

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