DOZR had the opportunity to have Chad Hollingsworth, co-founder of Triax, as a guest on the DirtStories podcast. Chad is recognized as an industry leader in the Internet of Things (IoT). We had the chance to chat with him about IoT, how it fits into construction and what the future of IoT is for the industry.
Born with an entrepreneurial spirit, Chad’s work history has taken him through many sectors of the tech industry with a focus on problem-solving. After graduating from Babson’s College with a Bachelors in Business Administration and Management, he started off in New York City at Bloomberg as an Equity Specialist. He left Bloomberg in his mid-twenties to pursue his entrepreneurial drive.
Getting Started in IoT and Tech
The first startup Chad joined worked on developing technology that could be used by football players to help reduce the risk of and damage associated with concussions in sports. This startup eventually turned into the well-established company that Triax is today.
The collision tech was adapted to identify and report falls for labourers and construction workers. Falling from heights is one of the fatal four in the construction industry and this technology has the possibility to be lifesaving. Wearable technology is just one way that IoT has been introduced into the construction industry. It’s slowly becoming one of the more popular manifestations of IoT in the industry because its application is often focused around the safety of the individual worker.
IoT has been adapted for construction in many other ways, too. As Chad discusses in his podcast episode, there are IoT sensors that monitor air quality on construction sites, tract the structural soundness of new buildings and can even measure how quickly and how many times a piece of machine picks up and moves loads.
Where the Power Lies in IoT
During our interview Chad brought to light two key secrets to using Internet of Things technology for your company. These two secrets are what will help you unlock the true power of IoT and allow you to make the most of this technology. They are to make smart choices about what tech fits best for your specific company and to actually make use of the data.
1. Choose The Best Fit For Your Company
There are so many different software options and businesses that offer IoT technology. There is no “right” choice – only the right choice for your business.
Chad had some advice for two things you should consider when choosing IoT technology for your company:
A) Find technology that will help with specific pain points for your business.
Not all technology answers the same questions. Larger companies will look for technology to answer different questions than what a mid or small-sized contractor may be asking. Decide what your questions and needs are first before starting to choose between different software.
B) Look for technology that already fits into your workflow
The construction industry experiences high levels of pressure to keep projects moving on time and on budget. The addition of IoT shouldn’t complicate or disrupt daily workflows but fit into it and help achieve new levels of efficiency, safety and productivity.
Site supervisors are already very busy. The addition of IoT technology should help upper management, not complicate their days. This is where this point works together with the first one – IoT tech should simplify and contribute to something your business is already doing.
It should also be easy to teach and integrate into the daily habits of all employees that will be wearing or using it. The construction industry is becoming more tech-friendly but not all employees will be tech-savvy. In order for IoT tech to really impact and help your business, everyone should be willing and able to use it.
2. Make Use Of The Data
At the end of the day IoT is used for one main purpose – data collection. While implementing IoT tech into your company is a great way to collect data, there’s no point in doing so if you aren’t going to make use of it.
Chad recommends looking for IoT companies that provide a support system when choosing the best tech for your company. In his eyes, the IoT businesses that will be most successful in the future will be the ones who provide data support to help small businesses decipher the data in order to make sense of it.
This data can be used for so many things:
- To encourage fact-based decision making about site management
- To solve any issues or conflict with data, ultimately reducing time spend looking for answers that can be solved with hard numbers
- To provide hard information that can solve any on-site discrepancies between contractors, subcontractors, project managers and upper management
Chad Had Some Great Advice for Contractors To Embrace IoT Technology
Chad’s final piece of advice for contractors looking to implement IoT tech – or any other kind of technology – into their projects is to not be afraid of it. It’s okay to be intimidated by it because it is new, but there’s no need to fear it.
At the end of the day, Internet of Things technology is meant to improve on-site safety, increase efficiency and help the construction industry work smarter.
To hear more about Chad and what this IoT specialist had to say about Internet of Things in Construction, check out his podcast.
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