The proliferation of IoT and transformative technologies, such as 5G, allows companies to gather more data faster than ever before. But what are companies doing with that data – and who has the time to decipher it?
This is where machine learning and artificial intelligence come into play, helping companies analyze their data and become proactive in their business decisions rather than reactive.
“Company success thrives on real-time business insight, and without on-demand access to data, business leaders are leaving money – in the form of valuable operational intelligence – on the table. Construction companies are beginning to recognize this, and many are investing in technology solutions to connect disparate data sets across their organization. With this, they’re using data and analytics to improve safety, reduce downtime, cut fuel costs, and more,” explained Ryan Wilkinson, Chief Technology Officer for IntelliShift.
A recent survey of IntelliShift’s customers and found that 94% of leaders feel their organization is more efficient with access to real-time data, and three in five noted gaining access to real-time, non-siloed is a top priority.
“It’s clear that organizations know they need to use their data – but it comes to accessing it and making it actionable. Disconnected systems that keep data from being used as a strategic asset will soon be phased out, making way for technology platforms that can provide end-to-end operational intelligence,” Wilkinson said.
How to Use Data Effectively
Currently, Wilkinson shared that location data is something construction fleets are typically tuned into, although the insights are rarely used to their full potential to inform business decisions accurately.
However, there are several important data points that construction fleets aren’t paying attention to.
“While individual data points can be useful to see when inspecting a specific issue, the larger takeaway is that unifying data across the organization can provide deep insight for decision-makers. For example, by applying data from a variety of sources, leaders can see trends in route optimization – enabling them to increase per-vehicle productivity, reduce fuel costs and improve on-time performance,” Wilkinson said.
Organizations struggle to understand true costs by project without the right visibility into each job’s assets and work hours.
“To gain these insights and improve operations, companies are utilizing connected vehicle and asset management technologies. Through this technology, construction fleets can obtain complete visibility into mobile assets and workforce to obtain real-time insights and better manage their job costing and end-to-end operations, increasing profitability per project. Unifying data in this manner enables day-to-day operational managers to make smarter, data-backed strategic and tactical decisions,” Wilkinson added.
Further, this technology and end-to-end operations approach help reduce overall spend and extend the life cycle of a construction company’s equipment, vehicles, and assets.
“By automatically unifying and analyzing specific data sets, such as upcoming routine maintenance needs, inspections, and engine diagnostic codes, connected vehicle and asset management platforms can foster smarter servicing. This approach enables companies to minimize vehicle and asset downtime, perform regular preventative maintenance, better manage costs, and eliminate potential risks on the road or at job sites,” Wilkinson said.
A Connected Construction Fleet
Wilkinson described a “connected fleet” as one that connects an organization’s back-office systems and the fleet.
“With this unification, fleet-driven organizations can see their operation as a whole and better align goals across the business. This is in stark contrast to the traditional approach to fleet management, which treated the fleet as a separate organization,” he added.
Companies taking a unified approach and using a connected vehicle and asset management platform are reaping the benefits.
“In IntelliShift’s survey, seven in 10 respondents said that process optimization has increased since they started using their platform, while 71% said they had increased their use of operational data in the past six to 12 months. Other benefits expressed by customers include improved employee productivity (55%), improved resource allocation (30%), and reduced costs (27%),” he said.
Bottom Line Benefits
IntelliShift recently published a case study with Stavola, the largest asphalt supplier in New Jersey.
“Before switching to IntelliShift, Stavola’s most basic data from their telematics vendor wasn’t reliable, and inaccurate location data and equipment lags weren’t out of the ordinary. The company needed a reliable solution to manage employees, billing, and to protect itself from false insurance claims and cost overruns,” Wilkinson said.
After researching a variety of vendors, it came down to choosing the company that would be the best partner in achieving goals.
“After a successful and seamless onboarding with IntelliShift, Stavola now has access to the full operational picture. The director of transportation, branch manager, fleet supervisors, maintenance, and payroll all have real-time visibility and the data confidence they need to manage their complicated operations successfully,” he said.
The company estimates that 440 supervisor hours are saved a year because they don’t have to stand around for two extra hours while the refueling truck hunts for the assets.
“Additionally, four hours per day previously spent on managing manual timecards and payroll have been freed up, enabling the director of transportation to focus on more impactful tasks,” Wilkinson said.