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No industry is exempt from digital transformation – all are realizing competitive advantages and businesses efficiencies from incorporating AI, IoT and automation. From retail, which is now offering VR solutions for customers to try on clothing before they come to the store, to supply chain and logistics companies that are now able to track (in real time) their products being shipped from the warehouse all the way through to the actual delivery. The construction/industrial industry is another that’s already implementing new technology and seeing massive changes in improving amounts of downtime, project price overruns and monitoring operating performance. 

Many big players in the construction industry are already highly-invested in machine intelligence or learning with AI, to provide real-time diagnostics on equipment. They fit construction equipment with telematics sensors and are better able to monitor equipment performance, manage fuel costs and provide preventative maintenance. 

The crane accident in Lower Manhattan on February 5, 2016 resulted in one death and several injuries, which led to a civil lawsuit ($30 million dollars) as well as an increase in city enforcements on safety compliance by $10,000 and numerous costs including worker’s comp, downtime and more. Some think this could have been avoided by implementing telematics, as the company would have been notified immediately of the temperature drop and danger to the equipment due to high-winds. According to ITIC, an independent research firm, there have been several reports on unexpected downtimes and the resulting costs for various industries. In fact, the average amount of cost/loss per hour is $100,000 and just one single hour of downtime is costing businesses by 25-35 percent year over year. 

Caterpillar is a great example of a company that is making moves to leverage machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and telematics sensors that offer customers a new spin on cutting business costs and improving efficiencies. The CatLink™ product offering allows site managers and construction workers to work from one dashboard that provides them with valuable insight into key elements of keeping a job on track. Within the product suite is ProductLink™ and VisionLink™, where each one addresses a different need, from collecting data to providing insights and recommendations. All of the benefits focus on giving users a look at asset utilization, hours, maintenance, geofencing, safety, equipment protection, payloads, fuel and more.

The bottom line is that the construction and plant industries aren’t exempt from implementing new technologies to provide better efficiencies, save money and gain valuable insights to further improve efforts. There are easy ways to begin the process by getting equipment outfitted with telematics sensors and opting in to use a platform or service that provides visibility into real-time data, which can prevent downtime and project loss. The industry is quickly moving to be a completely mobile-first world, so companies need to address connectivity challenges to ensure they have the right tools available to them when it comes to telematics and gathering data and insights to work at optimal levels.
Seven benefits of implementing telematics include:

1. visibility into overall jobs, including remote time and attendance and work time;
2. measures valuable equipment information, such as engine hours of use and diagnostics from the equipment;
3. having visibility into who is driving a vehicle which leads to better planning and allocation of resources;
4. ensures a clear and concise view of inventory that is accessible and used for jobs through asset scanning; and
5. automation of safety forms and inspections;
6. electronically collect time, tools and equipment used; and
7. enforce driver safety with visibility into equipment use.

IoT and telematics are having a dramatic impact on industries like construction, especially where legacy systems aren’t easy – or cheap – to replace. There are a plethora of solutions, but think about the factors that are most important to the business and prioritize them to find the right telematics solution to fit company needs.

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