HCSS, a leading provider of innovative software that helps heavy civil businesses streamline their operations, offers insights about the future of construction from its customers, who are leaders in the construction market. This is a summary of what one executive shared when answering questions about automation, the future of supply chain and electronic material ordering, the environmental impact of the industry, and the current labor situation. More details on additional interviews with other executives can be found at www.hcss.com under The Future of Construction.
MEET LINDA PAWLAK
Linda Pawlak is the vice president of strategic improvement for the Walbec Group, a family of companies including Payne and Dolan, Northeast Asphalt, Zenith Tech, Parisi Construction, Premier Concrete, and Construction Resources Management. Together, they produce high quality construction materials and deliver unparalleled design, engineering, and construction services. Here’s Pawlak’s take on the top construction trends and how she thinks they’ll impact the industry.
HCSS: How will automated equipment change the industry in your view?
PAWLAK: Having automated equipment allows us to react faster to changing conditions. We can manage construction projects more rapidly and with information, which enables us to make more informed decisions that don’t rely on humans to collect the data, analyze the data, and discuss the data. It enhances the speed and accuracy of decision making..
HCSS: What would be the impact of automated payments?
PAWLAK: If technology can help us reduce the manual inspection and exchange of quantities and work output that’s done in the field and speed up both the collection and the agreement of those quantities, it can revolutionize the way we can can exchange information, the quality of that information, and the iterative processes in place today for each customer. Contractors can each have their own set of data and then compare it and validate it to pay faster and easier.
HCSS: What is the future of supply chain and electronic material ordering?
PAWLAK: Construction is riddled right now with phone calls and messages. The faster we get information, the more efficiently our customers can request orders and materials, and the better off we all can plan. Customers can plan for their work and we can balance our workloads. It revolutionizes its speed, improving the ability on both sides to be accurate, efficient, and productive.
HCSS: What does the industry need to do to engage employees more?
PAWLAK: Walbec exists to help people reach their destinations. That goes for our customers, our team members, our neighbors, everyone. Competing within the industry for talent is one thing, right? Be the best. Be the best contractor. Be the best in the industry. That’s one thing. But right now, we are competing with other industries for the very same skill set, for the best of the best. In order to do that, we need to provide the same opportunities that other industries do. We need to be able to stand up against not just other companies in the industry, but industry to industry. In an industry where we all work disconnected because of the geography differences, technology can still provide that continuity, that sense of belonging to something bigger than the sum of its parts. We are finding more and more innovative ways to do that. COVID gave us the push we needed to embrace that, and to find ways to make connections and develop and grow team members remotely, despite geography.
HCSS: What impact do you expect environmental practices to have on the industry?
PAWLAK: Implementing environmentally friendly practices are part of our overall mission. We’ve always strived to be as green as we can, and society expects it now. Thankfully, we have always been environmentally minded. We have a group of people who are solely dedicated to being sustainable for our neighbors, our team members, and for the world. We are continuously researching ways to improve our ability to leave a smaller footprint, use less energy, and be more sustainable overall. We can do that through cooler temperatures for asphalt paving, reclamation, or emissions, and being a good neighbor to the communities where we live and work in.
Like the rest of the world, the pace isn’t going to slow down. It’s great to be able to embrace it. We can use technology to do that, to listen to our team members, and find better ways to keep everyone engaged. And, for this, we are better. The sum of our parts is way better and it’s what makes us a better organization.
For More Information:
HCSS is the trusted leader in construction software for estimating, field entry, project management, safety, digital plans, fleet management, and telematics. For 35 years, the company has used annual user group meetings to listen to customers resulting in innovative software to manage every part of the project lifecycle. For more, visit www.hcss.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, October 2022
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