What is IoT and what's in it for your construction business

What if your employees are always aware of dangerous situations at the construction site, you keep track of planned and preventative maintenance for your machines or buildings, always have the right materials available? What if your staff could work more efficiently saving you time and admin costs? Does it sound too good to be true? All this is already possible today by applying the Internet of Things.

What is the Internet of Things?

Internet of Things (IoT) is the driver of technological developments in the construction industry in the recent years. It refers to machines and devices that communicate with each other via networks. Everything that produces data is registered. Sensors send data via signals to the end-to-end software of the company; an ERP system. The data is then converted into an action. For example, a sensor in a machine sends data about the status of the machine to the ERP system. When the sensor registers that the machine is no longer in good condition, a notification is made in the ERP system that maintenance is required. This way, the machine can be repaired before the machine actually breaks down. With this predictive data, you can respond immediately and anticipate developments in your construction, civil engineering or installation company anytime and anywhere, so that you can keep a grip on your company.

The installation sector is already seeing a rapid development of IoT, such as the well-known smart thermostat or the doorbell with camera. But the Internet of Things is also on the rise in construction. The term “smart construction site” is getting more and more popular. A smart construction site is a place where people work smarter and differently. A lot of key metrics are collected by using sensors and networks. This data offers your company and all chain partners insights to work more efficiently, to develop new methods or to innovate products.

Would you like to know more about how the Internet of Things shapes the future of construction? Read the blog: applications of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the construction world.

The 4 advantages of the Internet of Things

• Current and predictive data

IoT refers to sensors that register and send data. With a link between the sensors and your software, you always have real-time data. For example, sensors in machines and equipment measure location, status and quantities. This means that you are always aware of your equipment. You can always request up-to-date information by scanning chips on your material. If something then changes, you are immediately informed. This data not only provides up-to-date information, but also predicts when, for example, (preventive) maintenance must take place. Furthermore, the registered data also ensures that you can observe other developments and that you will never be faced with surprises in the future.

  • To work more efficiently

Because you have up-to-date and predictive information, you can work much more efficiently, which can save costs. Thanks to the sensors, you know where your materials and machines are located, which prevents unnecessary transport or a shortage of supplies at the construction site or maintenance site, for example.

  • Improve relationships with clients

When working with multiple clients, it is important to have a good and efficient working relationship with each other. The application of IoT can help with this and further enhance the collaboration process. For example, sensors in buildings can measure when maintenance is required and you can perform this on time keeping housing associations happy. Or you stay on top of the project developers’ requirements with fast and efficient construction and installation processes by applying the Internet of Things.

  •  Occupational safety

Finally, IoT can play an important role in safety at the construction site. Thanks to IoT, it is possible to have a real-time visibility on who is working where. In addition, sensors in clothing and helmets can take measurements and warn employees of dangerous situations, such as exposure to hazardous substances or loud noise.

What can the Internet of Things mean for your company? We have listed the answers to the most frequently asked questions and have created a step-by-step plan to help you on your way to using IoT. Read the whitepaper:’Internet of Things in Construction – 5 Frequently Asked Questions.

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About the Author

Paul Broderick | Paul has developed a keen eye for seeing specific customer requirements and recommending solutions to deliver business benefits and returns-on-investment. In the last three years Paul has focused this experience and knowledge specifically on the Construction industry, where digitisation is now the hot topic in IT, which has evolved and matured to become most relevant in today’s construction industry.

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