Tech Trends Adopted by Contractors in Response to COVID-19
Technology to Keep Your Contractor Business Moving During a Pandemic
When COVID-19 emerged, contractors very quickly had to pivot and adapt how they did business to find new ways to order materials, generate leads and complete projects. This adoption of new technology was essential to business’ survival. Here are some of the solutions they embraced and will continue to use as they work safely during this era of COVID-19:
1. Digital Health Surveys, Safety Apps & Confirming COVID-19 Compliance
Now that working together in person can carry health risks, businesses need to consider the safety of their employees. The CDC recommends a number of ways to do this, including health and symptom screening either in person or digitally and with no-touch thermometers to check for fevers. Digital health screening surveys are the most private and contactless method, and the CDC provides a list of symptoms and questions for businesses to ask employees.
Safety apps, including the OSHA-NIOSH Heat Safety Tool App, were already popular before COVID-19. Now, some apps (like Sentri360) can alert construction managers in real time about potential hazards presented by COVID-19, like breaching the six-foot radius between crew members or someone removing their mask for an extended period of time.
Updated and intelligent cameras like EarthCam’s GigapixelCam X2 also increase sensitivity and capacity for intelligent jobsite monitoring and alerts for managers to track all safety activity, including COVID-19 precautions.
Keeping track of employees’ compliance with COVID-19 safety measures keeps your entire business accountable and allows you to stay ahead of any potential crises in the case of an employee becoming sick.
2. Aerial Surveying & Measurement Tools
Drones were already an up-and-coming tech tool in the construction industry, but their adoption was accelerated during the pandemic because of their contactless abilities. Contractors have been able to limit contact with customers by using drones for contactless inspections – images are taken from the drone, shared through a link and then reviewed via video conference. Programs like EagleView that integrate with ABC Connect even allow you to take an aerial measurement of a home, create an estimate and calculate material costs in seconds, all done remotely. Learn more about how to estimate and create bids remotely here.
3. Video Conferencing
Like most industries, contractors had to quickly find a video conferencing platform that worked best for them. Relationships are extremely important in the construction industry, and video conferencing provides a way for contractors to still form connections, build trust and keep homeowners informed. It also provides that face-to-face time between employees that is crucial for communicating clearly and maintaining connections. With a job that’s always been performed best in person, video conferencing brings us back together and makes sure everyone is on the same page, even if they’re not in the same room or out on a jobsite.
4. Online Ordering and Payment
As our team and contractors shifted to working remotely or while social distancing, easy online ordering, delivery tracking and communication became essential to continue moving business forward. That’s why programs like myABCsupply, where contractors can order materials and track deliveries, became even more valuable and necessary.
The payment process also became immediately difficult for some contractors who were used to paying with physical checks and other methods for a long time. Easy switches to new forms of online payment were necessary, like paying invoices through myABCsupply. Adjusting the payment process to be online makes an important part of your business easier for you and your team.
As contractor businesses move forward through the era of COVID-19, and as even newer tech emerges, they’ll continue becoming more digitally connected. And as more of your business’s information moves to online and digital formats, it becomes increasingly important for you to protect that data. Read more advice from a cybersecurity expert on how to protect your construction data.
Learn about other construction tech trends that continue to be relevant today on ABC Supply’s blog.