7 min read

How Construction Data Can Help You Make The Most Of 2022

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If you’ve been on the fence about adding digital technology to notch up the way you run your construction business and construction projects, this is the year to hop off and choose a side. The right trucking logistics solution can provide you with the construction data you need to get the most out of 2022. You’ll significantly improve your efficiency, enhance productivity and minimize risk.

Maybe you’re planning to take on more construction projects that will become available because of the recently passed infrastructure bill. Or you simply want to gain visibility into your operations and give yourself an edge on the competition. Whatever the reason, the big data the construction industry can get from a logistics platform can be a game changer. 

Big data is what it sounds like. It’s simply the aggregation of huge amounts of information collected from different sources. After the information is analyzed, it can provide you with details about patterns and trends that would otherwise be hard to detect. 

Although it’s not impossible to gather big construction data without the help of technology, it would be extremely difficult and unrealistic because of the time and manpower required. Sensors, tracking devices and computers manage to do the job very well at warp speeds. (Trux Manage customers appreciate the ease of being able to use smartphones and an app to collect their data.)

Construction data provides you with insights based on reliable, accurate information for better decision making (not to mention it can give you a competitive advantage!). It can help the construction industry identify problem areas that reduce efficiency and ultimately impact profit margins. And because it’s collected and stored digitally, you’ll drastically reduce your reliance on manual processes which are time-consuming and prone to human error.

Specifically, here are five ways you can leverage construction data in 2022 and beyond:

 

1.) Determine Delivery Cycle Times For Improved Efficiency

 

Simply recognizing that there were delays during a delivery isn’t all that helpful. Unless someone involved in the job witnessed something out of the ordinary and reports it, all you can do is either take a guess at the cause or chalk the delay up to business as usual. 

Without construction data (or expert knowledge about the specific situation), you really can’t know for certain whether the delay happened during pick up, en route, at the jobsite, or any combination of those points. It’s critical to pinpoint where and why slowdowns occur so you can take the appropriate action to keep your construction project on time and prevent them in the future. Or better yet, make adjustments in real-time to get back on schedule.

A digital logistics platform like Trux Manage can give you the information you need to do both. By using GPS tracking and geofences, the solution tracks six points where dump trucks typically experience variability, providing you with an actionable cycle-time analysis:

  • Punch-in for pick up of the first load

  • Plant arrival 

  • Plant departure

  • Site arrival

  • Site departure

  • Punch-out as delivery is completed

Material producers, contractors and fleet managers alike can benefit from taking the guesswork out of trying to identify where the problems lurk.

 

Use cycle-time analysis to:

  • Zero in on bottlenecks even before they become a problem

  • Determine if your  plants are "over-trucked or under-trucked"

  • Make adjustments for dispatch and scheduling efficiency 

  • Identify your high-performing plants, job sites and truckers to create best practices

  • Schedule smarter

Cycle-time reporting is a valuable tool for optimizing your logistics and operations, streamlining the delivery process for enhanced productivity and efficiency. For a more in-depth discussion about how construction data impacts construction industry plant optimization, check out this article.

 

2.) Reduce Time and Errors by Cutting Out Paper-based Processes

 

Did you know that 30% of your back office team’s time is spent processing the paperwork related to hauling? 

In a typical construction sector back office, the workflow looks something like this: the back office team sorts and batches tickets at the end of the day. Then--much too often--someone discovers that a load slip is missing or the information on the ticket is illegible, so there’s time spent searching for the lost ticket or confirming information because without that information, they can’t invoice the customer. 

Next, the details are manually entered into an accounting system to create invoices that then have to be sent out. Add in the time for handling timesheets and payments and you begin to see how clunky paper processes can be.

The back office isn’t the only team that experiences inefficiency from a dependency on paper processes. Haulers waste time and energy having to keep up with paper loads slips. And at the jobsite teams can’t get ready for delivery ahead of time because they don’t have access to helpful information.

When you have trucking logistics software in place, the necessary construction data is gathered in real-time and stored in the cloud for any time, anywhere access. All the data input is automatically taken care of by the solution itself, eliminating errors and wasted time and effort spent on repetitive manual tasks. 

Workflows for all stakeholders are improved by replacing inefficient paper processes with efficient paperless solutions:

  • Digital schedule creation and dispatch
  • Precise driver punch-in and punch-out
  • Real-time GPS verified hauler location and route information
  • Digital tickets uploaded throughout the day
  • Automatic and consolidated hauler invoice generation

Your back-office gets instant access to accurate data to bill your customers and pay haulers. And your field teams get the same kind of immediate access to the info they need to prepare for a delivery and manage the jobsite like a well-oiled machine.

 

3.) Track Your Dump Trucks in Real-time for Greater Visibility

 

Imagine being able to quickly reroute haulers when something comes up that would cause a delay. Or having the power to prevent bottlenecks and deadhead trips. 

These everyday occurrences negatively impact both efficiency and productivity. The construction data you get with a logistics solution gives you the visibility you need to overcome these obstacles to streamlined operations and wider profit margins.

Because your dispatcher gets a big picture view of all trucks--both company-owned and third-party haulers--through real-time GPS tracking, they can immediately reroute when things get off course to keep projects on track. When change orders come through, instead of a flurry of calling and texting drivers to find out their locations, your dispatcher can confidently adjust on the fly. 

The digital scheduling and dispatching features of Trux make it easy for your dispatcher to prevent bottlenecks by staggering arrival times. And as a hauler is completing a job, before they even start to head back, dispatchers can send a reassignment which can greatly reduce the number of deadhead trips you rack up.

Many trucking logistics platforms, including Trux, use smartphones for tracking. That way you don’t have to worry about the expense of adding devices to all your dump trucks or the hassle of trying to make a few tracking devices work for an entire fleet.

 

4.) Replace Paper Tickets with Digital Load Slips for Compliance, Accuracy and Savings

 

The trend is moving quickly toward the use of digital load slips as standard operating procedure. The switch is growing in popularity for a number of reasons. For starters, over 30% of states have already invested in the technology and policy-making to require contactless or electronic versions of tickets to be in compliance with DOT projects. It’s expected that more states will follow suit in the near future. 

But the benefits of paperless tickets go far beyond positioning yourself to be able to bid on DOT projects. Digital load slips offer these advantages for both large and small businesses:

 

Increased efficiency

 

No more wasted time from the driver having to get in and out of the truck and exchange tickets back and forth.

 

Fewer errors and fraud

 

The construction data on the digital load slip is accurate and captured in real-time.

 

Lowered costs

 

The few minutes saved at each point where a ticket would have changed hands adds up. But there’s even more savings by eliminating the need for the back office to sort and batch tickets.

 

Reduced risk

 

Keeping drivers in their trucks protects them from injury and is a best practice for social distancing.

 

Contractors who want to stay ahead of the competition and avoid scrambling at the last minute to be in compliance with state DOTs are already realizing the value of digital load slips.

 

5.) Deliver Better Customer Service with Every Load

 

Delivery Tracker

Think about the last time you ordered something. Whether it was a pizza or a gift, you probably appreciated being able to check on the delivery status simply by checking an app. That’s exactly how your customers feel when you’re able to give them timely updates and accurate ETAs. 

With Trux your customers get the information they need without ever having to contact you. As soon as their order is entered into the system, they’ll receive order confirmation and real-time updates as to the order’s progress and completion.

This elevation of the customer experience is an effective way to distinguish yourself from the competition and leave a lasting good impression on your customers. They’ll remember and return to you time and time again.

 

Conclusion: Let Trux Show You How to Leverage Construction Data

 

The construction sector historically hasn’t been known for adopting technology solutions right out of the gate. But the benefits of leveraging construction data are clear. Right now is a great time to take our 5-minute assessment to see for yourself whether a logistics and dispatching solution would be a good fit for your business. 

You still have time to explore your options and decide which solution and which provider is the best fit for you and your business before the busy season gets underway – 71% of Trux users indicate that it took less than one month to start seeing results from our solutions! 

 

Is a dispatching & logistics solution right for you?