Throughout the United States, there are more than 10 million individuals who work in the construction industry in some capacity. Many of these workers are licensed construction or other trade contractors who work independently of a large firm or company. Being a construction or other trade contractor comes with many benefits, including the ability to set your own schedule, bring in the type of work you are most skilled at, and set prices that meet your needs. However, the growing industry has made it more challenging to remain competitive as a contractor, with more people joining the ranks of licensed professionals each year.

Technology has the potential to level the playing field for construction and other trade contractors new and experienced. With the help of the right digital tools and processes, construction and other trade contractors can take their business in the most profitable direction without sacrificing quality of work or relationships with customers. Here are several ways current technology trends in construction are helping contractors stand out among their competitors while increasing efficiencies across the board.

Insightful Analytics and Projections

Some of the crucial aspects of being a successful construction or other trade contractor boils down to performing work on each job site in the most efficient, cost-conscious way. Technology advancements have made this far easier for contractors, whether working on residential or commercial projects. A handful of software solutions designed specifically for the construction industry allows contractors to gather valuable data about their businesses and their customers. With this data, the technology behind the software provides analytical information about a variety of concerns, including how to create more efficiencies, more revenue, or eliminating wasted material or labor costs.

Some of these technological enhancements also give construction and other trade contractors a way to project the success rate of future projects. With this data, contractors have a better understanding of how their business should run on a day to day or even year to year basis. This investment can be a game changer for construction and other trade contractors who recognize the importance of data in doing business.

Training and Education Advancements

The digital world has also delivered help in the realm of training and education for construction and other trade contractors. While many individuals in the field get their skills and knowledge from hands-on experiences, there is something to be said about honing in on the craft through supplemental courses and classes. Technology has made it easier to keep up to date with best practices in the industry, learn new skills that can be used in today’s construction environment, and understand how digital tools can be used to improve efficiencies on the job. Training and education for construction and other trade contractors are available through a variety of online schools, most which can be done from the comfort of your home or office.

Safety Enhancements

Despite the improvements in the construction industry over the last several years, contractors still face several risks when on the job. However, technology now provides new and innovative ways to reduce risks on each project. Some technology firms are focused on creating autonomous machines to take over mundane but hazardous jobs, like removing unused materials or lifting heavy objects into place. Similarly, drones are being used on some project sites to help identify hazards before they pose a threat to contractors or suppliers.

There are also enhancements in safety gear, using wearable technology to give contractors a safer environment in which to work. Each of these safety innovations in construction help reduce the potential for injuries and accidents. They also allow contractors to ultimately bring down costs of claims against contractor bonds, as they are able to focus on the job at hand instead of ongoing safety concerns.

Business and Budget Management

Finally, technology allows construction and other trade contractors an opportunity to manage their businesses more effectively, from accounting and bookkeeping to securing the right surety bond. Companies are starting to infuse technological advancements into the solutions they provide which makes it easier to keep up to date with the requirements of operating a successful business.

Contractors can manage personnel, payroll, and bookkeeping through an easy-to-use software program, either on their mobile device or the computer. Options also exist for developing and updating cost projects, as well as material and inventory management. Each of these components may be integrated with other systems to help contractors work more efficiently in a highly competitive environment.

The construction industry as a whole has not been quick to jump on the technology bandwagon, but contractors who want to stay ahead of their competition need to recognize what opportunities exist in the digital world. Using one or more of these tech-driven tools and systems can make a significant difference in the success of a construction or other trade contractor business over time.