As the virus’ impact on the Australian engineering and construction industry becomes more and more apparent, we’re seeing just how widespread the impact will be financially, on our materials, supply chain and projects, all of which tie back to our most valuable asset: people. 

One of the first implications of COVID-19 has been the urgent need to re-think how our workforce is deployed and can remain productive in the field under the latest social distancing measures, which has now been implemented on a global scale.

Fortunately, thanks to recent IIoT and digital transformation trends, businesses can and will be able to adapt to these rapidly developing challenges with greater efficiency than they would have been ten years ago. 

Remote access and visibility

For example, solutions like Hexagon’s Xalt can play a critical role for businesses who find themselves forced to revise labour schedules and maintain strict control over the management of their workforce. 

With native apps for iOS, Android and browser, Xalt provides organisations with remote, real-time access to field operations from a mobile device. It also digitally transforms tasks like ordering materials for various locations, time planning of workers and budgets, asset management and tracking as well as audits and inspection checklists. 

Xalt also makes data available to every section of the organisation – from offices to remote job sites – regardless of location. Detailed reports can be produced and made available for your foreman, superintendents, project managers, finance team and so on, all via mobility. 

Enhanced visibility not only allows an organisation to better protect its workers in the field but also ensures project productivity is not lost in the process. 

Construction Worker Planning Contractor Developer Concept

Construction Worker Planning Contractor Developer Concept

Enhanced project performance tracking

Without a doubt, the ability to track project performance will prove essential when it comes to reporting on exactly where and to what extent this pandemic has impacted output and costs – particularly for contractors reporting to and/or looking to recover entitlements from the principal.

With Xalt, safety issues and requirements can be recorded throughout the day, preserving a historical record of each event, whether incidental or preventative. This improves time spent on planning and promotes optimal scheduling for future jobs. 

Documenting this information on a mobile platform for easy access is particularly advantageous for companies forced to increase the number of shifts and turnover of smaller teams under the new conditions. 

It ensures data is readily available without the need for physical in-person shift handovers or debriefs. Most importantly, it eliminates unnecessary contact between workers. 

Should specialist workers be affected personally by COVID-19 and are unable to perform their duties, the accessible and up-to-date records will empower and enable replacement workers to take over quickly and with minimal risk.

Uninterrupted information flow

Xalt also allows for remote management of material requisition and the supply-chain. With access to the Xalt requisition dashboard, there is no mistaking the status and forecast of each requisition request. The flow of information between departments remains clear and concise, and accurate historical records are preserved. 

At a time when saving cost is more important than ever, this lean construction practice reduces delays and errors, eliminates over-purchasing and error-related restocking fees, as well as promotes schedule adherence.

It’s likely that every business will feel the impact of COVID-19, but it’s clear that those who realize the importance of digital transformation will be best positioned to survive this new reality and emerge with an operational resilience that will set them apart from the competition. 

This partner content is brought to you by Hexagon. To find out how you can leverage mobility in your business, visit https://connect.hexagonppm.com/connectedworker-inframag 

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