Adding Functions for Property Management

The paper and pencil approach to everyday business function is going the way of…well, of paper and pencils. Software, on computers or in the cloud, is taking over those chores and with the near ubiquitous connectivity present today, keeping multiple levels of the organization aware of each and every transaction is common.

Expansion in the Clouds

As more software companies move to SaaS (software-as-a-service) utilizing a cloud platform, construction companies are seeking ways to use those services to their best advantage. That’s not only true in the U.S., but across the globe and aggressive companies see opportunities in foreign markets. One such company is Texas-based ECI Software Solutions.

In October this past year, it purchased Merchant Systems Group Limited, the U.K.-based developer of the eCommonSense platform, an eCommerce and product data management solution specifically designed for lumber and building materials, hardware/home center, and related home supply dealers. Designed by a tradesman specifically for the building materials supply sector, eCommonSense integrates with the most common business management systems so that building suppliers can improve efficiency, grow profitably, and increase customer satisfaction. eCommonSense will join ECI’s LBM and Hardlines group, which will leverage eCommonSense as both an integration to its cloud-based ERP solutions as well as a standalone global eCommerce solution.


Digital Twin Builds Our Sustainable Infrastructure

Today, infrastructure construction and operations account for approximately 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions—in some cases more, depending on how you define infrastructure. The bottomline is we have now less than 10 years to transform our world and achieve the sustainable development goals we set to accomplish by 2030.

2022 Resolution: Focus on the Construction Worker

Welcome to 2022. Despite inflation concerns and ongoing production bottlenecks, at the end of last year builder confidence edged higher for the fourth consecutive month on strong consumer demand and limited existing inventory, according to the NAHB (National Assn. of Home Builders). We ended 2021 on a strong note. Let’s take that energy and carry it through to the New Year.

Facts of the Week

Sustainability News

Construction isn’t all building, it also includes demolition when a new structure replaces an old one. Between constructing and deconstructing, a lot of waste product is generated. In fact, the EPA estimated that 600 million tons of C&D (construction and demolition) debris were generated in the United States in 2018, the last year complete figures are available, which is more than twice the amount of generated municipal solid waste.

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Industry Market Briefs

Women in Construction

Exuding a safety-first mentality; defining project management and sustainability; influencing the use of technology; creating systems to digest data; delivering innovation; mentoring the next generation: today’s Women in Construction are agents of change.

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Featured Article

The IoT (Internet of Things) has been growing for a decade or more, encompassing technologies and becoming ubiquitous in daily life as well as in under-the-radar applications. So, what is IoT? According to the crowd-sourced Wikipedia, “IoT describes physical objects (or groups of such objects), that are embedded with sensors, processing ability, software, and other technologies, and that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the internet or other communications networks.”

Commonly, all those connected objects exchange data for a reason, even if that reason is hard to determine for those outside the inside group of IoT developers. IoT is, literally, everywhere. Equipment “talks” to computers that talk back with orders of where to go, what to do, and how fast to get it done. Autonomous vehicles and robotic equipment function because they are in communication with a central processor, monitored by sensors, and exchanging data over fast networks.

The IoT has unlimited possibilities for home and business use. Appliances from refrigerators to thermostats and networks from energy grids to assembly robots are now available in models that interact with a wireless network, making them easier to control with a computer or, at an extreme, a smartphone. Estimates suggest there will be more than 75 billion IoT devices in use by 2025. Along with this massive market adoption of IoT, though, comes security concerns that necessitate attention and action.

One year ago, words like AI (artificial intelligence), robotics, digital twin, and the IoT (Internet of Things) were nice-to-haves for the construction industry. Companies with deep pockets were able to experiment with some of the most cutting-edge innovations. Just 12 short months later, much has changed. These technologies are no longer an option—now they are must-haves.