The theme of 2023 and beyond has been all about connected construction: creating intelligent workflows across an entire project to reduce costs and minimize errors. Here’s what this looks like for construction materials testing.
In a digital construction materials testing (CMT) workflow, data automatically flows in a structured and secure format through each step. A proper digital workflow requires no human intervention after sample data is captured in the field.
This is made possible by specialized CMT software, which connects the gap between field and lab testing while integrating with the broader project technology stack. This is important because one-size-fits-all approaches can’t meet the specific needs of CMT. In fact, technology tools often underserve the workflows in lab testing. For example, technicians still have to manually verify the specimen and record or transfer the results to a separate system.
So, specialized software is required to close the gap in CMT – and so are open integration capabilities. A closed system that doesn’t enable integration with other tools greatly limits your efficiency and productivity potential. When data is siloed across roles and systems, its power to drive meaningful action is hindered. Integration capabilities enable data to flow exactly where it needs to be without further human intervention.
Here are the top benefits of digital CMT workflows powered by integration capabilities.
6 Benefits of a Digital CMT Workflow
#1. Increased Efficiency
Digital workflows create seamless and reliable internal and multi-company processes. In an industry with tight deadlines and a lot of moving parts, the more efficient your processes, the better.
In the context of construction materials testing, increased efficiently from CMT software looks like:
- Automatic specimen identification, testing and data collection
- Automatic alerts and notifications
- A digital report approval workflow
CMT software eliminates redundant administrative work and helps technicians and engineers get more done in less time – accelerating construction schedules.
#2. Increased Productivity
Increased efficiency naturally translates to increased productivity.
People can only do one task at a time. Every number entered into a spreadsheet is a non-zero number of seconds or minutes. Every non-value-added task manually completed is a value-added task that has to wait.
So, when processes are more efficient through digital workflows, construction employees are empowered to do more with the same (or fewer) resources.
#3. Increased Accuracy
A digital CMT workflow not only boosts efficiency and productivity but also reduces human error.
Even the smallest mistakes during construction materials testing can compound into bigger problems for the entire project. From preloading too much or too little, to smudging numbers, to losing paper – this can create significant noise and operational risk.
Eliminating human intervention with a digital CMT workflow improves accuracy simply by virtue of robotic precision.
“I don’t have to worry about slow testing, incorrect results, misreading cylinders or error proofing data.”
– Thor Stangebye, Principal Materials Lab Manager, Braun Intertac[READ FULL CASE STUDY]
#4. More Informed Decision Making
Construction stakeholders are calling for an increased need for rapid and more informed decision-making to meet project deadlines. This is especially prevalent in the field at the job site.
But improving decision-making requires accurate, complete, consistent and timely CMT data – which is only possible through integrated, digital CMT workflows.
Any piece of data that has to be manually exported and re-imported somewhere else to inform the next step of the construction workflow is at risk of corruption – whether mistakenly mistranslated, missed, or lost.
An integrated workflow enables business partners to automate inter-enterprise operations, capture real-time visibility, leverage leading-edge software capabilities, and share clean and accurate data that they can leverage fast in order to make more informed decisions and promote certainty of outcomes.
#5. Improved Ability to Predict & Mitigate Risk
On a similar note, having access to accurate, complete, consistent and timely data helps construction stakeholders get ahead of any issues in real-time.
Human error puts your important concrete data – and entire project – at risk. This is because bad data can lead to slower or poorer decisions, not to mention higher costs if it comes to rework.
A digital CMT workflow unlocks data so it’s highly accurate and, as a result, more usable. Project stakeholders can get real-time updates on potential problems and proactively mitigate risk.
#6. Improved ROI from Technology Investments
Finally, when all of your technology investments work together, you’re able to not only make the most of each specific tool but also improve the construction project workflow as a whole – maximizing ROI from your tech stack.
Qualitatively, the frustrations of trying to manage data as it flows in and out of multiple systems will be no more. You can spend more time and energy on continuously improving your process instead of feeling bogged down by your technology.
This pays off quantitatively, too – because you don’t have to spend as much time and money on replacing or developing tools and processes to accommodate a closed system.
About 60% of construction professionals use up to five software solutions to conduct digital workflows. Constructional materials testing is another great candidate for a digital workflow. The unique needs of CMT call for a specialized software solution, but this technology – like all technologies – can only be impactful if it’s connected to the rest of the technology stack.
When specialized applications work together as one cohesive ecosystem, powered by open integration capabilities, your operations will see these six benefits and more.