Tracking Infrastructure

Precast's Digital Response to COVID

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Oct 16, 2020 11:09:05 AM

Since early in Q2 of 2020, we have seen a dramatic growth in inquiries from large precast manufacturers who want to 'go digital' in their plants. They all have their own specific needs, of course, but the acceleration of interest suggests that there is something bigger at work. Something that suggests a change in thinking or a transformation. It feels as if the industry has reached a tipping point, much the same way that the world rushed to embrace Zoom to manage through COVID.

We think it has.

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Topics: Market Insights, Productivity

Idencia Insights for the Precast Industry

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Aug 19, 2020 6:23:49 PM

We are very pleased to announce that Idencia has created a new service for the precast industry... and the best part is that it does not cost a cent!

This week we introduced Idencia Insights, a series of polls we will take from time to time on topics of interest to the precast industry. Participants can immediately see how their anonymous responses compare to others and Idencia will publish the results.

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Topics: Market Insights

Impact of COVID-19 on Producers

Posted by Jeff Pollock

May 16, 2020 2:09:48 PM

Now that things are starting to settle down and states are beginning to re-open from COVID-19 shutdowns, the question on everyone's mind is "What will happen next?". It feels like we were cruising (speeding?) along at a comfortable pace of 85 mph and slammed on the brakes to avoid a multi-car accident that came out of nowhere. We've crashed. Are we seriously injured or just severely shaken up?

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Topics: Market Insights

The Hidden Costs of Paper

Posted by Jeff Pollock

May 9, 2020 12:44:10 PM

Our discussions with concrete product manufacturers during the past month reveal that many are reassessing their workflows in response to the COVID-19 disruption. Smart managers see a break from normality as a good opportunity to rethink the old ways in order to emerge more productive.

The first cut is to find hidden costs that can be eliminated.

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Topics: Market Insights, Productivity

What's So Important About Product Data?

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Nov 9, 2019 11:30:26 AM

This past week consumer apparel company, Ralph Lauren, announced that it is going to be 'digitizing' every product it manufactures. Why would a company with such well known brands (Polo, Club Monaco, Ralph Lauren Collection) go to the bother of ensuring that every product it manufactures has a digital identity? And why should manufacturers of products used in infrastructure and commercial construction care that Ralph Lauren is doing this?

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Topics: Market Insights, Idencia Use Cases, Connected Concrete

The Technology of Modular Construction

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Jul 6, 2019 12:00:44 PM

"Modular construction's time may have finally come." This is how McKinsey & Company summarized the findings of its June 2019 report Modular construction: From projects to products, a follow-up to its 2017 report about reinventing construction to produce $1.6 trillion of productivity improvements. The possibilities include accelerated timelines (estimated 20-50%) and cost reductions of 20%. McKinsey reports that the primary factor enabling these possibilities is the application of technology. All manufacturers, modular or not, will want to understand the technology landscape in order to compete effectively. We offer a profile here.

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Topics: Market Insights, Productivity

Tackling the Cost of Inventory Counts

Posted by Jeff Pollock

May 6, 2019 3:19:22 PM

We have heard (separately) from two precast manufacturers that it costs $25,000 to conduct an inventory count. If there is one process that immediately justifies automated data collection, this is it.  While the cost naturally depends on the size of the yard... they both have yards of about 40 acres... automating inventory counts for yards of any size will produce obvious savings. RFID tracking is the solution to this and, with a few kinks to work out, there are a few ways that this will happen.

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Topics: Market Insights, Idencia Use Cases, Productivity

Precast Show 2019 Takes: Productivity

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Mar 10, 2019 2:39:44 PM

 

With The Precast Show 2019 in the books, we've taken stock of our conversations with producers and distilled what we've learned into a list of top-of-mind issues for the precast industry. We will present them in two posts separated categorically into the broad topics of productivity and technology. Today we will start with productivity challenges we observed in our conversations.

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Topics: Market Insights, Productivity

The Reinvention of Construction Manufacturing

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Feb 22, 2019 12:37:14 PM

 

In its 2017 report, Reinventing Construction: A Route to Higher Productivity, the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that inefficiency costs the global construction industry over $1.6 trillion per year, primarily as a result of industry fragmentation. Diving a bit deeper, MGI further estimates that collaboration issues, supply chain management inefficiencies and lack of technology adoption combine to create about one-third of this inefficiency... about $500 billion dollars annually. These factors suggest that a reinvention of the construction supply chain will make a large impact on improving productivity.

This is the third post of a 3-part series that discusses how technology will affect the infrastructure product manufacturing industry. In the first we discussed why the construction industry will embrace the Internet-of-Things. In the second we presented the role that smart infrastructure products will play in the future of civil projects. In this we provide our vision for how technology will enable the industry to reinvent itself as new, more efficient competitors enter the market.

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Topics: Smart Infrastructure, Market Insights, Connected Concrete

Delivering Smart Infrastructure

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Feb 16, 2019 5:32:16 PM

 

The movement toward 'smart cities' has developed momentum in the past few years as forward-looking city planners recognize that connected devices can provide value and create efficiency that was not possible previously. This will quickly become a driver for the construction of 'smart infrastructure' that collects the data. Of course, it will not only be cities that become 'smart'; states, regions and nations will all need smart infrastructure in order to take full advantage of the potential of connected devices... the Internet of Things (IoT).

This is the second of a 3-part series that discusses how the evolution of technology will affect the infrastructure product manufacturing industry. In the first post we discussed why the construction industry will embrace IoT. In this we discuss the role that smart infrastructure products will play in the future of infrastructure. In the third, we provide our vision for how technology will enable the reinvention of construction manufacturing in response to new, vertically integrated mega-firms.

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Topics: Smart Infrastructure, Market Insights, Connected Concrete

About this blog

Tracking Infrastructure is a blog about innovation in the manufacture, construction and management of infrastructure.

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