Tracking Infrastructure

The Potential of a Customer Platform

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Oct 10, 2019 8:34:00 AM

Advances in information technology over the past 30 years have created a foundation for improved manufacturing productivity that is often dubbed the Second Industrial Revolution. In the first revolution electricity was the underlying technology. But it was the application of this technology to a new manufacturing model... the assembly line... that created the productivity break-through. Today, information technology is serving as the foundation for another new model... the industry platform.

This is the second in a series of posts drawing from our vision statement for the future of infrastructure manufacturing. Today we discuss how manufacturers can provide a quantum leap in the value that they offer by using a customer-facing platform to provide seamless data sharing.

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Topics: Smart Infrastructure, Connected Concrete, Productivity

The Value of Systems Integration

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Oct 5, 2019 12:23:29 PM

 

There is a lot written about technology and the role it will play in improving the productivity of the construction process. But how will technology improve the efficiency of the construction product supply chain?

This is the first in a series of posts dedicated to this topic and it draws from our recently published vision statement entitled: "The Infrastructure Supply Chain Platform". We start with a dive into how systems integration will help manufacturers realize improved productivity from systems they already have in place.

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Topics: Connected Concrete, Productivity

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

Why Should Precast Pay Attention?

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Jun 28, 2019 5:36:40 PM

 

In our newsletter published this week, the article that received the most attention was titled 'Why Precast Should Pay Attention'. This was our title applied to an article that we circulated about a Cleveland, OH contractor's decision to offer integrated construction services. It obviously struck a chord, so we thought we would re-frame it as a question and respond with a deeper dive into how integrated construction is a threat to the precast industry.

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Topics: Idencia Use Cases, Connected Concrete, Productivity

Smart Infrastructure & Construction Productivity

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Jun 23, 2019 8:04:50 AM

 

In its 2017 report entitled Reinventing Construction: A Route to Higher Productivity, the McKinsey Global Institute revealed that the construction industry lags all other major industries in productivity. In fact, the construction industry experienced a productivity decline of almost 1.5% per year from 2005 through 2014. In this, our third in a series of blog posts drawn from our recent web report, The Promise of Smart Infrastructure, we discuss the ways in which development of smart infrastructure will induce the construction industry to become more productive.

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Topics: Smart Infrastructure, 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

What is Smart Infrastructure?

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Apr 29, 2019 3:01:18 PM

There is a lot of talk about "smart" things, infrastructure included. But what does that really mean? We have recently released a new web report entitled The Promise of Smart InfrastructureIn it we answer this question and present the opportunity that smart infrastructure provides for addressing the investment gap that exists between current spending on global infrastructure and the (much greater) need for new investment over the next 20+ years. During the next few weeks we will offer a series of blog posts presenting sections of the report.

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Topics: Smart Infrastructure, Connected Concrete, Productivity

Connected Concrete: A Data Sharing Platform

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Apr 13, 2019 1:35:46 PM

At the Smart Cities Connect conference in Denver last week there was discussion about how to make the most productive use of the enormous amounts of data that will be connected as cities implement smart city initiatives. Dell EMC's Chief Technology Officer, Rob Silverberg, said that cities should consider creating a singular data platform for collecting all data rather than  creating information silos that will ultimately need to share data. He suggested a "system of systems" strategy for creating a holistic smart transportation system rather than a series of individual initiatives... such as smart parking, smart lighting, etc.

This strategy is not unique to smart cities. With data collection and analysis becoming central to improved productivity, data centralization is critical to most industries these days. This includes the manufacturers that provide cities with their infrastructure.

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Topics: Smart Infrastructure, Connected Concrete, 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

Reduce Waste to Grow Profits

Posted by Jeff Pollock

Feb 3, 2019 3:45:43 PM

 

Late last year the National Precast Concrete Association released its 2018 Precast Industry Benchmarking Report, a report based on a survey of membership that describes the state of the industry and offers performance metrics for precast concrete manufacturers. This is a valuable resource for the industry and one we purchase every year. The 2018 report includes interesting data that we found very consistent with reports we have heard in our own discussions with precast producers. One glaring statistic jumps out as an immediate opportunity to grow profits. 

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Topics: Market Insights, Idencia Use Cases, Productivity

About this blog

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

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