Workforce Telematics: An Introduction

Posted by Guy Skillett on 1/24/17 2:15 PM
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At Rhumbix we are building a Workforce Telematics platform for the construction industry. A quick Google search suggests that there isn’t much out there to describe what Workforce Telematics is, or what it can be, so in this summary I’ll attempt to do just that.

We’ve seen developments in construction that bring telematics – where assets and resources are connected in real-time through technology and telecommunications – to the industry. Most of the focus has been on equipment telematics, where the sound functioning and operation of mechanical equipment is monitored by a range of sensors and instruments, and material telematics, where materials and assets are tracked throughout the supply chain. In both cases the condition, status, location and activity of the asset is constantly monitored and recorded.

Construction is done by people however and while it isn’t appropriate to think of the craft workforce as resources like equipment or materials, there are advantages from considering the data in similar terms.

So what does Workforce Telematics entail? At Rhumbix we are building a worker-centric platform that empowers improvements in construction productivity by gathering reliable and timely data from your construction crews in an organized and structured way.

Does this image resonate? Huge amounts of data from multiple sources, unclear communications pathways and a large number of stakeholders and needs to serve?

Workforce Telematics

By moving away from disconnected and inaccurate data, Rhumbix is driving improvements in the way firms gather, organize and leverage their information. Through this innovation we improve data analysis and communication, providing project teams with enhanced insights around what is happening on job sites.

Workforce Telematics

Our platform is evolving at a time when the internet of things(IoT), sensor enabled jobsites, building information modelling and location sensing hardware is disrupting our industry, albeit in a heterogeneous and inconsistent manner.

Individually, these technologies offer many benefits for the industry, but Workforce Telematics involves combining these together into one overarching system and deploying them consistently across a project. Here are a few of the advantages that we foresee from this approach: 

  • A connected workforce, where sensors, communication, data flows and repositories of information are interacting and interoperable, leveraging data in an organized way to ensure that the correct information is flowing to and from your crews, every day. 
  • Management systems, control tools and critical interventions are designed and built around accurate, timely field data.
  • Where decision makers are responding to leading indicators of delays, changes and disruptions, and where daily field data is leveraged by crews, supervision and management to make strategic, informed decisions.
  • Historical cost reporting that contains all of the necessary context creating a tightly coupled narrative of project performance, changes and lessons learned in support of forecasting and estimating.
  • That the variable of the location and movement of your workforce, and the associated productivity impacts, can be reliably identified and recorded.

Now imagine that such a system exists for all stakeholders on every project.

We see emerging technologies and the industry need for better data converging around this paradigm and we are surprised that Workforce Telematics remains a strange concept. At Rhumbix we are working hard to make sure that isn’t the case going forward.

Topics: Big Data & Construction, Construction Technology, Workforce Telematics

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