Technology has grown to largely dictate our careers and personal lives in these modern days. Yet, as technology continues to improve exponentially, most companies find it challenging to keep up. Specifically, the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry has one of the slowest adoption rates to technology.
SeamonWhiteside has chosen Landon Messal to grow its innovative potential. Landon, the Director of Digital Innovation at SeamonWhiteside, shares five ways SW+ has incorporated innovation to keep up.
5 Ways to Improve Your Tech
1. Thinking outside the box. SeamonWhiteside refuses to confine itself to the standard or expected industry software. While there are hundreds of software options available in the market, SeamonWhiteside’s strength in digital innovation has allowed the firm to develop software solutions when the available options are not sufficient. As an example, the firm is currently developing an application to aid the documentation of land development construction activities, an idea stemming from a company-wide collaborative effort.
2. Accept automation. You don’t have to be what you do. In other words, just because you’ve spent many days hand grading neighborhoods doesn’t mean you have to for the remainder of your career. Over the next decade firms in the AEC industry will seek to increase efficiency and answer real problems with automation and an open mind. SeamonWhiteside’s latest venture on the digital innovation front does just that. The Lot Grading Tools app is a new software for single-family residential lot grading, developed within the Innovation Department. An idea born out of a simple conversation between two employees resulted in automating a naturally redundant process, allowing the team to focus on critical path items to deliver their work on time and under budget.
3. Simple twists make a big impact. Digital innovation can be found in the mundane. With the advent of computers came the single monitor, and advancements in graphics cards quickly led us to the industry standard of two or three monitors. Historically, innovation in monitors was spurred to accommodate the gaming industry which needs long and wide monitors to simulate a field of vision for exploring 3D worlds without the bezel of the second monitor. Rather than working on two monitors, like most companies, SeamonWhiteside took a simple idea, often not considered, and is implementing 2×3 monitors that more closely represent the 24”x36” Construction Documents they work in every day. Simply changing the size and shape of the monitor has seen palpable increases in efficiency across a multitude of daily tasks.
4. Implement innovation into your DNA. The confounding number of software options can make it difficult for companies to keep up. SeamonWhiteside’s answer to this challenge was introducing a new internal role, the Director of Digital Innovation, to help lead SeamonWhiteside and other AEC firms into the digital future. SeamonWhiteside – a cornerstone of Engineering and Land Planning in their communities – recognizes the complexity of the AEC industry’s problems, and that as industry experts, SeamonWhiteside is well suited to solve these problems and deliver solutions to their employees, clients, and industry partners.
5. Chasing Data. AEC firms across the industry have used the same software, the same way, simply because they were told it was the only option. The data contained in these legacy programs are essential to firms that want to focus on instilling innovation into their business. SeamonWhiteside understands the importance of harvesting, storing, and analyzing this data, as a result, they have chosen to depart from the “typical industry options” and implement best-of-breed Finance, HR and CRM software, in addition to developing their own software. As a result, they will be able to connect their systems to create cross-platform alignment enabling them to make quicker, more informed decisions resulting in the ability to recognize where innovation should be focused in order to develop alternative solutions.