Welcome to the first issue of the Site Technology blog. I’m Johan Smet, Director of Marketing for Trimble’s Heavy and Highway Construction group.
Trimble is sponsoring this blog to help guide you through the world of construction site technologies and how they can help your business. I know there has been plenty written already about all the productivity gains and competitive advantages you get with machine control technology. But, as Rod Sutton pointed out in his recent Big Iron blog, machine control penetration is only about 10 to 20 percent. I believe that is reasonably accurate, depending on machine type.
So, if this stuff is so good, why isn’t everyone using it? What’s the hold up? Of course, the economy certainly isn’t helping. For some, the cost of the technology may look pretty high, even if it offers a great return on investment. Maybe this new stuff is over people’s heads. Maybe many think it’s all still a bit experimental. Or could it just be fear of change?
I think it is probably all those things. And I believe that’s a normal evolution of an industry. If you look at early computer technology for example, the evaluation and adoption patterns were similar. The “early adopter” companies became champions and shaped the whole industry. Other companies bought in at different stages once the technology was better developed ... and cheaper.
And, ultimately, every company was using it (because the one’s that didn’t weren’t around any more). But the ones that got in early became the most competitive and reaped the earliest gains.
So what’s the hurry? Well, the fact is that in machine control, the early adopters are well on their way and are fully enjoying the impressive competitive advantages the technology gives them. And now they are integrating next generation technologies for site positioning, connectivity and reporting ... which will give them even greater advantages.
If you haven’t already, it is definitely time for you to start the process. The solutions are well developed. The technology is getting cheaper. And the industry is getting more and more competitive. Talk to a technology dealer soon... and get on-board.
You can read many stories about why and how customers made the decision to implement technology, and what their experience has been.
Johan Smet is Director of Marketing for Trimble’s Heavy and Highway Division. He joined Trimble in 2004 and has held roles in both finance and marketing. Johan holds an Engineering degree from the University of Antwerp, Belgium, and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.