Better Utilization Fuels Tech Spend: Survey

Jan. 29, 2020

Optimizing construction equipment utilization surfaced as a key reason for investment in scheduling and dispatching software according to a survey of contractors conducted by Fishnet Media for B2W Software.

Respondents listed the opportunity to standardize communication across the office, shop and field as the leading driver for investing in new technology for scheduling and dispatching. Shared visibility of resources in real time (56 percent), a push to adopt more technology company wide (52 percent), and optimizing heavy equipment utilization (40 percent) were also among the top reasons for investment.

More than 200 contractors from throughout North America participating in the survey confirmed the dynamic nature of the construction scheduling workflow and the significant financial risks and rewards associated with getting people, equipment, and materials to the right place at the right time. More than 40 percent said scheduling and dispatching problems impact project timelines and budgets on a daily basis.

When asked to choose processes that could be measurably improved using a different approach to scheduling and dispatching, 32 percent of respondents indicated “equipment moves to/from sites.” When asked who benefits from scheduling software, 12 percent of respondents said shop and equipment managers, and 6 percent said equipment operators. The most to gain, according to the survey, was project managers, with 71 percent responding, followed by foremen and supervisors, with 60 percent.

In this promotional video, B2W highlights Lancaster Development as a testimonial.

Real-time visibility across various roles emerged as an important goal in the survey, but older, offline tools remain prevalent. Nearly 75 percent of contractors indicated that spreadsheets, whiteboards or paper were their primary tool for managing resource scheduling and dispatching. For 91 percent of those surveyed, phone calls, emails or text messages were the main method of communicating changes in the schedule.

“According to the survey, contractors recognize the efficiency and cost-saving advantages of having people across their organizations see the schedule—including continuous updates—in real time,” said Paul McKeon, CEO and founder of B2W Software, in a prepared statement. “Most, however, are just beginning to consider replacing outdated tools with the specialized software that would allow them to achieve this.”

According to B2W, the study confirms that projects schedules are “dynamic.”

“Dozens of unforeseen factors ranging from project design changes and equipment breakdowns to material delays, weather and personnel issues force [contractors] to make resource scheduling and dispatching changes on the fly,” according to the company. Nearly half of respondents reported unforeseen resource scheduling changes occurring several times per week. About one-third reported unforeseen changes occurring daily.

Heavy civil construction contractors spanning a wide range of specialties completed the B2W survey in late 2019. Respondents included owners, executives, and project managers as well as schedulers, dispatchers, field operations managers, CFOs, finance managers, and IT personnel. Annual revenue for their companies was as high as $250 million, with 30 percent in the $2.5 - $10 million range and 26 percent in the $10 - $25 million range.

Detailed results of the survey on heavy construction scheduling and dispatching sponsored by B2W Software are available at

Source: B2W Software