Mobile tech helps deliver information faster
Barriere has always focused on using information to make accurate decisions; mobile technology has merely sped up and improved accuracy of the collection and feedback of the data.
“With the improvements in mobile technology and integration with software, we see the next generation of mobile technology giving us the opportunity to eliminate all paper forms and manual checklists that will help us to maintain compliance with our programs,” says Cooney.
Starting as far back as 1990, Barriere collected daily information from the field that could be readily turned in, entered, and generated useful reports that matched the plan to the estimate. This information continues today by assisting the field in their planning of all of the project resources.
“Plant, trucking, and equipment information has been a priority throughout Barriere’s history, and we have used many sources of information -- from CFMA, AGC and trade media -- to be on the cutting edge,” says Cooney. “In addition we have always focused on partnering with software companies that understand construction, specifically unit-based construction, asphalt manufacturing, materials, trucking and equipment.
“These business partners also understood that they had to integrate with our total platform -- be it estimating, safety, equipment tracking, maintenance, costing, asphalt manufacturing, etc.,” he continues.
Where to startBarriere did not have a dedicated team to implement mobile technology into its processes, but it did have a part-time programmer who has been with the company for over 25 years. “This person is a great asset to our company,” says Cooney. “He has helped set our technical vision, which is crucial.”
In recent years, Barriere has added resources for information technology and now has an active field technology committee, chaired by CFO Heath Wahden. The company has focused on field, trucking and plants information that will improve its safety and quality and increase throughput both at the plant and on the job site.
Before beginning any kind of mobile technology program, Cooney suggests ensuring your information system has good infrastructure as its backbone. “Your primary consideration at the beginning is making sure your estimating, manufacturing, and operational system can readily share information,” he says. “This is critical to the success of any mobile program.”