×

The ROI of a #ConstructionDork….



Walker Lockard StructionSite Bluebeam Excel
Picture courtesy of Walker Lockard

Today I was blown away by the creativity of one of our customers in his reduction of rework for his company. Walker Lockard, hailing from Polk Mechanical in Dallas, posted the results of an ROI study he did where he analyzed the cost of site documentation against the cost of cleaning their installed core duct. His innovative yet straightforward approach and the combination of standard tools like Bluebeam and Excel led to apparent cost savings, but he went the extra mile by also presenting it in a visually compelling way. It is no surprise that a lot of our earliest adopters have titles with the words ‘Innovation’ or ‘Technology’ in them. A newly emerging role is the Construction Technologist, also lovingly referred to as a #ConstructionDork. These are the guys and gals tackling some of the oldest and most challenging problems in the industry through whatever means necessary. I think it’s important to emphasize the Construction in Construction Technologist and note that those most skilled in this role often find ways to improve processes that involve little or no actual ‘technology.’

This group is a rare breed, and they can have a massive impact on an organization, yet I occasionally see companies taking these change-makers for granted. Walkers post got me thinking about the ROI of a Construction Technologist (CT). Jonathan Marsh also posted an excellent article recently where he seems to touch on this topic as well, so let’s ask the BIG QUESTION.

How does one go about measuring the ROI for a Construction Technologist?

The investment part of the equation seems pretty straight-forward, but the return takes a lot more effort to measure, and there are many gaps in my thought process here. In his post linked above:

Investment

  • Salary + Benefits
  • Tools – hardware, software, whatever the job requires
  • Travel Budget – attend events to learn from peers inside and outside the industry

Return

  • Process Improvements and operational efficiency as measured by ROI case studies similar to the above
  • Winning new business by highlighting the company’s unique approach and processes, as measured by ____________
  • New hire recruitment pipeline improvement, as measured by __________
  • Employee engagement and retention improvement, as measured by __________
  • Per Jonathan’s post, can we measure our learnings? With additions to a central knowledge base perhaps?

ROI = Return – Investment…but we need more measurable results above

I’d like to understand where the gaps are and what can be done to justify the existence of more of these #ConstructionDorks. We need more of them, and I think executives might easily be able to justify an increase in investment with some more clear systems and processes in place to measure that investment against their core business objectives. Not an easy task, and by no means is there an obvious solution here. Sounds like a job for…a Construction Dork?