Milwaukee Tool has again participated in Construction Progress Coalition’s iSummit Event with members of both Milwaukee Tool’s ONE-KEY™ and Embedded Systems teams contributing their thought leadership at the collaborative, industry-leading dialogue on construction technology; shared pains and shared gains; and productivity and process improvement.
The team had previously joined the CPC at last year’s iSummit Event, where topics discussed included harnessing construction’s big data, synchronizing project data, IoT, and digital twins.
This year, software interoperability (i.e., enabling different software programs and apps to exchange information and share files seamlessly) again was at the center of the summit’s discussion for improving workflows as teams grapple with a problem unique to the industry: Having an ample supply of job openings with too few applicants to fill them.
Recap: About Construction Progress Coalition: What Is the CPC?
If you haven’t read the news of our teams’ participation in last year’s iSummit Event, here’s a quick refresher on the Construction Progress Coalition:
- The Construction Progress Coalition (CPC) is a professional organization that brings together construction industry stakeholders to address problems experienced industry-wide (“shared pains”) and conceptualize possible solutions (“shared gains”), such as developing new software integrations and automating manual processes to limit human error and data bloat from duplicate and/or repetitive project entry.
CPC stated vision’s is to “Redefine project performance measurement in the digital age,” while its mission is to “Improve project delivery by connecting stakeholders through a Common Data Exchange (CDX).”
2023 AEC iSummit
The CPC’s AEC (architecture, engineering, & construction) iSummit is an annual event that takes place in Denver, Colorado over the course of three days.
This year, two Milwaukee Tool thought leaders joined the iSummit event: former One-Key digital product manager and current embedded systems product manager Nick Monica, as well as One-Key senior construction technology manager Brianne Stewart.
Nick and Brianne joined a group of industry participants representing professional trade organizations, industry-leading contractors, as well as technology solutions providers (software developers and equipment manufacturers).
Participants banded together in design thinking workshops aimed at solving pain points within key workflows in construction spanning several topic areas including RFPs, design handoffs, location references, work breakdown structure (WBS), and financial performance.
Milwaukee Tool at AEC iSummit
Milwaukee Tool joined a discussion group focusing on “a shared location tag” across construction documents and stakeholders.
- Description of a problem: Location Is defined differently between stakeholders during a commercial project, leading to confusion and lost time when it relates to an issue that requires a response from multiple parties (e.g., request for information).
- Process: The team of 8 participants (representatives of the trades, GC, architecture/design, and technology providers) worked together mapping out the current state of the issue, identifying root causes of biggest pain points, and proposing a “future state” solution to these pains.
Part of this process included upfront collaboration on a definition of “data” for locations including all information relevant to each party, and the conceptualization of a solution (e.g., better sharable/editable design files and reduced manual entry/mistakes through software integration).
- Lack of trust between project stakeholders
Additional Themes Discussed: Dialogues Carry Cross-Industry
Talking about the conference at a high level, Nick Monica recalls: “Proliferation of construction software solutions means there needs to be more interoperability to reduce silos.” He added, “Collaboration of the contractors, tech providers, and trade orgs is very much part of the vision for the future—among other topics such as taking lean to the site, increased diversity in the industry, and automation.”
In early February, we asked 8 industry experts their 2023 construction industry predictions.
Common trends and themes we saw in response included:
- Process improvement through methods like lean construction.
- Workforce utilization and technology usage.
- The need for interoperability and software integration between cross-functional teams to enable work collaboration and project/data efficiency.
These conversations continued at the AEC iSummit Event:
The 2022 Construction Talent Retention survey showed employees leaving the industry voluntarily continues to outpace layoffs/discharges, exacerbating known industry labor shortages.
Furthermore, a contributing factor for industry exits is a lack of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and opportunities for women, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ communities compared to other industries. Insurate CRO Abby Ferri had similar sentiments when asked in our previous expert roundup, adding, "With the recent release of BLS statistics showing a disproportionate impact of injuries and fatalities on minority construction workers, safety and risk professionals must identify ways they are currently not serving those populations well.”
Inclusive hiring and retention strategies and a commitment to worker safety remain a critical need for the industry.
Milwaukee Tool’s continued presence and involvement at the Construction Progress Coalition’s AEC iSummit is an important part of our organization’s commitment to driving the industry forward with comprehensive solutions—both through our physical and digital products—that span project lifecycles and help end users achieve greater productivity.
The topics of discussion and the important action items that came from this year’s iSummit show a continued need for data & integrations and full-scale solutions that help contractors build smarter workflows empowering teams to work better together.