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The Internet of Things is giving the construction industry a new strategy

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Social Strategist for the Internet of Things, IBM

Do you remember life before the economic downturn in 2008? The engineering and construction industry peaked in North America in 2008 and has yet to recover in most industry sections. In 2010, the tipping point was reached with more than 52 percent of construction in emerging markets. The global downturn left its mark on the industry, and engineering and construction companies are finding themselves in a more competitive, technology-driven landscape.

One area of competitive advantage for major engineering and construction firms coming out of the downturn involves more precise management of the critical equipment required for heavy construction. Companies that had visibility into their construction assets and moved from corrective maintenance to preventive maintenance were able to avoid downtime and costly repairs while weathering the economic recovery.

Successful engineering and construction companies use the following key asset management functionality:

  • Historical maintenance records that allow for trending and predictive analysis
  • Telematics for real-time data from operating equipment
  • Integrated fuel management solutions
  • Warranty management and close relationships with OEM suppliers

One such company that weathered the downturn and is now one of the top 20 construction companies in the world is Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC). It has 16,500 assets worth $1.2 billion, with real-time visibility across 40 countries. Having visibility into these assets and their maintenance condition enables CCC to increase asset availability, which is a key performance indicator. With IBM Maximo Asset Management, CCC has increased productivity by 30 percent, realized 11 percent more predictive maintenance versus corrective maintenance, and cut yearly expenditures by $1,100 per asset, or $15 million per year globally.

To move from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance, the company’s vision will require a lot of analytics. As explained by Khaled Al-Shami, Head of EAM Solutions at CCC, this effort will require CCC’s equipment to be connected to the cloud, and to leverage the Internet of Things.

Khaled Al-Shami said, “For the Internet of Things, the use cases are unlimited. They are bounded only by the human imagination. I believe that the sky is the limit. There are many practical applications, and all industries can make use of the Internet of Things.”

Read CCC's full success story.