Study: Managing costs tougher for firms than finding talent
- In its "2018 Telematics Benchmark Report: Global Construction Division" survey of fleet management and operations professionals, software-as-a-service provider Teletrac Navman found that the biggest construction industry concerns are managing costs and payroll, though being able to find and retain an adequate number of qualified workers was the No. 2 worry.
- Other challenges facing construction companies, according to the survey, were increasing revenue, growing their businesses, decreasing vehicle and driver incidents, risk management, regulatory changes, customer retention and driver fatigue. Still, managers said their organizations planned to spend more on recruiting and retaining workers in 2018 than they did in 2017, and that those investments took priority over others like fleet upgrades and expansions, customer service and improved technology. Managers also responded that safety-related technology they could use in the short term took priority over technology like autonomous vehicles and artificial intelligence.
- One way businesses are achieving cost efficiencies is through the use of telematics, according to the survey, with 85% either currently using the technology or planning to do so. Of those who use telematics, 55% have seen a 5% to 30% reduction in fuel costs. The most common uses of telematics systems, though, are for vehicle tracking; speed monitoring; tracking of driver' hours, distance and performance; checking idle time and tracking maintenance. Even though the industry professionals who were surveyed expressed concern about rising labor and material costs, almost 60% responded that they planned on expanding their fleet sizes through purchases of new and used equipment, leasing and renting.
As the results of the Teletrac Navman survey indicated, the construction fleet industry has concerns around driver safety, and one of those has to do with fatigue. According to a recent report from the National Safety Council, 100% of the construction workers the council surveyed had at least one risk factor for on-duty fatigue, and 45% reported that being tired contributed to safety incidents. When asked about how fatigue impacted one's ability to drive safely, 96% of employers responded that it is unsafe to drive while tired, with only 78% of employees answering that it would pose a safety risk.
Of course, fatigue also comes into play for workers who don't operate equipment but still perform dangerous tasks on construction sites. In its report, the council said there were ways employers could encourage employees to take their sleep more seriously and avoid becoming dangerously overtired. Those methods include eliminating shifts more than 10 hours long, educating employees about the dangers of being fatigued on the job, scheduling regular rest times and setting up a fatigue reporting system. The report also suggested installing a driver fatigue monitoring and detection system in vehicles.
- Teletrac Navman 2018 TELEMATICS BENCHMARK REPORT: Global Construction Division
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