ConAppGuru: The Construction Tech Roadshow Report

by ROB McKINNEY, ConAppGuru

Over the past two years I have worked with the AGC Georgia Chapter to build a successful Construction Technology Meeting format. The purpose of these events is to provide the members with a educational format to learn about new apps and platforms used on construction projects. The ConAppGuru acts as the Master of Ceremonies for the event. I have been working with a few local trade organizations around the country to take this meeting format on the road. Last week I met with the ABC West Washington Chapter in Seattle for their first Construction Technology Roadshow.

So what is a “Construction Technology Roadshow” you ask? The idea is simple: gather several open mined construction professionals in one place to talk about new apps and platforms that improve their workflows! The ConAppGuru started off the event with a quick history of construction technology. I reminded the audience that we have come a long way from the Abacus, Batter Boards and Chalk lines! The introduction of the iPad back in 2010 was a pivotal moment in the construction industry. The iPad has allowed field staff to take their office workflows into the filed for real time completion and data entry.

The ConAppGuru then explained the five main workflows that apps help improve.

  1. Plans: the core workflow that allows users to share, view, and mark up the project plans.
  2. Safety (inspections, tool box talks, accident reports): this workflow has moved from paper based to digital allowing for real time reporting on project conditions.
  3. Photos (progress, safety, and RFI’s): this workflow has moved from analog based to digital allowing for documenting “As-Built” conditions on project sites.
  4. Daily Reports (manpower, delays, and deliveries): this workflow has moved from paper based to digital allowing for capturing daily details of project conditions.
  5. Time Entry (employee hours and equipment hours): this workflow has moved from paper based to digital allowing for real time reporting on employee hours.

I was joined by my new colleague Karl Sorensen, a fellow Construction Technologist who runs Blue Collar Labs. Blue Collar Labs is an independent research facility that finally makes sense of the emerging technology products within construction. Their lab technicians work round-the-clock to collect, organize and analyze the built environment’s best technology.

Mr. Sorensen provided his views on the current state of technology in construction. Karl explained to the audience that “The construction industry is on the brink of a shift in the way business and operations are carried out. We are still ahead of the technological tipping point in construction, but when it arrives, it will happen very quickly. Typically it is the companies that have the ability to adapt and embrace change that ultimately survive the competitive business climate.”

One item that made this event special was the fact that several groundbreaking platforms attended the event. Platform representatives were there to present information about their platforms and meet with members. Each platform representative gave a five minute overview presentation explaining their key features.

The platforms that attended the event were:

Dexter + Chaney: Construction Software for Management and Operations

Fieldlens: Stay on Top of Mission Critical Information through Collaboration

Procore: Comprehensive Suite of Project Management Tools for Construction

Safesite: Safety Management Simplified

Skysite: A Central Repository Enabling Access to the Most Current Documents

Raken: Create Professional Daily Reports on Mobile Devices

A few of the comments I received about the event were:

The Construction Technology Roadshow is a great way for contractors who have yet to embrace the latest apps and platforms to improve efficiencies, improve safety and improve their competitiveness when competing for jobs into the future. The format of the event catered for individuals and companies of all levels, going into depth on 5 specific construction project work flows and also providing advice on how to institute technology and innovation with your own company. -Peter Grant, CEO Safesite

The Construction Tech Roadshow exceeded my expectations! -Victoria Klyce, VP Events & Communications ABC West Washington

If you would like to read more about the ABC West Washington event? (CLICK HERE)

The next ConAppGuru Construction Technology Roadshow will be on Wednesday July 8 with the AGC California in Fremont California. If you would like to attend or learn more about the event (CLICK HERE).

If you or your organization is interested in hosting a Construction Tech Forum please contact the ConAppGuru for more information.


Rob McKinney is a construction risk engineer at Atlanta-based XL Catlin, and is the founder of the construction information forum, Construction App Guru. With over 14 years of industry experience, Rob is the chairman for the AGC Georgia Technology Committee, board member for the AGC of America IT Forum and has written for publications such as Constructech, The Construction Specifier, AEC Magazine, Engineering Industry News, and more).