Fortune Magazine seems to think that the construction industry is in love with drones. Especially in 2019, drones are becoming a low-cost way to survey job sites and monitor progress. However, there are risks and frustrations involved with drones. You can buy a cheap drone off of Amazon, but that drone still needs to communicate its video data to you in order for the investment to pay off in time and effort saved. In addition, cheaper drones lack automation, meaning that, if you want to get a bird's eye view of the job site, you or your licensed pilot (yeah, that license is going to take some time) are going to need to be on site personally to fly the bugger, which kiiiiind of defeats the purpose, no? Even with the best, most expensive autonomous drones, you also run serious risk of a crash, especially in inclement weather.
No, drones aren't silver bullets to fix all your surveillance issues, but a resourceful construction manager has plenty of methods to keep tabs on their jobsite that don't involve all of these risks, and is a whole lot cheaper to boot.
Enter the waterproof, battery operated camera. For $80, one of these cameras can provide a live feed of your job site at any time. Placing these at strategic, high-altitude points in your job site can give you all the advantages of a drone at a mere fraction of the cost.
But what if you're missing internet at your jobsite? If that's the case, then you might have bigger problems. The jobsite of 2019 needs a strategy for connectivity at all times. Not to worry; cameras like these are fully compatible with Mi-Fi hotspots, which, coupled with a prepaid data plan, can give you complete remote visibility into your jobsite, even from another state, for only a few hundred dollars. Compare this with the thousands of $$$$$$ you'd be spending for drones, subscription software for drone connectivity and image analysis, not to mention maintenance headaches!
The math behind this kind of site surveillance is simple: how many hours do you, as a construction manager, spend driving to a job site and walking around looking at high-importance zones? If your time as a construction manager is worth $1,000 an hour, then isn't it worth it to put a few hundred dollars into getting always-on visibility to your jobsite so that you can check on job status, inventory, and safety concerns from any location?
Do you have any favorite hacks for getting information about your job site in real-time? Or have you tried using battery operated cameras and Mi-Fi on your job sites before? Are you considering your own monitoring system and need some help getting started? Or maybe you've already taken your first step, but want to know how to improve your setup to make it more efficient. Let me know in the comments, or reach out to me directly!