ABC members can now receive 10% off new Trimble products in the Construction Enterprise Solutions Division
By: Patrick Scarpati, Director of Construction Technology and Innovation, ABC
In November 2023, I attended Trimble Dimensions in Las Vegas. I was able catch a glimpse of what the future may entail in the construction technology space from one of the most sought-after providers in the industry. Keynote speaker Mark Gallagher, an industry analyst for Formula 1, set the tone for the event by talking the audience through high-performance leadership, technology and teamwork.
For the next few days, attendees from various industries around the world sat in on sessions ranging from emerging technologies to sustainability. As much as I wanted to attend sessions for all of the 13 topics covered, I decided to focus my time on perhaps the most popular current trends: AI, the labor shortage and next-generation workforce and data flow and technology integrations.
AI (35 Available Sessions)
Trimble announced that its enterprise resource planning will now include automatic invoicing capabilities through its latest integration with Azure AI Document Intelligence. Per the press release, “The integration of Azure AI Document Intelligence enhances Automatic Invoicing, helping automatically turn paper and PDF invoices into validated, unapproved invoice entries within Spectrum and Vista for faster, more accurate workflows that save contractors valuable time, effort and money.”
One of the spotlight panel sessions on AI, “Exploring the Power of Artificial Intelligence to Transform Industries,” included two members from PwC, along with the director of AI at Trimble. This team walked us through their list of themes for AI transformation. (Picture)
Workforce (87 Available Sessions)
Several trade schools and craft academies around the country are recognizing the importance of implementing construction technology into curriculum. In one example, through its industry partnership program, Trimble provides resources and guidelines to educational facilities on how to teach students the effectiveness of jobsite layout on their Robotic Total System family of equipment. Trimble also highlighted how important it is to get students to start learning much of the 3D modeling/layout component in construction by utilizing its VDC Pro+ Solution in the classroom.
An innovation panel on what the role of the general contractor may look like in 10 years was also interesting. Although speculative, panel members discussed topics ranging from AI’s future impact on general contractors to whether modular will take more of a foothold in the industry and what the next generation of our workforce may look like. Previously working in the trades and eventually as a general contractor, I was fascinated to hear that eventually general contractors will be less and less of self-performing contractors, as the industry is mostly filling up with construction managers.
Data Flow and Technology Integrations
Trimble has time and time again emphasized the importance of data flow and tech integrations. This was most evident not only through the panels and sessions offered, but on the exhibit hall floor, where most vendors were able to talk about how their product ties directly into the Trimble portfolio of solutions. One example of this is the partnership between Trimble Viewpoint and Tenna. End users can capture equipment data, location and hours/miles as they are work through various projects.