Innovation. Technology. Collaboration. Those were the three workshop tracks at the 2019 e-Construction & Partnering Regional Workshop held April 17th – 18th in Pittsburgh, PA. Having personally attended several sessions during the conference, I can confirm the event delivered on its goal of educating the audience on those three subjects. More than 200 attendees, representing 28 state DOTs, the FHWA and 16 industry leading solution providers attended the show. Over two days, 22 presentations and sessions were held. Attendees were highly engaged with the Q/A portions routinely running right to the session end.
Having spent two days listening and speaking with knowledgeable attendees, three key takeaways became clear:
Own Your Data
Big Data is not a new concept, but in the world of road building, harvesting the asset of data is a growing theme. As new technologies continue to connect the design side, to the construction side, with the maintenance crews and the general public customer, having access to that data is key. With proper analytics, one can determine which programs are working, where to direct resources, identify problem areas and much more. The message was clear…regardless of the software programs generating the data, it belongs to the purchasing company (in most cases the state DOTs). Own it. Review it. Benefit from it.
Large Mobile Focus
This goes beyond self-serving given PROJiTECH is a custom mobile development company. In almost every session mobile strategy, mobile tools, mobile hardware, access to files/data via mobile, etc was discussed. How best can that little computer, most of us carry every day in our pocket, be utilized to increase job site efficiency. Some prefer to develop their own custom apps and programs. Others have entered into long-term partnerships with solution providers. Still others are just getting their feet wet on the mobile side. Regardless of each state’s mobile maturity level, it is clear this will be an area of focus for a long time.
A Friendly Sandbox
Partnering. Communication. Collaboration. Connections. The days of siloed operations are coming to an end. Customers / end users are demanding that teams talk, software programs integrate and even suppliers engage on an open contract. This is all needed to fully take advantage of the technical tools available today. It also increases team engagement which means a motivated work force, a more efficient work force and a safer work environment. It is back to school for most where sandbox sharing ruled the day.
In addition to the informative presentations, a lively Exhibit Hall offered a place to network and connect with suppliers during the breaks. In this hall, is where PROJiTECH selected to reveal our first peak at OnStation 2.0. Nearing completion of development, we previewed our new File Manager / Viewer and the new Flag & Chat features. Both generated amazing excitement from the attendees. With several follow up meetings scheduled, OnStation 2.0 is off on our driving expansion across the country.
All in all, the conference was a success: happy attendees, informative sessions, innovative Exhibit Hall and warm leads. We thank the PENNDOT and the City of Pittsburgh for hosting and look forward to attending the next event.