By Mark Breslin, UCON CEO
No matter where you fall on the tech spectrum of love vs. hate, rookie vs. expert, or early adopter vs. dragged kicking and screaming, our industry and people are now facing a rapid technology evolution.
For many who are younger, it is very welcome. For those a bit older, it feels like too much too fast. But the low-hanging fruit of tech innovation has already been claimed in manufacturing, distribution, transportation, logistics, telecom, entertainment…and ﬁnally it has come to construction. Though we are still not far from the starting line, UCON is here to help push the industry forward.
The pandemic pushed us in a lot of ways where technology had to ﬁll in the gaps. We probably moved ahead in some ways ﬁve years (in actually just one) because we had no choice. But now that we regain some perspective, the question becomes, where to next?
Here are four practical, actionable areas of a technology strategy that every UCON member organization has at their disposal starting now:
Save Your Team Time, Money and Hassle: The UCON Contractor Resources Library
UCON’s new website contains the most signiﬁcant tech investment we have ever made: Our Contractor Resources Library. A Member-only Beneﬁt, the password-protected section of the site now has an extraordinary amount of labor, safety, ﬁnancial, reporting, regulatory and other information available for your people 24/7. This remarkable searchable resource with intuitive ﬁltering is the contractor go-to, used by 350 members (so far), boasting:
- Over 4,000 total downloads (since launching in March)
- 3-4 minutes—average time spent within the Library
- 85% of our Library has been accessed and utilized
- UCON’s new website overall, has had over 55,000 unique page views
UCON Helps on Contractor Security
Every day, all day we are all hit with scams. Fake Social Security cell calls. Email phishing from our fake bank. Warranties we never bought. Nigerian dollars waiting to be transferred. These are pretty recognizable—but heads up on another level of industry concern. Several UCON members have been hit by ransomware. As in full data shut down, full stop. Another recent story was an intercepted six-ﬁgure electronic progress payment. UCON is stepping in to help. Our suggestion:
- Attend the UCON security tech program on July 8 to learn best practices and tools to protect your contracting and construction business from an attack (see page 29 for more information). To sign up, visit our Calendar (UCON members can access the webinar on-demand).
UCON Leverages Tech for Training & Professional Development
UCON’s new member service initiative of providing training and development has increased member utilization by 300% in 2021. Leadership coaching; safety management; foreman training; PM upgrades, and more. Over 40 programs are now oﬀered at no additional cost for members due to technology leveraging geography, time, and instant availability.
- Visit on-demand training, professional development, and leadership seminars in our Education Library (members only) for the on-demand professional development courses.
Getting Engaged & Involved in the Industry
Now UCON’s many working groups, committees and liaison teams are available and easier than ever before to participate. If you have thought about getting more engaged with UCON, you can do so from your own location or even your phone for valuable connections, important policy issues and up-to-date key topics for your companies.
- Get involved with our committees by stepping in and stepping up. Ongoing committee schedules are available at www.unitedcontractors.org/calendar.
No matter where you fall on the love vs. hate on technology, it’s a key business, management, and productivity tool at your disposal. ◆