Beyond the Build


Connectivity to Spark Jobsite Innovation

After talking with someone about the movie Taking Woodstock, I got to thinking that this monumental event took place prior to the advent of the Internet, cell phones, social media sites and even before the invention of the fax machine and overnight mail, which surfaced in the early 1980s. Even without these tools we now consider basic, the festival was by most accounts a huge success. The event was publicized by true word-of-mouth with no help from technology.

A lot’s changed since I first heard about Woodstock in 1969. Our company takes advantage of all the Information Age advances. I recently encountered a situation where the benefits of being connected allowed us to be more productive on our jobsite—to save time, money and prevent waste.
I was visiting one of our remodeling projects where we were removing brick pavers from an existing hardscape area. When I asked our project superintendent how things were going, he told me paver removal had been moving slowly until one of our carpenters pulled out his smart phone, got on craigslist and posted “Free Brick Pavers” followed by the jobsite address.

Within a couple of hours we had several trucks with their crews coming to get the free pavers. There was no cost to us to load or remove the excess materials. As a bonus, all of the pavers were going to be reused rather than placed in a landfill.

It’s exciting to think where technology will take us. We’ve just begun. As we watch the future unfold, I suggest you get creative and use the latest developments as a business advantage.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.