Drones Springboard Construction Industry Technology Adoption

Among the least digitized industries, now ripe for massive disruption

Construction and related businesses have historically lagged in technology adoption– until recently. Drone-based job-site recordings have risen dramatically in the past three years. Now, a new wave of business use cases are building upon the adoption trend that started with drones.

McKinstry’s MGI Industry Digitization Index 2016 shows construction, agriculture and hunting as the most-lagging industries for asset digitization, behind all other industries. With the rate of adoption of drones and photographic asset capture, it is feasible to witness a leapfrog effect that started with drones.

But drones are only the beginning.

While drones are a widely accepted, even expected part of the tool chest, many leaders who set up drone programs for inventory are now evolving to more advanced practices.

The movement is really a giant step toward asset digitization of all kinds.

A drone is an simply an aerial photo-capture device, but at its essence, it’s no more than a flying camera. The real impact comes from the digitization of assets on the ground. Broader business problems can be solved with digitized inventory measured photogrammetrically.

3D Modeling for No-Touch Asset Tracking

In 2017, Stockpile Reports alone measured $72 Billion in assets via 12 Million Images but we’ve only just begun:

“Within 10 years every square centimeter of an aggregates operation will be modeled accurately in 3D – every minute of every.”

-David Boardman, CEO URC Ventures, November 2013

Washington Aggregates Association Keynote

With digitized assets in place, the evolving possibilities can range from Production and Sales balancing to Operations tracking where the progress and movement off assets are known as they travel through the supply chain and to customers.

One real pain point for customers is explaining the perceived loss as their materials travel across trucks, barges, and trains. Without a consistent source of data collection, no one is truly aware of “true” measurement.

Ozinga, a family-owned concrete and materials supply company in Chicago, IL recently re-assigned their QA Manager to a drone pilot/QA Manager. “WIth the explosive growth of the company, our ’small problems’ become a million bucks so now we really need to pay attention.”

“Now we’re in our 90th year and we’re smoothing and leveling to get to the next level of intelligence and technology. We’re no longer the company that can operate without paying attention to what’s happening in the middle between us and our customers. There are losses at each touch point whether moving by truck or barges and there hasn’t been a good understanding between accounting and the field. There’s a knee-jerk reaction that we’re losing material when the number is not what they think it should be. We need to understand if there is really a percentage loss at each touch point, before we call it a problem. It may be a problem of inconsistent measurements ,“ –Finance Executive, Ozinga

Tracking movement and progress over time to help balance sales and production levels to the point where persistent monitoring can occur with no touch, just reviews and approval. It’s feasible to accomplish this in minutes a day vs. weeks. Following the movement, progression and altering or even forecasting will bring efficiency to record levels as it also improves safety, reduces costs, and increases productivity

One of Stockpile Reports largest customers had 5,000 stockpiles over 268,597 sq miles which was even financially feasible to do inventory at all! Now, they can do their entire inventory in 48 hours. No-touch inventory is a reality for these companies and broader adoption of technology and regular digitized assets are moving the industry a giant leap ahead.

Stockpile Reports Showcases Applied Tech Innovations at Agg1 Academy & Expo.

Stockpile Reports will be exhibiting at the 2018 AGG1 Academy & Expo in Houston, Texas to showcase technology innovations and its part in enabling improved operations.The co-located events will be held March 6-8, 2018 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas and feature the leading manufacturers and service providers in the aggregates, asphalt, pavement maintenance, and traffic safety industry sectors coming together to highlight their latest product innovations and technology advancements.

Visit Stockpile Reports at Booth #4008.


Stockpile Reports is based in Redmond, WA and has offices in Oregon, Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina. It is used by hundreds of companies at nearly 3,000 locations in 25 countries around the world.

For inquiries, contact us at: kris.fuehr@stockpilereports.com or +1 (425) 285-4303

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