Technology and How it Will Shape Our Industry

Words: Brandon Hartsell

Words: Brandon Hartsell
Photos: kali9

MASONRY Magazine has given me the opportunity to talk about the things in which make me love the profession I have chosen even more. What makes this profession exciting? What technology items do we implement to make sure our Field Staff is well supported to outperform others in the industry? How do the Younger Generation and Technology work together? Stay tuned! I hope you will enjoy this series of articles and be able to implement some of the topics we discuss in your everyday operation.

As is the case with many folks, I've just returned from the 2020 World of Concrete / World of Masonry Convention. Another successful trade show featuring the best of the best when it comes to Concrete and Masonry. The Convention floor was amazing this year. The equipment will leave you speechless as you see the latest and greatest innovations being offered in the construction industry. The technology on display will definitely make you well aware. This isn't your Grandad or even your Dad's Industry any longer.

The "Younger Generation" was definitely on display in Las Vegas. From the Masonry Skills Contest, to the South of Forty get together, to all the Young folks taking on MCAA Committee and Officer positions, the industry is experiencing a definite movement. The Younger Generation and Technology will shape our industry of tomorrow. Having said all this reminds me of one thing. It's time to get back in the office, climb on board, and continue to help make our company and our industry the best it can be while utilizing the latest in construction technology.

But how? How do you make an industry that's been around for centuries better? Simple. You find, develop, and integrate new technologies into the day-to-day operations of your business. The word "Simple" is probably the most deceiving word out there. Integrating new anything, especially technology into a company built on the primitive foundations of yesterday, can present a challenge. In the coming months, I will walk to the edge of the pool and take a deep dive into the world of technology and how it will shape and build the companies of tomorrow. I have been told many times the Technology Train is moving, and we will either get on or be left behind.

Technology plays a pivotal role in the day-to-day operations of our company. Technology gives me the opportunity to do new things each day. I never honestly know what the next phone call, email, or text message will pertain to. Is there a question about a flashing detail or a YouTube video I can share on installation basics from the supplier? We need more samples, or we will accept digital samples. Will digital submittals be accepted, and if so, what method will we be required to use for submission? My iPad isn't connecting. Why does my iPhone not sync with my iPad? Procore and other Project Management Systems, how do they work? Digital Forms, how do I save and send them correctly? Our Field Guys are unable to sign my iPad.

We lost the samples you sent, did you send them and do you have digital documentation of the transaction? The GC wants me to perform extra work, should I document it digitally with time-stamped pictures? These are all just samples of what I may face head-on during a normal day, aside from the standard project management headaches. As with any profession, some days are way easier than others! I take each call the same way a quarterback takes the play call. The last play is over. Whether we advanced the first down, scored a touchdown, or I was sacked (which happens), I have to take the next call with a clean slate.
This profession has given me the opportunity to see and be in many places.

Obviously, we have ups and downs, but this profession makes me proud. Stay tuned! I hope you will enjoy this series of articles and be able to implement some of the topics we discuss in your everyday operation.

Brandon Hartsell is a Project Manager with Gates Construction Company, Inc. (Mooresville, NC). He is Co-Chairman of the MCAA South 40 Committee; Central Region Vice President of the North Carolina Masonry Contractors Association; President of the Local NCMCA Metrolina Chapter. Brandon lives in the Charlotte Area. He is the Third-Generation in his Family to be involved in the Masonry Industry. He can be reached at brandon.hartsell@gatesconstco.com or 704-310-1674.

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