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Closing the Information Gap and Reducing Rework with Drone Surveying Data

| 16.06.2022

Before technology was introduced in earthworks, project updates were often anecdotal, and teams worked from different data sources. Bringing a surveyor on site could take days or even weeks—and by the time the survey was complete, site conditions had probably changed such that the information was inaccurate.

Fortunately for today’s contractors, reality is quite different. Gaps between real-time data and a general understanding of worksite operations can now be filled through the adoption of innovative technologies.

According to a recent EY survey, 98% of engineering and construction companies agree that digital solutions are critical to the long-term viability of their businesses. That’s a massive increase from five years ago, when construction and earthworks generally lagged behind most other industries in adopting new tech. 

Drone surveys and other cutting-edge tech provide quick and accessible insight into what’s happening on site, taking out the guesswork.

Here, we’ll discuss how drone surveying data helps close the information gap and keeps everyone on the same page.

Eliminating information gaps

The global pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital applications across the civil construction and earthworks industries, yet growth opportunities still exist. Although 89% of managers and 78% of executives feel that job site data is important to their success, nearly half of construction managers still collect and process their site data manually. 

On a busy worksite, it doesn’t take long for data to become obsolete. New surveys replace the old, design specs are updated, and earthwork progress evolves, as machines work the site.

As new plans are drafted and progress data is collected, the information you gather is only as good as your team’s ability to analyze it and distribute it to the appropriate stakeholders. The longer people go without receiving or understanding the latest site work updates, the wider the information gap.

Some of the causes for information gaps on worksites include:

  • Slow or manual survey processes
  • Accessibility issues, like software licensed to a single machine or user
  • High cost of data collection
  • Miscommunication
  • Rushing work in order to maintain project timelines
  • Guesstimates 
  • Erroneous or inaccurate measurements
  • Information silos causing lack of synergy
earthworks on a construction site

The risk of rework and project delays

A recent report from Designing Buildings shows that if knowledge is difficult to understand, buried in lengthy documents, or locked from access, people won’t use it—even if it’s critical to the project’s success.

Autodesk’s Construction Disconnected report placed a dollar value on this type of knowledge gap, finding that poor communication is responsible for 48% of all rework, and accounts for $31 billion in costs in a single year. 

The impact of rework can severely impact your bottom line. Other drawbacks include:

drone flying over construction site

Closing the gap by drone surveying

Technology, like the Propeller Platform, makes solving the information gap problem easier. Drone surveying enables site supervisors and superintendents to receive up-to-date maps with accurate specs approximately one day after requesting them, instead of several days or even weeks. Engineers, managers, and other personnel who split their time between the field and the office can be assured that accurate information is readily available when they arrive on site.

Here are benefits you’ll realize using drone survey data to help close the information gap:

  • Get data accurate to 1/10 foot from project start to finish
  • Manage design errors and minimize change orders by keeping clients and designers informed at every stage
  • Measure cut/fill and material quantities throughout the project in near-real-time without having to shoot points on unstable terrain
  • Improve communication by keeping key stakeholders informed

Mobile tools like Propeller’s Crew remove the burden of manually circulating information like updated maps and reports. Surveyors, project managers, and anyone else tasked with keeping teams on the same page can easily share the right info at the right time, no matter where they’re sitting. And using a machine tracking system device like DirtMate provides your teams with easy access to critical productivity insights every day.

Closing the information gap isn’t as difficult as it might sound. Request a demo to learn how Propeller can help you do it.

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