Do deer hunting and heavy construction have a connection? I believe the answer to this question is yes. Until recently, they have both been fairly antiquated when it comes to technical advancement or “digitization”, in their respective industries.
I spent most of last week on an annual deer hunting trip in Southern Ohio with old friends. Sitting for long hours in my deer stand, I was able to think and meditate on topics that usually get pushed to the periphery amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life in a typical work week.
One of my hunting companions took down a nice buck. Once a deer is taken down, the State of Ohio requires the hunter to tag the deer and register details of the hunt. These details include the date of the harvest, time of the harvest, county of harvest, method of harvest, gender of the deer, etc. The hunter then locates the nearest Ohio Division of Wildlife approved “deer check-in station” and physically transports the deer, with the paper tag, for further in-person processing. All the data collection and processing is required to ensure the state has an accurate record of its deer population.
The entire process of checking in a deer takes two to three hours depending on where you are hunting and where the nearest check-in station is located. Additionally, the hunter is required to keep all the documentation forms on him/her while in the woods.
This entire process has been revolutionized in very recent years. The days of carrying crinkled paper forms with you into the woods and writing illegible dates and times with a mud-covered pencil are behind us.
Enter the Smart Phone and Wildlife APP
When my buddy took his buck down, he walked over and pulled out his smartphone. The Ohio Division of Wildlife has published an app that allows you to seamlessly enter the required data without the need for paper copies or in-person check-ins. This “digitization” of the hunting industry has shortened this process that once took hours to now being completed in just a few minutes. There will be over 180,000 deer bagged in Ohio this hunting season. Most of these deer will be checked in through the smartphone app. I am amazed at the amount of time that will be saved through this simple “digitization” process and technical advancement.
Seeing a change have such a profound effect in hunting sparked a few thoughts about how this “digitization” principle might be applied in other industries. I started thinking about the industry I am most familiar with, heavy construction. My company Portable Solutions Group (PSG) has served this market for going on three decades and construction is one of the most under digitized industries in the world. Large construction projects are full of opportunities to gain efficiency with digitized solutions.
Let’s Look at the Similarities
With the deer tagging requirements in mind, let’s consider the similarities in jobsite entry in construction. Just as dates, times, and locations are needed to process a deer, the construction industry requires employees coming onsite to have specific credentials, including:
- Employee Identity Verification
- Covid questionnaire completion
- Various OSHA Training documentation
- Regulatory Training verification
- Background check completion
- Job-specific credentials and certifications
Keeping track of all this information for 1000+ people is no small task, yet it is critical for on-time, under budget, and most importantly, SAFE, completion of projects. Jobsites can now utilize mobile apps to track and complete these requirements, saving time and gaining efficiency across the entire organization.
Even More to Come
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Following the credential verification are concepts like prevention of double-entry and asset tracking to prevent unwanted people onsite as well as keeping expensive equipment on site. Just like the State of Ohio’s new smartphone app substantially reduces the time
required to “check-in” a deer, a site entry app puts the ownness on the worker to keep their credentials current, reduces the time required to get people to work on a job as well as the time required to keep the information in order and accessible. This powerful digital tool fuels our “data powered” turnstiles that provide the physical infrastructure needed to harness these tools and see these efficiencies fully realized.
Spending time with old friends with familiar customs and activities is always a welcomed event. Speeding up the time to meet the State’s requirements, so I can spend even more time with old friends are the type of advancements and technology that I will always embrace.