This is the first post in a series dedicated to highlighting small and medium-sized enterprises across the country employing technology in new and innovative ways.
“Innovation” may not be the first word you associate with the construction industry, but three-year-old EquipmentShare makes a strong case for a reframing of that narrative. The company, which is headquartered in Columbia, Missouri, and has a presence across the urban centers of Texas as well as Jacksonville, Florida, connects contractors with a platform to rent and lend equipment on a peer-to-peer basis, empowering them to earn income off of equipment that would otherwise go unused. More recently, EquipmentShare added telematics and equipment utilization services to the mix. We interviewed Willy Schlacks, EquipmentShare’s co-founder and president, to learn more about technology disruption both within the company, and in the industry at large.
Courtney Duffy (DisCo): How has the construction industry, as well as the needs of its participants, changed as we’ve entered the digital age?
Willy Schlacks (EquipmentShare): Construction has traditionally been a tech-averse industry, slow to adopt new technologies and reliant on pen-and-paper or otherwise manual processes. But just like many other industries, construction companies have been forced to do more with less. Contractors and other players in the space have been looking for ways to find efficiencies, cut costs or otherwise boost their bottom line and are turning to technology to do just that.
The biggest benefit that technology brings to the construction industry is the ability to capture and use data. Technologies like telematics are enabling contractors and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to capture data from their equipment–something that wasn’t possible before–and use that data to more intelligently manage their maintenance schedules, hours of service and more. There are so many applications in the construction industry for data that can all be used to drive efficiencies, productivity and greater safety.