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– 5 min.

Why insightful data is at the heart of construction’s transformation

Trackunit
If anything united our panelists from Renta, Sunbelt and Genie at Trackunit NEXT, it was the need to redouble our efforts in transforming an overwhelming amount of data into actionable insights.

It will be of little surprise that data and how to use data was a recurring theme at Trackunit NEXT and that was certainly the case during the first panel discussion of the day.

Renta’s Joel Särkkä warmed to the theme immediately.

“The rental market has become more complex and is constantly changing with increasing numbers of market players within our ecosystem,” he said. “It is essential that we understand the elements we control today and the capabilities we need to have in place to provide the best service for our customers and user experience for our employees moving forward.

“Key to this is our specialized knowledge of the rental equipment they need, but as importantly, to provide them rich data that is relevant to their operations, whether that is cost, utilization or emissions related,” said the Renta Group CIO.

Tailored approach

He added that data is increasingly important to The Nordics-headquartered Renta’s customers, and that Renta has to tailor its approach to individual customers and even machines. “Not every customer can use the same level or amount of data,” he said. “And older equipment may not provide the granularity of data needed by larger contractors or site owners.”

There was not a dissimilar perspective from North America‘s Sunbelt Rentals represented on the day by Brandon Parker and Chris Malekar.

“In partnership with Trackunit we are gathering massive amounts of data through the Iris platform, and we are leveraging data to innovate in the ESG space.”

Chris Malekar, Sunbelt

“The customers are a broad church, from multinational construction behemoth with multi-year projects, to everyday DIY jobs, all of which need the most efficient support from their rental partner,” said Parker, Sunbelt’s VP of Connected Operations.

“Investment in Sunbelt’s technology platform provides rich data that informs the insights that allows Sunbelt to bring innovations to market and adds customer value while strengthening relationships,” said Malekar, Sunbelt’s VP of Connected Technologies and Engineering. “A significant element in this is the company’s developments in ESG (environmental, social and governance) which is key to targeting sustainability.”

At Trackunit NEXT our panelists highlighted the need to transform data into actionable insights.

Increased industry use of aerial platforms offers benefits across many phases of construction projects, a point agreed upon by Jamaal Crayton, of Genie, OEM of aerial lifts.

“One of the things we strive for is to provide the right solutions for our customers, with the user being the number one priority,” said Texas-headquartered Genie’s global director of digital strategy. 

“We are delivering into the marketplace products that will increase intuitive operational features which support higher productivity and better safety attributes.”

Jamal Crayton, Genie

In its latest report, the HSE report turned the microscope on working at height on sites reporting that “51% of all construction fatalities in 2022/23 were falls from height”.  

“Working with Trackunit, we are delivering into the market, products that will increase intuitive operational features which support higher productivity and better safety attributes,” said Crayton.

Strong relationships build trust

Rental has been a driving force for the digitalization of construction. It was quicker than most to see the benefits of the shift away from paper forms and avoidable site visits. In many ways it has coerced customers and suppliers to execute on digital strategies. 

Our panelists from Renta, Sunbelt and Genie at Trackunit NEXT

“To achieve our high level of customer support we developed Renta Connect Platform, which allowed us to gather and store data from telematics and business verticals providing a huge data lake”, said Särkkä. “We have worked with Trackunit for many years to mitigate some of the complexity, and believe we are leading the market in terms of our technology ecosystem.

“Not every customer can use the same level or amount of data and older equipment may not provide the granularity of data needed by larger contractors or site owners.”

Joel Särkkä, Renta

Genie’s Crayton concurred that digitalization has been a positive driver. “We are continuing to advance our E-drive capabilities on Aerial Work Platform equipment with more innovations coming in the near future,” he said. “These will create additional value, safety, and lower cost of ownership for our customers. 

“Genie is currently transitioning to the Trackunit Manager platform, and this will provide customers with all their previous data and expand opportunities to manage and utilize that data for insights that can be used to increase productivity,” said Crayton.

Leveraging Data

The benefits of the expansion of the data networks was also touched upon by Sunbelt’s Malekar. “In partnership with Trackunit we are gathering massive amounts of data through the Iris platform, and we are leveraging data to innovate in the ESG space,” said the Sunbelt VP of Connected Technologies and Engineering. The CO2 emissions reporting capability is really exciting from both the operations and engineering side.”

like any other and it is key to construction’s ability to analyse the worksite and yard and create insights to transform the industry by implementing more effective processes to increase safety, productivity, reduce costs and meet sustainability targets.

The continued development of Trackunit Iris, and the benefit it provides to customers and users in markets around the globe, is demonstrated by the more than 2 million machines and visible assets now communicating across the platform. 

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