Our first article in the series covered the dramatic rise in home DIY through to the shortages of material supplies globally; from timber, cement, plastics and plaster boarding, the pandemic has massively disrupted the construction sector in 2021 – and for the future.

We know that technology and data visibility are key enablers for change in construction, and the forecasted growth for 2022 is only going to amplify any technology gaps. This article will expand on article one and share how data solutions can help with current challenges, and how the right technology partners can assist in dealing with the changes in the sector.

Visibility through the supply chain

The Office for National Statistics has projected a rise of 7-8% in material prices, with increases for certain materials, such as timber, expected to more than double during the year. The Timber Trade Federation states that builders’ merchants are now starting to change their purchasing patterns towards more long-term planning as timber products overall, such as chipboard, are “in globally tight supply and likely to remain so, as there is little extra manufacturing capacity that can quickly open up the supply pipeline.”

Data is the key to capturing proof of compliance and adherence in any supply chain, right through to the track and trace of goods in the chain. Keeping customers informed of where their goods are and when they will arrive, helps to keep construction projects moving and avoids standing time to help avoid costs spiralling out of control. Along with proof of compliance for sustainability across manufacturers, merchants, builders for health and safety, etc., the creation of comprehensive data capture reports with track and trace of inventory will be key. This is where the collaboration of Symec and SOTI can help your business.

“The flow of data from the verification of inventory replenishment through to proof of goods transported along with confirmed deliveries signed and logged is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. At a time where stock is scarce and the sector is in recovery, it is our continued focus to reduce downtime and drive efficiencies in the sector.”  Sarah Edge, Director of Sales, UK, SOTI.

How technology partnerships can help

Only by using specialist industry partners can this data be captured in the right format and transformed into useful analysis to breakdown where business improvements are needed. This in turn will create impactful business reports that drive change. Symec and SOTI have worked together for over 15 years and developed a unique collaboration in the construction space boasting FTSE 250 organisations with tens of thousands of devices being rolled out with SOTI’s world class Enterprise Mobility Management solution SOTI MobiControl.

“Symec and SOTI’s collaboration has generated a wealth of experience in the construction sector. We have the ability to recommend the perfect device for each role and provide customer references and examples around project design for given scenarios to help customers make rounded decisions right for their needs. From collation of data to improve business operations through to device integration and migration strategies to keep your employees productive and happy, and your operations moving.”  Keith Lavelle, Head of Digital, Symec.

EMM is not just about device management

Symec and SOTI’s collaboration has forged the creation of bespoke solutions, tailored to each customer’s needs. More recently, Symec has developed a unique application called Shareable, for training focused on health and safety, which is enabled via SOTI MobiControl.

Shareable is an application to promote dynamic learning, ensure compliance, and easily manage remote worker communications. Shareable allows organisations to send and amend messages for thousands of devices simultaneously, receive read receipts, request digital signatures as confirmation that employees have understood the content that helps in demonstrating compliance, as well as allowing mobile workers to access key content offline, and much more.

“There are often complexities of different device operating systems and these are often associated with the roll out of applications to all devices. When you add BYOD as well as company owned devices and multiple satellite locations, you have a complex device management and compliance issue on your hands. We leverage SOTI MobiControl to push out our new application Shareable, which in turn drives compliance and health and safety best practice training to all end users. Another unique benefit of working with Symec.”  Keith Lavelle, Head of Digital, Symec.

SOTI MobiControl is used to push out all software updates and updated compliance forms to devices to ensure the latest data capture for updates in the sector is used. Equally, SOTI Assist helps with the remote support needed to keep devices working and operational in the field, reducing downtime and maintaining worker productivity. This data is then received by Symec who work with each customer to create customs reporting to meet the sector needs.

“We are seeing a huge shift in the types of devices, and the features needed to capture data quickly, easily and accurately. From device specific features such as built-in scanning on handheld computers, through to bespoke applications being roll out, facilitated by the SOTI ONE Platform”  Simon Wraith, Head of Technical Services, Symec.

Managing demand

Consumer habits are changing, and the boom of eCommerce during 2021 has had a dramatic effect on order processing and expectations. Construction is no exception to this digital transformation. Wholesalers are adapting their models to sell direct to consumers, impacting the supply chain and inventory availability. The acceleration of online orders, automated replies, and digitisation to improve process flows and communications through the supply chain means wholesalers and merchants need to adapt processes to remain competitive and to provide a high level of service in a highly competitive market.

Collection of data is relatively easy, but it is the visibility of that data, its analysis, and how to adapt your business relative to what is being shown, that is key. Building materials supplier Travis Perkins said: “In instances where we have seen some challenges posed by global demand for raw materials or inflationary pressures, we continue to work closely with our suppliers and partners to ensure healthy stock availability for our customers.”

Symec has provided over 600 devices to Travis Perkins using SOTI software, enabling them to adapt to the challenge and align their business operations.

Click here to download the latest SOTI Report – Mobilising the Delivery Workforce: State of Mobility in Transportation and Logistics 2021.

Improving efficiencies and transforming operations

Contact us today to find out what a Symec and SOTI partnership can do for you.
  • How do you secure devices and apps?
  • How do you keep up with the demand for apps?
  • How do you gain visibility?
  • How do you support workers and devices?

Speak to an expert today. Request a demo.


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