Use High Tech Properly

Laura M. Porinchak / September 2022

Thanks to an odd coincidence in timing, I have had to replace my washing machine, dryer, dishwasher and vacuum cleaner all within the last three months. The newness of everything made me realize just how bad my old appliances were. The new vacuum makes my 8-year-old rugs look brand new! My clothes now smell even more fresh than before, and my old pots and pans have been given a second chance. No regrets, even though it cost me a lot of money in a short period of time. It was worth it.
    
However, new technology comes with new appliances, and I’m not one to read the owner’s manual. After all, it’s just a washing machine—you hit the “on” button, select a cycle and go, right? Wrong! I learned the hard way the using old routines on new machines is not advisable. After washing a load of sheets and pillowcases, I wondered why some of the sheets came out of the washer dry. The can’t be clean if they didn’t get wet, so what happened? Long story short: I opened the manual and read about the Bedding cycle, which my old machine didn’t have. Problem solved.
    
And that brings me to this month’s feature article, which begins on page 22. Here we asked AWCI member contractors how their workers’ productivity rates were affected when new tools are introduced to the job. We realize that some contractors know what’s out there (like BIM, prefab and robots), but they’re not using it. Why not? For those still on the fence about high-tech products, our interviews in this article are with contractors who are seeing results by using new products and getting in early when it comes to new tech. Those folks now have a competitive advantage because they are already doing old things in a new way, and the others can learn from them. On top of their advice, I would like to add that obtaining the new tools (or appliances) is only part of the process. Learning to use them in the best way for the right job is the other part of the equation. At least glance at the owner’s manual, OK?
    
This issue also puts the spotlight on AWCI member suppliers, who are featured in our annual buyers’ guide. Much like last month’s guide to manufacturers, contact information is provided for each member supplier.
    
Finally, be sure to check out our columns. This month Vince Bailey discusses the benefits of telework in his Estimator’s Edge column (page 16), Mark L. Johnson covers building resiliency as it pertains to codes in InSync, and Robert Grupe highlights the delegated-design trend in his Wachuwannano column. This is definitely something contractors will want to know about because it could affect the way business and bidding are done.
    
Enjoy!