Author: Peggy Smedley

Our roadways and highways are a critical component to moving both people and goods, carrying 72% or nearly $17 trillion of the nation’s goods—and in many cases these roads are failing us. Growing wear and tear on our nation’s roads has left 43% of our public roadways in poor or mediocre condition, a number that has remained stagnant in the past several years, according to the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers). As I have talked about before in the column, the most recent Infrastructure Report Card, the ASCE gave our roads a grade of a “D.” We all recognize…

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We all know how the COVID-19 supply-chain story goes. The supply chain cracked under the immense pressure and disruptions that COVID-19 pandemic caused. A shortage of toilet paper and other essential supplies catapulted the supply chain into the worldwide spotlight. But for those of us who have worked in the industry for decades, we knew it was broken and on the brink of collapse long before 2020. It just needed the weight of something large to crack everything wide open. What came next was a significant transformation that was truly long overdue. The Rise of Direct-to-Consumer In the years since,…

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For years, I have been talking about the need to attract and retain workers in the construction industry. For far too long, the gap has been too wide, causing projects to stall. Will we make progress in the year ahead? Let’s take a moment to look at what the data show in the construction sector as there is both good news and bad news on the horizon. Last month, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released numbers that show total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 216,000, with employment trending upward in industries such as construction and transportation. Construction added an…

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Microsoft has an automotive plan. At CES 2024 the focus was on engineering and vehicle platforms as well as customer experience, both for inside the vehicle and for the rest of the journey. Last month, we saw a bevy of announcements from CES 2024—many of which pointed to the future of automotive. While AI (artificial intelligence) certainly took center stage, there were many announcements that point to how innovation is transforming for OEMs (original-equipment manufacturers) and how the customer experience is refashioning across the lifetime of the vehicle. John Reed, global solutions leader, manufacturing & mobility industries, Microsoft, shared a…

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Here at Constructech, I have written many times about our nation’s infrastructure, urging industry, government, academia, and technology to come together to create smart cities and smart infrastructure that can stand the test of time. I have urged that now is the time to invest and build structures that are intelligent and resilient. Certainly, we have come a long way—and we still have a long way to go. Prior to 2020, one of the last major nationwide infrastructure initiative in America happened almost 70 years ago with the creation of the Interstate Highway System, which began in the 1950s under…

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We know generative AI (artificial intelligence) is on the rise for many global markets, with some suggesting it could become a $1.3 trillion market by 2032, as the market balloons to a whopping 42%, according to Bloomberg. When looking at what global vertical markets tend to stand the most to gain, GlobalData identifies IT (information technology), manufacturing, government, retail banking, and retail, as the industry standouts. With this comes a change in technology. For today’s blog discussion, let’s pull back the curtain and take a closer look at how AI is advancing and expediating business decisions, ultimately deciding their path…

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Is AI (artificial intelligence) all it is hyped up to be? New research suggests the answer is both yes and no. Today let’s dig into what is happening with enterprise adoption of AI—and perhaps more importantly what is not happening. This new research comes from IBM, which surveyed a representative sample of 8,584 IT professionals in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, UAE, UK, U.S., and LATAM (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru). To participate, respondents had to be employed full-time, work at companies with more than 1 employee, work in a manager…

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With the rise of consumerization, products aim to create a more personalization experience for each user. In fact, McKinsey & Co., suggests 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions—and 76% get frustrated when this doesn’t happen. Let’s be honest, since the emergence of digitalization we are a society that expects products now, in every size, shape, and color. Companies that do deliver personalization will grow faster and drive 40% more revenue from personalization. Here’s the challenge: While delivering this, companies must also keep sustainability top of mind. In recent years we have seen a real focus by consumers…

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For years, I have been espousing the need for standards in the smart home—something homebuyers desperately need if they are going to gain any sort of interoperability among all their appliances and devices. A smart home is truly only smart if devices can “talk” to each other to improve the functionality in the home such as temperature, lighting, and home theatre, just to name a few. Builders that want to remain competitive in today’s tight market must consider how home technologies fit into the building and sales equation—otherwise homebuyers are going to turn to the competitors who can provide the…

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Walking the show floor at CES always points to the biggest trends in technology. It is always a good indicator of what is to come in the year ahead. Last year, we saw the continued rise of digital health, connected, cars, and smart homes, just to name a few. This year, much talk is squarely centered around AI (artificial intelligence), sustainability, and greater mobility, as people are returning to work and travel in droves, with eyes peeled on the future. It’s no surprise then some of the biggest announcements from this year’s show surround mobility and sustainability. A few examples…

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