7 Benefits of Bluetooth Beacons in Construction

9 min

More and more industries are adopting Bluetooth beacon technology to improve different areas of their operations.

This comes as no surprise because this technology has been changing and improving over the years and can now do so much more for businesses than ever before, especially in the construction industry.

In this article, we explore the ways in which Bluetooth beacon technology can boost different aspects of your construction business and take it to the next level.

Indoor Reliability

Usually, when we think of accurate location tracking, our mind immediately goes to GPS. However, GPS is not without its limitations.

The fact is, a large portion of construction work takes place beyond the reach of GPS, such as, for example, in large buildings, underground, as well as underwater.

Sure, GPS does good enough of a job if, for instance, you need to track the location of your outdoor equipment, but what if you want an accurate insight into the precise location of the tools in a large, multi-storey warehouse?

This is where things get tricky, because GPS simply does not perform well indoors.

On the other hand, Bluetooth beacons are highly accurate and reliable for indoor location detection.

This makes them a perfect solution in situations when you need to monitor many assets at once or require precise data.

In 2022, the Association of Geographic Information Laboratories in Europe (AGILE) performed an experimental evaluation of Bluetooth beacon utilization in GPS-denied environments, and it confirmed that Bluetooth beacons are indeed more reliable in such scenarios.

Data: AGILE/Illustration: GoCodes

Naturally, GPS still has its place in location tracking, especially when monitoring mobile device movement and navigation.

In other words, it’s perfect for tracking your outdoor equipment and construction fleet.

However, if what you need is precise location tracking, especially indoors, Bluetooth beacons are the way to go. GPS simply cannot match their accuracy.

Wide Range of Applications

Bluetooth beacons are more than just precise, however. They are surprisingly versatile as well.

Since Bluetooth tags are so small and discreet, they can be attached to different kinds of assets, from laptops or tablets and various office furniture to heavy machinery and industrial equipment.

Source: GoCodes

The advantage of such a design is not only to avoid ruining an asset’s appearance.

Having the ability to be attached to any asset makes for a versatile and efficient solution for businesses in all kinds of industries—the construction industry included.

Data: MOKOBlue/Illustration: GoCodes

For starters, construction sites are known to be unsafe and hectic.

This is why adequate access control is a must. Bluetooth beacons do a great job of preventing unauthorized foot traffic, thus promoting overall job site safety.

They do so by allowing the Bluetooth-enabled devices to connect automatically to the access control system and exchange data required for authentication completion. It’s as simple as that!

Secondly, as it was already briefly touched upon, Bluetooth beacons are perfect for precise location tracking, but their application reaches far beyond tracking your tools in a warehouse.

Personnel and equipment locations, construction fleet, or the performance of construction machinery. You name it—with Bluetooth beacons, you can track it.

This way, you receive data that serves as the grounds for better decision-making.

In other words, by tracking your various assets’ and employees’ performance, you’ll be equipped to allocate them more efficiently across job sites, which promotes better coordination and operation planning.

Moreover, one less known feature of Bluetooth beacons is their ability to track different environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, or air quality, which significantly helps monitor your ecological impact and create more environmentally-safe job sites.

Finally, wearable technology and Bluetooth technology really go hand in hand and together create smart and safe construction sites.

From counting your employees and showing their position to marking dangerous zones—smart wearables do so much to increase overall safety.

All in all, Bluetooth beacons are much more versatile than many expect, and as such, they truly have the potential to make construction businesses more advanced, efficient, and, of course, successful.

Cost-Effectiveness

Even though Bluetooth beacons do so much for your business, that does not make them a high-cost investment. In fact, they are pretty cost-effective.

Bluetooth beacons are very affordable and have a great price-to-value factor compared to some other technologies, but more importantly, they consume very little power, which directly translates to significantly longer service life.

However, it’s important to note that Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) should not be confused with Traditional Bluetooth, known for its higher power consumption.

The two are quite different, and each finds its application in other areas.

Data: myComply/Illustration: GoCodes

Generally speaking, BLE traded in some of its capabilities and data capacity for less power consumption, which has made it durable and long-lasting.

Because of these traits, BLE is more frequently used for short-range communication, mainly in industrial settings.

For instance, in the construction industry, BLE is commonly used for asset tracking.

In fact, while there are many asset tracking methods (GPS, RFID, LoRa), BLE is becoming increasingly popular when tracking workers, equipment, and other assets.

Still, while it has many benefits for asset tracking, BLE does not come without flaws.

Source: GoCodes

Moreover, GoCodes recently introduced Bluetooth beacons as a part of our asset management system. It’s a cost-effective but efficient solution for your asset tracking.

GoCodes’ smartphone app can detect every beacon within a range of up to 300 feet and receive information about asset type and location, taking your asset tracking to another level without breaking the bank.

Source: GoCodes

GoCodes’ beacons provide valuable data about your assets, such as their identity, the distance between the beacon and the smartphone, and environmental information, such as temperature.

All in all, you want a solution that is effective but not at the expense of your profitability.

Bluetooth beacons are just that. The value they provide against their price makes them a super cost-effective solution.

High Reusability

Another significant advantage of Bluetooth beacons is their reusability.

After you finish a project or a task, the beacons can be removed from one asset and simply attached to another and reused for a different purpose.

Let’s say that if a particular beacon was used for your fleet management, you can, at any point in time, decide the better use for that beacon would be, for instance, worker location tracking.

This makes Bluetooth beacons highly cost-effective and practical, but there is one more hidden benefit of their reusability.

To elaborate, together with their long service life, reusability contributes to Bluetooth beacons’ sustainability.

And seeing as the construction industry has a significant negative impact on the environment, it’s pretty important to look for ways, no matter how trivial they might seem, to remedy that fact whenever possible.

Data: GoContractor/Illustration: GoCodes

To put it simply, Bluetooth beacons are an environment-friendly choice. There’s no need to constantly reorder new beacons or dispose of the old ones after the job is done.

Simply reattach them to whichever asset you need and they’ll be ready to carry out their new task.

To conclude, because of the beacons’ high reusability, you win on three fronts.

Firstly, you don’t have to waste time reordering new beacons whenever a task is finished, and that way, you’re simultaneously saving money.

Moreover, you’re showing your company is future-oriented and making a positive impact on the environment by opting for environmentally-friendly solutions.

Better Construction Site Monitoring

Bluetooth beacons give you a complete real-time picture of your job sites.

What this means is that you have full visibility of your staff, tools, materials, and equipment, which is especially important for project management because project managers need a centralized source of data they can use across different stages of each project.

With the Bluetooth beacons, project managers can track, for instance, the efficiency of each worker and monitor material delivery or the progress of each ongoing project, all of which contributes to better decision-making and project planning.

Simply put, you can’t effectively monitor your construction sites without having accurate, versatile, and real-time data at your disposal.

Bluetooth beacons provide just that and, in turn, significantly improve project management, which, as you already know, is the key to successful project completion.

Source: GoCodes

Essentially, by monitoring construction sites and paying close attention to the progress of each project, project managers can detect what might be slowing the operation down, whether it’s an inefficient worker, a late materials delivery, or a large number of misplaced tools, and act accordingly.

In turn, the likelihood of timely project completion increases, and so do your profits.

Improved Resource Management

Everyone knows that construction sites are packed with different equipment, machines, tools, and other assets.

But not many people realize how hard it can be to effectively manage and allocate all those assets, especially across multiple job sites.

Still, seeing that they’re significant investments, ensuring the effective utilization of your assets should be your goal.

With Bluetooth beacons, that goal becomes a reality, as they enable you to accurately track the utilization of your assets, i.e., their location (either indoors or outdoors), type, and usage status.

And when integrated with asset management software, you get even more detailed data about your asset usage.

Having such valuable data at your disposal significantly improves the effectiveness with which you manage your resources and, in turn, benefits your business in many different ways.

Data: Saviom/Illustration: GoCodes

To begin with, successful resource management entails having complete visibility of all your assets and workers, meaning you’re always ready to allocate them effectively during ongoing and future projects.

Furthermore, construction projects are notoriously susceptible to unexpected costs.

Many of these costs are the direct result of mistakes that stem from poor resource management, such as, for example, overstocking and understocking, i.e., inaccurate inventory forecasting, or project delays due to unplanned downtime.

Therefore, efficient resource management equates to reduced costs.

It leads to an improvement in your overall productivity as well. Since there are just enough resources to complete each project, there’s less time wasted on unproductive activities such as looking for missing tools.

Moreover, proper resource management lets you know exactly how many workers you need for a project. This way, unnecessary hiring and firing costs are reduced.

For instance, if you realize at the last minute you don’t have enough staff for a project, you’ll have to immediately start looking for more workers and onboard them before you even begin working on the project, which means putting the work on hold.

To sum up, if your goal is for your business to thrive and prosper, you should look into managing your resources more effectively. Bluetooth beacons assist in boosting this part of business operations as they provide you with up-to-date data on your asset utilization.

Theft Prevention

A truly prevalent problem afflicting the construction industry is the significant theft rates.

Just to illustrate, in 2021 alone, 11,504 burglaries were reported on construction sites in the United States.

Data: Statista/Illustration: GoCodes

Your assets are a considerable investment and as such, they need to be protected, but this goes beyond monetary damage.

Just like a misplaced tool would, stolen equipment causes considerable costly project delays.

In other words, if work cannot continue without that stolen piece of equipment, you need to pause everything and look for a replacement, which costs both money and time.

And there’s little the burglars wouldn’t take. Construction materials, tools, heavy equipment, or appliances can all be targeted by thieves.

The reasons for the prevalence of this problem are many. The most obvious one is the fact that construction equipment is highly valuable and in high demand.

Still, that alone does not explain why construction site robberies are so common.

The real issue lies in poor record keeping and inefficient asset tracking many companies still rely on, which results in staggeringly low recovery rates.

Data: DATOMS/Illustration: GoCodes

However, Bluetooth beacons nip this problem in the bud.

When attached to an asset, they immediately notify you if the asset has been removed from a specified range, allowing you to take preventive and immediate action before the crime even occurs.

In summary, Bluetooth beacons are truly effective when it comes to both theft prevention and stolen asset retrieval.

In other words, they let you know the exact location of each asset in real time, but they also go even further than that by warning you if an asset is where it’s not supposed to be.

Conclusion

All in all, there is a great deal of Bluetooth beacon applications construction businesses can benefit from.

Some are more obvious, like indoor location tracking and theft prevention, but the beacons are surprisingly versatile while they at the same time, remain cost-effective.

So why not try exploring the many possibilities this new and exciting technology provides? You’ll be surprised by what it can do for your business.

About GoCodes

GoCodes is the industry leader in tool tracking. We provide customers with the ultimate single vendor solution that includes cloud-based software, top-rated smartphone scanner apps and rugged QR code tags.

We pride ourselves on delivering a personalized service, cutting-edge technology and software that is easily used by your entire team.

GoCodes ensures our customers achieve success in their tool management projects every time.

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