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Cars, Meals, Mobile Phones, and…Construction Cameras?

Cost Cutting AheadTo this Vice President and General Manager of large, multi-state construction projects, construction cameras are as essential on a daily basis as cars, meals, and his mobile phone.


In our first-ever TrueLook Job Site Chat, we gain some real-world insights into just how indispensible construction cameras have become for this GM’s distribution facility projects spread across Wayne, NJ, Cranbury, NJ, Lacey, WA, and Aurora, CO. The first thing that struck us when talking with the General Manager (GM) was just how frequently the cameras are used. He stated he checks them, “…first thing every morning and typically 3 or 4 times a day.” When you take time to think about it, there aren’t that many “things” in our daily lives that people use anywhere from 3 to 5 times a day. It made an impression on us so we decided to push a little bit further into the reasons WHY the cameras are referenced so frequently.

Each project location has TrueLook PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) cameras installed at various points around the job site. According to the GM, the PTZ functionality and the ability to record job conditions are the most useful features of construction camera technology. It gives project managers the ability to “verify what they’re being told” by onsite staff without having to jump on a plane. In the particular case of our GM, he “needed to be able to verify daily progress from my office on projects that were anywhere from 30 miles to 2,500 miles away.” That’s a LOT of flying. Not only does that take a toll on personal lives, but all that time spent flying is time that isn’t spent on other projects. GMs, who are valuable (and can be expensive) resources to a construction company, are able to take on more projects and provide more overall value to the business.

In this particular case, the cameras had an immediate impact and “reduced [the GM’s] travel time by 70%.” And while he “always liked a bit of personal interface time with his employees,” he’s adjusted to not physically standing in front of his employees and instead “gets them on the phone and reviews what I’m seeing via the TrueLook construction cameras.” It’s a real-time status update without spending 7 hours on a plane – there and back. This GM is saving, “$5,000 per month by being able to monitor the jobs remotely with the TrueLook system.”

Phone calls & cameras used in combination for status updates also allow a GM and his onsite crew to more quickly resolve issues and report project statuses to one another. In addition, by using the web interface software to record time-lapsed videos, assemble digital photo albums documenting the project, and utilizing recorded security footage to ensure the building site is safe and secure—and then delivering those content assets via websites, emails, social channels, or even in their office — owners and investors can get a good, solid picture of the progress of a job site.

So, after thinking it through, it becomes clear pretty quickly that construction cameras ARE very helpful for GMs and it’s no wonder they are referenced 3-5 times a day per job site. Taking into account the reduction in travel time, cost savings, real-time status updates, ability to validate reports and build trust, ability to verify job site security during off-hours, and the ability to share details with investors and stakeholders, the cameras become indispensible very quickly. Our GM summed it up the best when he said, “In the long run, it saves both time AND money.” The same could probably be said of cars and mobile phones…but meals, while indispensible for a different reason, might be a harder case to make.