Emerging technology, Virtual construction & technology, Safety
There's often a palpable energy at conferences. Despite varying situations and circumstance, everyone is there with a common goal: to learn.
At least that's always my goal. I love getting out there, hearing from like-minded people about innovative ideas that can be shaped and molded back at my own organization. But it's even better when I get to share what our team's developed and put into action.
And I've been lucky enough to share Pepper's Underground Utility Damage Prevention (UUDP) process at two recent conferences: Lean Construction Institute Congress and the American Institute of Constructors' Constructor Conference.
Sharing our story isn't new to us. We've written about UUDP on our blog and industry publications have written about it. But it was important for us to start spreading the word directly to others in our industry – beyond our partners – who are facing the same challenges.
We offered a peek behind the curtain, showing them our trials and tribulations; we shared the challenges that inspired the process, how we conquered pushback, the players involved, the overall evolution of UUDP and, ultimately, our results.
Not surprisingly, we came across loads of people who could relate to the start of our story, and they were searching for answers, too. Some of them were our competitors, and we happily shared what we had. Instead of keeping the program close to the vest, by sharing our process with everyone we hope to encourage a safer industry. No one benefits from disruption of services, costly repairs, injury or death. No one. So why would we keep UUDP to ourselves?
"We share our process so everyone can be safer, not just our people. If another contractor is working at my kid's school, I want them to be on their A-game," Mike Alder, director of Virtual Construction, Indiana
I'll be honest – I believe there's truth to the saying that "a rising tide carries all the boats." Being on the team that developed this process means it's our responsibility to share what we've learned with the industry. We need to help create the tide.
And frankly, it can get overwhelming and exhausting. But then people get engaged, you hear their stories and you see how it's made a difference for them. It's validation that this process is valuable, and we're on the right track.
We'll continue to keep working and keep sharing, not only with our own people, but the rest of the industry, too. We recognize our process isn't perfect. It is our hope that as more people become engaged and provide feedback, we will all continue to improve together.
Because everyone deserves the safest jobsite possible.