Before the COVID-19 crisis, Australia’s construction sector generated over $360 billion in revenue, and accounted for nine percent of Australia’s GDP, according to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee.

It is an industry that has long been on the cusp of change but that is now starting to make in-roads, with an increasing number of players, from Kennards Hire to Lendlease making a greater use of big building data and smart technologies.



“Like everyone who's in the property and construction sectors, there's a realisation that … our sector continues to see a downward trend in productivity - it costs us more to accomplish the same amount [as sectors like automotive and manufacturing],” Lendlease’s CEO of digital Bill Ruh tells an EY podcast earlier this year.

“We're [now] looking to accomplish what essentially these other industries have done with digital, which is what can help us really get that productivity, and bring down the cost, time and risk of … these great places that we build.”

Kennards Hire’s IoT evolution

When Kennards Hire started on its IoT journey - branded Easytrak - it saw an opportunity to track and manage some of the 120,000+ assets it rents to construction sites and other equipment users.

The range of assets Easytrak covers is vast, from large excavators to angle grinders and barricades.

Sensors on heavy earthmoving equipment such as excavators enable Kennards Hire to manage the location of equipment and determine if equipment is being used as agreed. Real-time utilisation data also determines when the equipment needs maintenance or servicing.

One year on, the company has substantially matured in its approach to IoT. It is no longer just instrumenting assets, but embedding IoT deeper into operational workflows.

This is improving and optimising the efficiency with which the Kennards Hire business runs.

“We're still connecting assets, but we're finding as we go through this process and look at the full end-to-end workflow that there are broader business requirements, and IoT is just part of that,” General Manager of Strategic Projects Craig Kesby tells

We’re understanding how equipment is used, but then what other data we can add in to enrich what we're getting back from the telemetry to actually make an improvement in a workflow or an operational task.

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