Innovation in the Construction Industry: An Interview with Chad Hollingsworth, Vita Industrial’s Newest Advisor
ita is on a mission to make the construction industry a safer, more profitable environment. To achieve that we have enlisted some of the most experienced people to join our Construction Advisory Council. We sat down with our newest member, Chad Hollingsworth, Founder of Triax Technologies and most recently Co-Founder/President of Insight Risk Technologies. Spending much of his career building Triax, an IoT, wearable safety and efficiency platform for commercial construction markets, they partnered with numerous insurance companies to assist the adoption of the platform.
Vita: How did you land in the role you are in today?
Chad: Those previous experiences helped me to start my latest company two years ago, which is an underwriting company bundling technologies that can improve risk with different types of complex construction insurance. I've been at the intersection of IoT, the construction world, and insurance.
Vita: What's something that you're most proud of from anywhere along your career?
Chad: I guess one thing I would point to is that I've been good at finding ways to partner with and navigate large complex companies to create value. I'm able to find ways to create value in older, more complex industries including construction and insurance. I’ve been able to repeat it and build a career around it. So it's nice to be at the forefront of new things and in industries that people can recognize.
Vita: Speaking of forefront, what do you think is currently the biggest risk facing the construction industry?
Chad: The labor shortage is an ongoing problem in construction, and it’s evolving. There are a lot of jobs that require manual labor and there is a threat to the industry because the skilled labor force is aging and getting ready to retire. There aren't a lot of younger people to backfill those roles. So, the industry is going to have to rely on and adopt technologies to want to attract younger generations. They’ve grown up with technology since middle school and don't want to go into a trailer and use a pencil or paper. Adapting to the change in the workforce and making it safer at the same time is important. But you also must come up with ways to remove manual workflows with technology to drive interest in the younger generations. I think that’s where Vita fits in because it’s a combination of technology and safety innovation.
Vita: How do you see the construction industry evolving over the next 20 years?
Chad: The construction industry is a vast and complex beast that is critically important to how humans adapt as a civilization. It is estimated that we will have 2 billion more people living on this planet by 2050. Every aspect of the built environment will have to be reimagined and grow to meet the impending demand. The amount of construction required will be tremendous. Unfortunately, if construction processes continue the way they are done today, It will be impossible to build fast enough to keep up with the growth. Quite simply, the industry has to evolve and innovate. It’s not an option.
Every facet within the industry, from financing, building processes, insurance, safety, data collection, and automation, all is needed to evolve within the $13 trillion industry to keep up with the population growth. That task is daunting but gets people like me excited about the opportunity. In this case, Innovation isn’t eliminating jobs, it’s allowing the industry to keep up and create more jobs for all this work that’s needed.
Vita: If there’s one thing you could change instantly in the industry what would it be?
Chad: I would focus on risk and improving safety. On average, 4% of construction budgets are allocated to insurance, so there's a huge chunk of the dollar spend going toward risk mitigation. Because construction is so complex, no two projects are the same and the environment is very dangerous. Since there are a lot of unknowns and variables, it’s a very expensive industry to insure.
What I would change is to make tasks more repetitive, and to remove some of the unknowns that lead to obstacles. Through adoption of new technologies or processes we can make the construction industry more efficient and predictable. Not only that but safety would improve and allow workers to get home without injury or missing future days of work.
Vita: Why are you excited to be an advisor for Vita Industrial?
Chad: When I first learned about Vita my initial thought was, “This is a no brainer, and no serious construction company can ignore its benefits.” I see Vita at the intersection of technology and safety with the Vita Load Navigator. Those kinds of products are the ones that can make a big impact quickly in this industry. I’m excited to help Vita unlock value for all key stakeholders in the industry. When something goes wrong with a crane, it can be devastating to the success and safety of a project. 10 years from now I imagine every crane in the world having some type of stabilization device like the Vita Load Navigator. Vita’s solution will have a dramatic impact in improving safety and efficiency of construction. Who wouldn’t be excited about playing a small part in achieving that?
Vita is proud to add Chad to its Construction Advisory Council and know that together we can make an impact in the industry. With his expertise in technology and construction, Vita Industrial is on the right path to revolutionizing safety and efficiency.