How Accessible Information is Tackling Construction Challenges
Director of Product & Industry Strategy at Cumulus Digital Systems
Wes is a proven construction professional with world-class experience ranging from entry-level craft to senior project management and technical assurance leadership, leading teams on multi-billion-dollar projects. He is also the current host of the Work Done Right podcast.
Wes Edmiston got his start in construction in 6th grade when he began helping his dad rebuild houses after a tornado flattened a portion of the 850-person town he lived in.
It started a trajectory of picking up various jobs, learning everything he could before the opportunity arose to take the next step toward growth.
“As I used to say all the time, whenever you learn how to read a tape measure, what plumb level square is, you can apply that to just about anything,” said Wes.
The Power of Curiosity
Wes says that if he’s honest, his initial plan after taking a job in Texas building offshore oil platforms was to work until he had enough money to return to school. But he enjoyed what he did too much and was learning a lot in his role.
Wes’ eagerness to learn probably had a lot to do with his quick promotion to foreman, a pattern that would continue throughout his career.
After becoming a certified welding inspector and working on various Shell projects, Wes caught the attention of an inspector, who offered him a job. After six months, he’d become a lead inspector and move into completions management nine months after that.
“If I had to say the number one thing that has helped me get ahead, to get promoted, would be just a general level of curiosity and humility,” says Wes.
“To take that approach, you have to understand that you don’t know everything.”
Improving Productivity with Technology
Today, Wes is the Director of Product and Industry Strategy with Cumulus Digital Systems – the connected worker platform that guides users through industrial maintenance and inspection processes.
“We recognized that effectively every activity in construction can be broken down into a step-by-step activity,” explains Wes.
The product also gives users a snapshot of just-in-time information workers need to complete the work. When 35% of worker time goes to nonproductive activities, such as searching for information, Cumulus is helping to increase productivity.
Solving the Labor Shortage
Wes believes access to information will also help the industry overcome some of the challenges it faces today, such as the labor shortage and the impending skilled management gap.
In his podcast ‘‘Work Done Right’’, Wes interviews industry professionals to share valuable information that is particularly helpful for those moving into leadership roles.
When tackling the labor shortage, Wes also believes that companies would benefit from turning their attention towards the foreman, as they’re the ones managing the people.
“Solving the labor shortage isn’t just how we get more bodies onto sites. I think it’s, how do we enable those bodies in order to be optimally efficient?”
For an industry working hard to generate interest in it, Wes says it’s about changing people’s perspectives. And he knows firsthand, as someone that was planning to leave it.
“People really view this as lesser than getting a college degree.
I finished that last year, and I can tell you I learned much more on projects than I ever did in university.”
Vice President, Assignar
Chris is Co-Host of the Dirty Boots Show. While he's not hosting the show, he's the VP of Marketing for Assignar where he is no stranger to reaching and engaging customers and igniting revenue growth.