What’s so great about advanced digital construction management systems?

Lots of paper with the bill that will help guide us into paperless.

Last year’s passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) set the stage for a once-in-a-generation transformation of our nation’s infrastructure. Our industry enters 2022 with a mandate to deliver billions of dollars in improvements amid global supply chain disruptions and historic labor shortages against a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 variants. How do we implement this ambitious plan under such challenging circumstances? Innovation is a critical component to effectively answering this question.

You might not have had a chance to read it yet, but as I paged through, there were a few sections that jumped out at me. In particular, the sections about accelerated implementation and deployment of advanced digital construction management systems. These systems are pretty new, so I wanted to answer the question: “what is an advanced digital construction management system?” In particular, what does this mean for owners?

Advanced construction management systems are defined as empowering “more timely and productive information-sharing among stakeholders through reduced reliance on paper.” These systems place digital technologies in the hands of all infrastructure construction workers and enables them to “perform tasks faster, safer, more accurately, and with minimal supervision”.


The Infrastructure Bill includes the following:

“The Secretary shall establish and implement a program under the technology and innovation deployment program established under paragraph (1) to promote, implement, deploy, demonstrate, showcase, support, and document the application of advanced digital construction management systems, practices, performance, and benefits.”

The goals of this effort are, “accelerated State adoption of advanced digital construction management systems applied throughout the construction lifecycle (including through the design and engineering, construction, and operations phases)” that:

  • maximize interoperability with other systems, products, tools, or applications
  • boost productivity
  • manage complexity
  • reduce project delays and cost overruns
  • enhance safety and quality

“We need to build our economy back better than ever before and that requires using innovative approaches to transportation that deliver results for the American people. The USDOT will continue to support innovations that deliver projects that help people get where they need to go, safely and cost-effectively.”

– U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg


ADCM systems have the following characteristics:

A data-first approach allows inspectors to capture observations in a way that better aligns to their workflow capturing more and better data. It allows each field-collected piece of information to flow directly into multiple output forms with just the click of a button. Whereas with a form filler tool, a user needs to type that information into a specific entry field that doesn’t easily allow it to be automatically used on additional forms (say a quantity value that has to go into both a daily report as well as a pay estimate or the need to support alternate use cases such as emergency preparedness and asset management.)

The system should allow for a more organic workflow that can be configured to meet unique organizational use cases and specific processes. A field-first approach allows inspectors to capture observations in a way that better aligns to their normal workflow except enhances it to capture more and better data.

Going paperless means less time spent transporting documents and drastically decreasing the amount of money spent on printing forms and contracts. Digitizing this process allows access to your documents instantly anywhere you are; saving and sending in real-time so that you can stop wasting time on administrative tasks.

Modular technology systems are comprised of best-in-breed technologies that are tailored to the particular challenges your business addresses. Instead of using a monolithic and inflexible system to address a wide variety of challenges, modular systems are more flexible, more secure, faster, and most importantly, tailored around specific business and technology functions.

Open APIs are the bedrock of modern software. It is openness of systems and solutions that allows integrations and data-sharing across platforms. Data from multiple sources can reveal key, strategic insights and help uncover best practices to create safer work environments, drive efficiencies, and ultimately build better infrastructure.


Here’s how we are helping owners…

At HeadLight we are helping to build advancements in advanced digital construction management system from the ground up with our partners. I’ll let their words speak for themselves.

“HeadLight offers a more natural workflow, as opposed to a form fill process, which results in double the volume of data collection.”

– Senior Project Inspector, State DOT

“The configurability of the HeadLight UI supports use cases outside of construction workflows such as emergency preparedness and asset management.”

– Chief, Construction Division, State DOT

“I appreciate the ease of communication throughout the entire project. I felt like my inspectors and fellow supervisors were on the same page and I found it easy to follow the overall “flow” of the jobsite when I had been on another project that day.”

– Regional Engineer, State DOT

“HeadLight allows our team to reach their full potential with the quality and quantity of the data they can get. Before, our data was useless. You had to go through each .pdf and read it to get any information from it. And you had to search, hunting and pecking. And now I can just go and say, “Okay this bid item. Oh, here it is. It was March 15th.” Their hard work and the information they capture is not just getting thrown into a filing cabinet somewhere.”

– Construction Specialist Project Manager, CEI

Learn more about how we help owners maximize interoperability with other systems, products, tools, or applications, boost productivity, manage complexity, reduce project delays and cost overruns and enhance safety and quality by getting in touch.