Sensera Systems Makes Site Intelligence Easy for GCs
Sensera’s jobsite cameras serve multiple value-adding functions, including productivity, collaboration, site security and safety.
When builders add cameras to their jobsites, they sometimes fear that the new technology will add headaches and project woes. But Sensera Systems helps by providing easy-to-use solutions that improve site productivity and collaboration. “We’re taking care of everything from end-to-end,” CEO David Gaw says.
Based in Golden, Colo., the company offers jobsite cameras that serve multiple value-adding functions, including productivity, collaboration, site security, safety, risk management and marketing. Its founder started Sensera in 2014 after gaining experience in IoT applications.
At the time, Gaw recognized the difficulty and expense of deploying remote monitoring systems and set out to solve those challenges through technological innovation. “Construction is one of the vertical markets that we felt was particularly lacking in that area when we founded Sensera Systems,” Gaw says. “The requirement for multiple components of hardware and software from multiple vendors, the fact that systems were not easy to install, and the requirement for power and Internet connection made jobsite monitoring cost prohibitive.”
Today, Sensera serves more than 1,000 general contractors with its solutions. A large percentage of its client base, Gaw notes, consists of mid-size regional builders that complete work in multiple states. “That’s a core customer of ours,” he says. “They really like our products, the ease of setup, and the flexibility to redeploy the systems around a jobsite or from project to project.”
One reason Sensera products are so easy and flexible to use is its SiteCloud platform, which supports multiple functions at once. For example, if a company wants to keep a close eye on productivity and hitting key milestones while also creating time-lapse videos appropriate for marketing, Sensera’s system can do that.
It also allows project managers to monitor and record multiple jobsites at once. “If I’m recording what’s happening on the site and there’s an incident, I can use that to determine root cause and update my training,” Gaw says.
Users also can annotate and markup images in SiteCloud and share them with other team members in real-time to avoid costly rework or delays. “You can say, ‘I need somebody on the team to take a look at this,’” he says. “You can use it as a workflow tool and to increase collaboration.”
No Power, No Problem
Sensera has made logistics easier for its customers by eliminating power and Internet requirements. This is a good fit for the construction industry, which requires portable and temporary solutions for monitoring sites.
With wireless and solar-powered products, “I can place cameras anywhere I need them, not just where I have power or Internet,” Gaw describes. “I can also move them quickly and easily.”
The cameras also connect to the cloud, allowing a unlimited number of people access to what they see (based on customer-defined permissions). “There is nothing more to that than putting in a login,” he says. “They can do that from anywhere and it all works in real time.”
The ability to deploy the cameras without the assistance of an electrician has earned Sensera rave reviews. “‘Ease of use’ and ‘simplicity’ are way up there in terms of what we hear from our customer,” Gaw reports.
An innovation that brings Sensera pride is its PTZ500 Panoramic Camera, which is designed for flexible site monitoring, enhanced build inspection and project marketing. The camera, which is used for very large project sites, provides for remote pan and tilting, while allowing users to zoom into areas of interest and view fine detail.
With its wide field of regard, “It can help you reduce the total number of cameras you need to cover an area,” Gaw says. The system can take multiple images spread out across an entire field and unite them into a single panorama that can be used to market the company and its craftsmanship. “That level of quality and detail is important for our customers.”
Sensera also can save its clients the cost of mounting or deploying cameras through the use of its reusable 20-foot aluminum camera pole. The lightweight product can withstand winds of up to 70 miles per hour.
The pole also is telescoping, which allows it to be easily transported. When on site, “You mount the camera on it and raise it up by hand; no bucket or scissor lift needed,” Gaw says. “It’s easy and it saves time and money.”
Ready to Grow
Gaw is proud of Sensera and how its employees have helped spread the word about its products as well as taken care of customers after the sale. “We have a very capable team,” he says.
He sees a strong future for Sensera. “We have a large and growing base of customers that really like what we’re doing and that’s the key,” he says, explaining that the company added 200 clients to its base last year.
Although its sales team was critical in reaching out to general contractors, the firm also generated word of mouth through its work. When Sensera begins a project, “That project manager talks to somebody else,” Gaw says.
This helps the company overcome resistance to new technologies. “If one project manager thinks another manager is getting an edge, they want to use it, too,” he explains.
Sensera plans to add more capabilities to its platform to help clients make their jobsites more productive. “We’ll continue to evolve how we do that and how much of that job we do,” Gaw concludes.