People use apps in almost every facet of their life. Whether it’s an alarm clock app, weather app, or banking app, apps are a quick and easy way to get information. That’s why construction management apps are so important. Just like the weather app, construction management apps can be a wealth of knowledge right in people’s back pocket.
80% of smartphone owners check their phone before they brush their teeth. People spend roughly 4 hours a day on their phones, and roughly 90% of that time is spent on apps. So the aversion to apps in construction and specifically in construction management isn’t well founded. There is a lot of information needed in the field, and not being able to access it quickly and easily can cause costly delays. Construction management apps can save companies a lot of time and money if companies use the right app for their business.
Steps to Choosing the Right App for Your Business
To get the benefits of a construction management app, a business must pick the right app for them. Here are the best ways to determine the right app.
Determine the Needs
Every company has different needs. A company might need an app only for their field team to record field notes, while another might want to only see drawings and designs. Making a command decision about an app based on price isn’t the best way to go about choosing an app. Whoever is making the purchasing decision must choose which features they need, and how it would integrate into their business. Having an app that can only send RFIs in a hard to read format, or can’t create an RFI might not be the best app for a trade contractor. However, it really depends on the needs of the company.
Test Out the Apps
If possible, see how the apps hold up in the field. Within business, the price can be a driving factor; however, you do get what you pay for. While cheaper apps with limited functionality and a lot of double entry can be tempting, it can cause delays. Many of those apps aren’t built to help with more than one aspect of a job site. And while the business might only want field notes now, being able to see drawings in the field quickly and track time can reduce a lot of stress on the back office.
Eliminate paper processes and integrate a better mobile strategy
With the tap of a finger, construction business managers use mobile applications to maintain their businesses. Mobile applications, such as Field Works Mobile App can play a large role in the construction industries, eliminating time-consuming paper processes and improving workflow and efficiency. A mobile platform can smoothly integrate into a company’s technology infrastructure and adapt as processes evolve. The following are four ways construction business owners and managers can benefit from implementing mobile apps designed for the industrial space.
1. Improve Workforce and PM Efficiency
Using mobile delivery applications, construction managers can improve the efficiency and transparency of the entire construction project, from authorization and accountability to scheduling and monitoring. Construction projects consist of multiple authorization controls in order to progress. For example, during a road maintenance project, supervisors are able to provide real-time approvals when one layer is cured, allowing the next layer to be placed. They are also able to flag any complications that arise during the project.
Mobile delivery apps also help with supplier scheduling and management. For example, a ready-mix concrete company can use a mobile app in which the supplier can share a map interface with the customers and offer active management of service-level agreements.
During these processes, mobile applications replace manual, paper-based data entries, which can be cumbersome and time-consuming. Paperwork takes days to process and can get lost in the shuffle. For even more measurable results, mobile provides transparency of activities so deadlines can be managed better. Integrating mobile apps into every process improves the accuracy of project sequences, enhances workforce accountability and provides hard metrics upon completion of each service, which helps to improve the relationship between all parties involved in the construction project.
2. Ensure Safety Compliance
No doubt, construction is often a high-hazard industry. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), nearly 6.5 million people work at approximately 252,000 construction job sites across the nation on any given day. The injury rate for the construction industry is higher than the national average among all industries, which makes training a big priority. Mobile platforms make it easier for construction managers to track completion of regular job-training sessions, improving worker safety and ensuring regulatory compliance. They also facilitate the immediate reporting of all safety concerns and injuries. This ensures timely and proper management of such issues, further strengthening regulatory compliance.
3. Minimize Project Delays
Delays and rework in commercial construction projects can cost millions of dollars in lost revenue and negatively affect a construction company’s reputation. While most companies cannot predict the weather conditions or plan accurately for a permit and licensing red tape, at least managers can organize and sync their operational activities via mobile delivery apps to optimize the schedule.
For example, they can manage the distribution and delivery of inventory and materials in real time. A construction manager in charge of two different job sites can allocate additional materials to Jobsite A in real time and receive an electronic proof of delivery, all while monitoring the progress on Jobsite B.
The distribution and monitoring functionality in cloud-based project management software allows managers to see projects through to completion and even review work when it is finished, while real-time job-status tracking and data collection help reduce delays and provide greater awareness of project goals.
4. Implement Cost-Effective Mobile Options
The process of incorporating a mobile application model is efficient, partly thanks to the high adoption rate of smartphones and cloud technology. Relevant apps can then be installed and accessed across all types of smartphones and tablets, including Apple, Samsung, and LG. Mobile applications are also provided as software-as-a-service, which allows for a cost-effective monthly fee.
Construction has many moving parts, and mobile delivery applications help place management information into one operational view. The rise of smartphone use and the availability of comprehensive end-to-end mobile applications for the industrial space have opened up new possibilities for the industry. For managers, using mobile delivery apps makes their lives easier from the beginning of a project to job completion.
A common complaint between project managers, owners, and supervisors is that there isn’t a lot of communication or understanding between the three. Owners might not know what the project managers are doing while project managers might not know what happened in the field. Communication between the three can make all three feel involved and better understand where the project is and what resources are needed. Construction management apps improve communication between the branches of project management. Construction management apps give all three groups oversight into the project and improve communication.
Improving communication not only increases visibility among project stakeholders, but it also makes stakeholders feel more involved. By feeling involved and like their voice is heard, and knowing where things went wrong makes people more likely to want to work together. Which saves people time on decisions, and fosters good relationships making the stakeholders more likely to work together.