The construction industry is always moving. The entire dynamic of its operations are shifting toward mobile technology, and its workforce is never in one place for long. Paper forms and desktop-based solutions cannot keep up with the mobilization of the industry and its workers. Construction companies are beginning to integrate the use of mobile applications to improve communication, increase efficiency, and save time.
It used to be the case that for everybody to be on the same page, they had to be in the same place. Mobile technology has shattered this idea. Now, multiple members of a team can be in different geographical locations, while still being on the same page due to mobile communication and collaboration capabilities.
Applications like Field Works Mobile App have created a new form of communication that greatly improve accuracy and speed of information flow across all parties.
Learn how mobile apps and cloud technology can provide big productivity gains on the jobsite, and connect the field and office:
The bulk of what occurs on a job-site is reported back as a daily report. These reports are traditionally hand-written and not completed until after the day at the site has ended. This mental exercise calls for the worker to recall all of the specific events that occurred accurately. The human memory is not capable of remembering events in that much detail after that much time has passed.
Mobile applications for daily reporting allow the workers to update the report as events transpire, to improve accuracy and avoid the need to recall information. The Digital Daily Report performed on a mobile device is a report shared with everyone else on the project allowing them to receive these updates in real time and respond to them with suggestions or requests for more information before it’s too late. This increases productivity by having off-site employees involved in the on-site processes and decisions. It also saves time by allowing everything to be done on-site and eliminates the need for the report to be driven back to the office and reviewed after the job.
According to the Dodge Data & Analytics Report, 44% of project managers said that communication with other people involved in the project was not efficient. To combat this inefficiency, many construction software companies are beginning to integrate push-to-talk (PPT), email, text messaging, and file sharing as means of immediate communication. Removing the communication bottleneck eliminates the obstacle of having to obtain everyone’s contact information to get in touch with him or her. Instead, you can communicate in any fashion with anyone involved in the project at hand.
PPT utilizes voice communication on the jobsite that allows workers to contact anybody they need quickly. They can ask questions and get immediate answers, which speeds decision-making. Since people can speak much faster than they can write or type, using voice communication allows for quicker and more precise communication. Workers can make oral notes, and upload photos as they come across problems on the jobsite. Faster and more accurate communication allow for instant updates on events as they are uncovered. These notes are turned into text for future reference that is more accurate and detailed than a traditional report and can be accessed for any reason in the future, which can protect the workers against litigation.
PPT can also improve safety. If a worker is injured on the job, another employee can send a voice message to all stakeholders and receive immediate instructions on how to safely handle to situation. This ensures on-site safety as well as improves the speed at which the injured party can receive help.
Companies who still use traditional timecards have no way of knowing if they are being filled out accurately, or what the workers are doing on-site. Mobile applications offer workers the ability to accurately and honestly complete timecards, and GPS-track where employees are and what they are doing at a jobsite. If an employee does not clock into a job that they were scheduled, the project manager will be sent a message to inform him or her. This creates accountability on the part of the worker that creates timeliness and productivity. Timecard applications also have the ability to send alerts warning the workers or managers about overtime, which can save the company money by creating awareness of their employee’s hours.
Companies who utilize mobile timecards experience a 2% savings in payroll. Although this may seem minute, it adds up to be a significant amount of money for the company. Mobile applications can also post the schedule and other relevant job information via employee’s mobile devices. They are alerted to any changes, so miscommunication is less likely to occur.
Faster and more accurate billing
If you work for a company that is slow to adopt new technologies, sending customer invoices equals copious amounts of paperwork. What if you could do this process with your smartphone, in real-time? Unlike GC’s or Owners, Subcontractors make or break their profits on labor and being able to track time and productivity! Mobile Apps on the jobsite allow for all workforce and labor activity to be tracked and sent in real-time to the back office accounting system. This ensures that the customer (e.g., General Contractor or Owner) receives their invoice promptly, and also eliminates manual processes for the Subcontractor.
Mobile applications also allow general contractors to pay subcontractors more quickly. The sooner subcontractors are compensated, the sooner they can pay incurred costs such as labor, equipment, bills, etc.
The use of mobile checklists ensures that you accomplished everything that you planned to in a given time. A checklist ensures that no task is neglected, and allows people off-site to add tasks to the lists for all workers to see. It also aids in safety assurance by providing templates for safety or inspection checklists that ensure that no step is overlooked that may compromise the safety of a building.
Small applications can have massive impacts on the effectiveness of your company. Don’t stand still while the construction industry continues moving.