Paperwork remains a significant drag on productivity, so consider mobile construction software to increase efficiencies and profits.
The construction industry continues to transform each year forcing companies to adapt to stay competitive. Going into 2017 there are a few trends that are projected to shake things up: the shortage of qualified workers, the growing complexity of projects, and the adoption of mobile and cloud-based technology. Due to the complexity of projects and the shortage of workers, projects typically take 20% longer to complete and are up to 80% over budget, creating a concern for the industry as it threatens its profitability. Recently, the industry has been shifting toward the adoption of mobile and cloud-based technology to combat these issues. According to a 2016 survey, 42% of construction firms are going to invest in technology, and 6 out of 10 construction companies’ use or plan to use some form of cloud technology. These numbers continue to grow each year and are projected to grow even larger in 2017.
Construction slow to adopt technology compared to other industries
Despite the positive growth in this segment, the construction industry as a whole is still slow to adopt mobile and cloud technology as compared to other sectors. It is critical that companies invest in technology and digitization of processes as this has become absolutely instrumental in combating the growing issue of labor shortage and the complex projects. These problems have shifted the industry, forcing it to find a way to do more with less. Technology allows companies to streamline processes and increase the efficiency of the workers that they do have to finish a project more quickly and accurately.
Still not convinced? Here are the ways that mobile technology can improve your construction company.
Mobile and cloud-based technology will allow you to save time and money by streamlining your processes and catching and resolving problems immediately. In a survey conducted by Software Advice, an online resource for construction management software, the number one reason that construction firms make the switch from old paper or Excel documents to mobile or cloud technology is to speed up processes. If your company has not adopted a cloud-based solution, then you are spending time manually entering and validating data that could otherwise be spent doing something productive. Digitizing these processes can save a company days, even weeks, of time that they could spend doing other tasks that would keep them ahead of schedule.
Digitization makes processes quick, efficient, and profitable for you.
It can allow you to catch problems in machinery as they occur and communicate the issue right away to decrease downtime for repairs. As the shortage of workers continues to force projects behind schedule, the use of mobile technology will allow subcontractors and their team to save time by streamlining daily processes and allowing them to focus on meeting deadlines and creating quality work.
Mobile technology streamlines manual processes
Not only will mobile technology help save the subcontractor time by streamlining manual processes, but will also simplify the entire communication process between field, office, and outside parties. Communication for subcontractors does not stop at their direct team but extends to general contractors, suppliers, and anyone else working on the project. This web of connection requires an extremely efficient way to communicate with all relevant parties. With mobile technology, subcontractors can eliminate the need for lengthy written reports, and difficulty with getting in touch with other team members. All communication channels are streamlined so subcontractors can send and receive the information required to complete a job efficiently.
Leads to faster and more accurate decision-making
Along with improved communication channels, mobile technology creates real-time information that leads to faster and more accurate decision-making. Having the information that is required to make a major decision promptly can save your company a lot of time and money. With mobile technology, you will no longer need to wait days at a time before getting your eyes on field reports and other vital information that takes place away from the back-office. With a real-time view of information, subcontractors can identify possible issues with a project and address them before it becomes problematic, saving time and money by avoiding mistakes. This also allows people not on the jobsite to see when certain things are completed and allows the subcontractor to keep better track of the schedule and make necessary adjustments.
Increasing on-field data collection accuracy and reporting
Cloud-based technology also provides more on-field accuracy and reporting that will save the subcontractor money and contribute to their bottom line. 82% of subcontractors or general contractors that shifted to technology integration saw an increase in profitability. Cloud-based technology allows contractors to do everything from data entry to billing in one place which ensures accuracy. This increased speed and accuracy allow the subcontractor to avoid costly mistakes and makes it easier for them to keep track of their payments and reimbursements they are owed.
Being a subcontractor means you’re always moving
One of the most important features offered by mobile technology is almost too simple: mobility. Imagine going into your office and your computer is missing; would that cause you to be less productive than you otherwise would be? For subcontractors and their field workers, their “office” is never in one place. This creates a need for flexibility and mobility of their “office supplies” to ensure they are productive at all times. The number of contractors using mobile technology is increasing, in fact, 83% of subcontractors and general contractors use some form of a mobile device on the jobsite. Subcontractors must adapt their project management practices to the practices of its team and in turn, will see improved communication, speed, and accuracy.
Finally convinced? How should your company go about adopting new mobile or cloud-based technology?
It is important that your firm does not completely abandon their processes that are in place, but rather, utilize technology to improve and streamline these processes. If you implement technology too abruptly, you risk upsetting employees who are set in the traditional way of doing things. However, if you roll out technology correctly, employees will be able to see the benefits it provides and forget about the old way of doing business. Use technology as a partner to your processes because one is only as strong as the other.