According to PWC Global, construction output is estimated to grow 85% to $15.5 trillion by 2030. In order to support this increased workload, many companies are turning to mobile.
Mobile technology enables the collection and distribution of real-time information to benefit a wide variety of processes associated with a variety of construction projects. While the industry evolves, one thing remains constant: Construction projects require an enormous amount of coordination of people, information, and resources in an environment that isn’t conducive to desktop or even laptop devices.
Construction managers require great attention to detail and the ability to manage many elements of a project at once. This may include keeping track of subcontractors, progress, scheduling, quotes, invoices, schedules, union work rules and more. Historically, pen and paper has been the route many management teams take. When some or all of that information is recorded on paper or in digital systems that can’t talk to each other, or accommodate mobile, it takes a toll on productivity.
Mobile technology creates opportunity to improve efficiency and accuracy, reduce costs, and accelerate timelines. With the ubiquitous use of smartphones, construction managers can leverage the power of apps to reduce costs and improve the bottom line.
Here are some ways companies have used mobile technology on the job:
1. Improved communication with dispatch teams
Dispatch is an important part of many construction jobs. Materials, people, and schedules are always changing and always on the go. Mobile apps and GPS capability can help keep track of new jobs and send them to the closest technician. Technicians are able to complete work orders directly from the field, reducing data entry time and avoiding costly errors.
2. Manage equipment more effectively
Equipment scheduling and maintenance can affect a construction company’s bottom line. With a mobile application, it’s easier to track and manage equipment use. Users can log equipment hours, keep track of locations, and improve planning and use.
3. Improve accountability of team members
GPS locations, staff travel times, and time spent on-site can all be consistently monitored with mobile apps. This improves accountability and reduces labor costs. Companies can also reduce costs with mobile timesheets that record clock-in/clock-out times. To benefit transparency with clients and management, staff can also document their work progress with photos.
4. Provide real-time access to plans, quotes, and orders
Apps can provide two-way access to information allowing construction companies to file electronic versions of work orders, plan clarifications, building code references, by-laws and more for quick access by teams in the field. This improves productivity and reduces the need for re-work.
5. Provide and track safety training
Construction safety features can include the ability to digitize safety inspection checklists, document safety meetings and incidents, and provide instruction in the event of accidents. Up-to-date training materials (including video) can be easily pushed out to workers on their mobile devices.
As the construction industry continues to expand, investments in technology will be essential in order to keep up with growing demand. Mobile apps have the ability to boost productivity and improve business operations within the construction space.