Finding ways to increase productivity at the work site is a major concern for many construction company owners. Often, there is a lack of standardization across construction teams; workers complete tasks differently, find shortcuts to get things down quicker, and record data often by hand. Adopting mobile apps is a great way to solve a lot of these problems while also offering powerful and flexible tools for workers to add to their tool-belt.
Many contractors are using (or building their own) apps for project management. One benefit of project management mobile apps is reducing the amount of paper needed on a job - especially drawings. Mobile apps are not only reducing the need for so much paperwork, but they also are centralizing your data.
In the past, workers might need to fill out paperwork after visiting a site, and then deliver it, fax it, or scan it, when they get to the site office or back to their own. Using Mobile apps allows them to store and send data to everyone who needs it wherever there is a mobile signal.
Many existing processes can be automated and provide important information for everyone involved on a construction project. Applications can be designed to track progress of projects to help save time and increase efficiency.
Here are some ways mobile apps can help your construction company stay productive and agile in today’s fast-changing market:
Adopting a mobile infrastructure for your business doesn't just get rid of paper, it also allows you more flexibility and agility in tracking your workers' work and your assets whereabouts.
Theft is a common problem on construction sites, particularly of valuable materials like tools, copper, and aluminum. Using radio-frequency identification (RFID) devices to track assets via mobile apps can help recover missing or stolen articles, while mobile surveillance can help reduce job site theft and increase employee productivity, especially at remote sites.
In addition to the added protection over your job site, mobile tracking allows you to make smarter decisions when allocating resources between multiple sites and workers.
One of the biggest headaches of any business comes from tracking and recording of your workers' hours. Accountability can prove difficult when you're working systems that don't properly document the time in and out.
Using mobile apps to file times sheets and process payroll can help boost efficiency, since workers can clock in on their mobile devices and report to work immediately on their mobile devices. Your apps can also give GPS tracking and bio-metric capabilities can also help reduce time fraud. And real-time information can be immediately processed via mobile apps, reducing response time and increasing efficiency.
One example of this type of app is SurePayroll, which allows employees to access paychecks and other payroll details at their own convenience, and allows employers to access their payrolls even on the go. Whether it’s paying regular employees or independent contractors, employers can enter payroll, preview, and submit payroll at the touch of a button.
Mobile apps can connect everyone involved on a construction project, from architects to engineers to project managers. Adopting these mobile technologies can help manage activities, employees, information, and processes associated with a given project and even control scheduling. Mobile apps allow project managers to download blueprints, sync information in real-time, and communicate with the job site even when they aren't on-site.
One popular app for project management is the Photo Measures App, which allows users to measure dimensions captured in photos. It has a user-friendly interface, and users can quickly record and save measurement on a frequent basis.
Another app that helps reduce planning time and boost efficiency in construction projects is Plan Grid, which allows project managers to easily share plans, markups, photos, and reports with the entire project team from anywhere. PlanGrid can be used with or without an internet connection during construction to track revisions, document progress, and manage issues in the field while keeping everyone on the current set.
The construction industry has been seriously challenged by rising costs and declining opportunities, placing increasing pressure on companies to make their processes more cost and time efficient.
According to Go Canvas, statistics show that 50 percent of a worker’s time while on the clock is devoted to wasteful activity caused by poor communication, inadequate management, or over-staffing. Meanwhile, construction companies are losing some $6.9 billion in inefficient processes among operations and maintenance staff, and $1.7 billion to outdated communications like paper forms. And large construction companies can waste some $3.5 million searching for information or recreating documents they couldn’t find.
AppSheet can help you customize apps to boost your construction job site productivity and efficiency. Built with Google Sheets and AppSheet, the app automatically captures GPS locations, collections images, and allows customization of the collected data.
Here are a couple sample apps that you can play around with to get started:
Quote Calculator enables contractors to calculate payment owed based on services rendered, and is a useful tool to quickly and easily calculate costs of services. The app allows users to input numerical data in to the app, calculate and display the results, and save the entry for future recall.
Repair Manual is a useful app for any business that needs to provide an instruction manual to employees or customers. This app has step-by-step instructions for repairing dry-wall, with helpful images that demonstrate each step clearly.
Timesheet is an app easily tracks log times in and out to compute hours and calculate total wages, providing all necessary information for accounting or human resources departments. This app uses information capture via forms, app formulas, virtual columns, references, and image display.
Let AppSheet help you raise the roof on your construction job site with custom mobile apps!
This post was updated on December 9th, 2019.