As part our mission to provide the construction industry with the latest technologies and insights, we’ve partnered with Fieldwire – the construction software for field execution. From plan viewing to task management, Fieldwire powers over 50,000 projects worldwide with intuitive and reliable tools. In this collaboration, we’ll be sharing content from their expertise one a month to provide more value to the built environment.
Technology is influencing and changing the way industries operate and construction is no exception. Today, mobile devices are having the same impact on site as the personal computers did when first introduced in the office.
You can see construction sites using applications to manage everything from tasks and issues to ordering materials and reporting on day-to-day operations. Here are some of the most impactful ways mobile technology is changing the field today:
Communication and Collaboration
The construction industry has been a fragmented space for centuries. Several companies come together to create an incredible structure and then they part ways and move on to different projects. These moving pieces are usually working independently and in their own little bubbles with little communication with each other.
Mobile technologies are breaking those silos and bringing everyone together under the same platform. The most forward thinking companies are moving off of email and phone calls and into apps that allow real-time updating that leave less room for miscommunication.
This is improving communication significantly and is fostering collaboration in ways that hadn’t been seen in the industry before; contractors being involved from earlier stages of the project to specialty contractors working with each other to build more efficiently.
Documentation and Reporting
There is no small amount of information being collected on a construction site. From construction blueprints to change orders, reports, timesheets, and much more. Many job sites today are still using pen and paper or spreadsheets to keep track of all that.
Mobile apps are changing those archaic processes to increase accuracy and reduce the time it takes to report information. Illegible handwriting, double entry, inconsistent data and reporting times and information falling through the cracks are some of the old school issues that companies are avoiding by moving those processes to a mobile solution and automating the follow up process.
Automating reports, adding pictures and even signing off on complete work are some of the use cases in the field today. This has been saving north of 6-10 hours for users, especially those that need to generate reports – and it allows teams to be nimble and address important issues, faster.
Transparency and Responsiveness
Rework is responsible for an average of 5% of the costs of construction projects and it’s mostly due to response time and inaccurate information. Multiple stakeholders make amendments to drawings without properly communicating them to the rest of the team creating confusion in regards to which plans and specs are the right ones to use.
Applications provide two-way access to information. Companies store their drawings and other important documents and make those accessible to everyone, the latest changes are recorded and shown to all parties reducing the risk of information getting lost. People in the field can record and report tasks and issues giving the office teams a much clearer view as to what’s happening.
Those features are helping organizations adapt much quicker to the latest information. They are preventing conflict, identifying delays, updating related tasks and allocating resources as they see the projects’ transition because of access to real-time data.
Finally, the phrase “there’s an app for that” has reached the construction industry as well. Mobile apps are here to stay and there are some great benefits of taking advantage of these tech advancements for your field operations. It’s important to take the time to explore and evaluate the options available and implement those that make sense for you.