The Lien & Credit Journal periodically invites forward-thinking construction technology companies contribute to the publication with articles about technology in the construction industry and how the landscape is changing. This article is #2 in a series of contributions from FieldLens, a friend of The Lien & Credit Journal and one of the most promising young construction tech companies.
Mobile is quickly becoming one of the most important words in construction, and it’s not hard to see why. Consider the average project manager working for a subcontractor – they are expected to be everywhere, dealing with everything at once. We’re talking budgets, pre-bid walk-throughs, jobsite meetings, on-site coordination issues, and so much more. Got 10 projects happening at the same time? Well, that project manager has to just ‘figure it out’ – because those projects can’t handle too many mistakes or they won’t be profitable.
Before mobile technologies like smartphones and tablets began to revolutionize the building process, construction professionals communicated with their project teams via phone, fax, email, onsite meetings, in-office meetings and handwritten notes. Things could get pretty messy, making jobsite communication downright stressful and oftentimes chaotic. These multiple forms of communication had the tendency to get lost or buried, and they made it near impossible to keep entire project teams informed when issues arose.
Enter smartphones and tablets – seems everyone has one or both these days. As we’re using smartphones and tablets more and more in our personal lives, it only makes sense that mobile devices spill into our professional lives as well. At first a mobile device in the hand of a project manager, super or foreman might seem like a huge help – but non-stop texts, emails and voicemails quickly prove overwhelming to even the most organized person. Plus, instant communication comes with the expectation that anyone with access to a mobile device is available 24/7. All of a sudden the mobile device isn’t relieving stress – it’s causing more! If a mobile device is used this way, well, that’s a problem anyone working in construction just doesn’t need.
The solution – find ways to optimize mobile devices, using apps built specifically for the construction industry. It’s becoming clear that a flip-phone and clipboard just don’t cut it in construction anymore. After having worked in the industry for more than a decade, and having suffered through poor project communication (sometimes resulting in a complete disaster), I can think of few groups that stand to benefit from optimized mobile technologies quite as much as hard-working construction professionals do.
Here are some ways mobile is making life easier for construction project teams:
Field Management Software
FieldLens is a mobile field management app that makes your smartphone the most important tool on the jobsite by allowing everyone on the jobsite to document and assign jobsite issues, and manage projects from any smartphone, tablet or the web.
If you’re in construction, I’m willing to bet you’ve got a truck full of tools. Do yourself a favor and build a virtual tool belt by using apps like My Measures and Dimensions, Bubble Level, Smart Tools, and Handyman Calculator to mention a few.
Stay Secured On The Job
Protecting your projects’ mechanics lien rights is a vital step in making sure your company gets paid. Forgot to send that preliminary notice when you started the job? Pull out your mobile device and file it on your Levelset account. Sounds a whole lot better than trekking back to your office to make a hundred phone calls or stuff envelopes manually, doesn’t it?
These are just a few examples of how mobile is moving the construction industry toward building faster, bigger and better. Mobile made for construction professionals gives workers better ways to work and gives them the information they need when they need it. We’re out on jobsites or talking with construction professionals all the time, and there’s one common theme we always hear from those who’ve transitioned from the old phone-email-in-person-meetings ways of communicating to using apps that help them in various jobsite scenarios: Using mobile devices to track progress or access online tools means less ‘stuff’ to carry on the jobsite, improved project team efficiency and communication, fewer hours spent dealing with chaos, and more hours to do what they actually want to do – build.