Advances in mobile technology continue to grow rapidly. Some have predicted that tablet sales will overcome laptop sales within the year. It has integrated itself into almost everything we do, from basic communication to high-level business applications. It was only a matter of time until construction technology as well as crane industry would emerge. As construction has historically been an innovative industry it is not surprising that this industry has begun to take advantage of the many benefits that mobile technology can provide.
There are still some companies who are concerned about the cost to replace their legacy software and spreadsheets with this new construction technology. For some, familiarity and convenience play a role in this decision as well. While it may be more comfortable and require less training to continue to use the same old software, upgrading to mobile construction technology can save time, resources and increase efficiency through real-time communication and on-the-go data collection.
There’s An App For That!
You’ve heard that phrase; it’s become a byword for the mobile technology revolution. The market has become flooded with thousands of apps for purposes as wide-ranging as personal financial budgeting to contract and payroll management. Consider the following ways that various construction technology mobile apps could keep your business running like the well-oiled machine you want it to be.
- Employee hours and payroll. It might surprise you how many employers still use punch cards. Punch cards can be messy and inefficient because they are prone to getting lost and misreported. On top of that, their information needs to be laboriously entered into the payroll system after they have been gathered. Payroll and time apps can replace older systems with the efficiency of real-time updates.
- Equipment hours. The ability to record equipment hours (e.g. engine hours in truck crane) on the spot rather than having to remember and transcribe them later can save a lot of time and money in cost tracking. In addition, the foreman or project manager recording it can keep a closer eye on where it’s going and what it’s being used for.
- Stock management. With real-time updates being entered as materials are used and brought in, a stock management app can ensure that you always know what’s on site at any given time.
- Fleet tracking. It is now possible to track teams and vehicles (e.g. truck cranes, boom cranes, all-terrain cranes etc) with your smartphone or tablet, allowing a level of efficiency not even dreamed of 20 years ago. This allows you to always know where your crews and cranes are, and keep an eye on material deliveries as well.
- Safety inspection. Contractors and employees can rapidly identify problems onsite and report them in real-time to their employers, making sure that everyone is informed. This cuts out the need for you to send out managers and administrators to do constant check-ups.
Construction Technology Maximizes Efficiency and Productivity
The ability to have current updates on all aspects of the job can help ensure that your project doesn’t run into any of the regular snags that you’re used to having to deal with. Requests can be submitted as needed by the field foreman and responded to and approved rapidly. This reduces the amount of time that would otherwise be spent going through reports and stamping papers. Materials can be ordered immediately when the requests are made, ensuring that you get to choose exactly where the materials are being ordered from and how and when they will be delivered.
Construction technology offers real-time project tracking, which means having constant updates on how a project is going without having to field phone calls, thus saving you time. There are no surprises as you watch your project unfold, and it can provide you with ample opportunities to correct issues as they arise.
Mobile updates can also assist in the coordination of staffing. Being able to send a quick message to reroute employees to where they are required can prevent the sort of inefficiency that comes from phone calls and text messages. Resource allocation in the forms of personnel, equipment and materials becomes measured in the time it takes for your people to coordinate and reorganize, rather than in how long it takes to reach them and for them to reach one another.
Can You Afford Not To Go Mobile?
According to the most recent report from JBKnowledge, attitudes towards mobile technology use in construction have shifted rapidly since 2012; going from roughly forty percent, to twenty percent of those surveyed claiming that they did not consider mobile technology important to their business. Field data collection, project management, and accounting apps lead the way as the most-used apps in construction technology, and it’s no surprise, considering the benefits. Given the utility and efficiency of mobile technology in construction, especially given the highly competitive nature of the industry, the question becomes…can you afford not to incorporate construction technology into your business strategy?