Mobile technology has changed significantly over the last 5 years. Many devices are now at a price point where it’s feasible to allow everyone in the field to stay connected to the office at all times. There are so many ways small business can benefit from mobile apps. It’s interesting to see the development across industries that have historically been low-tech. The construction industry is a great example.
The biggest way that construction companies are using mobile technology is for project management. Having access to and the ability to update data in real time is boosting construction site efficiency. Companies no longer need a hard data line at the job site to communicate with the home office. Access to critical job site data is no longer limited to the project manager on site. Contractors across all areas are now able to access job site data in real time, which is reducing errors and improving efficiency.
Overcoming the Challenges of Managing Large, Mobile Teams
On large projects, there may be hundreds or thousands of team members out in the field. In addition, most projects are not completely linear. That causes there to be a lot of moving pieces that have the potential to cause team members to perform duplicate or conflicting work.
Another challenge of large, mobile teams is managing the timing of project elements. Certain phases can’t begin until the previous phase is complete. Mistiming these transitions leads to dead time. This dead time isn’t cheap.
It’s these kind of issues that ultimately cause missed deadlines and cost overruns. This, in turn, costs the general contractor even more in penalties, opportunity costs, and lost bonuses.
How Technology is Solving These Problems
It’s amazing what simple cell phone and tablet apps can do now. For example, Procore has an android construction app that allows everyone in the field to instantly access drawings, documents, punch lists, key contact information and more. It’s just one of many cloud based construction management apps that use mobile technology to improve efficiency on the job site.
Mobile technology can do more than project management too. There are applications for creating drawings and site plans in real-time, creating proposals, electronically filing required paperwork, and tracking important metrics like fuel consumption or worker utilization.
Proprietary App Development for Further Customization
Mobile apps are so widespread that developers are very easy to find. It’s possible now to have custom applications developed to fit a company’s particular workflow, a certain type of project, or even a custom app specifically for one job site. A company doesn’t need any software development experience whatsoever. There are hundreds, if not thousands of companies that offer custom app development services for competitive rates.
It’s amazing what technology can do. It’s become so common now that companies that refuse to evolve their processes and technology usage will be left behind by those who embrace it. The reductions to construction costs and error rates along with the overall efficiency improvements that mobile apps provide really do make that significant of a difference.