Staying on top of new technologies has always been crucial to running a successful construction company. In the past, most innovations within the construction industry came from new equipment and materials. But in recent years, construction companies have embraced software and apps to creatively address industry-specific issues. Using this kind of technology in the construction industry is not a fad—it’s an opportunity to do more efficient work with better safety. Below are three major ways that construction apps and software can enhance your business.
Foremen, superintendents and project leaders on your job sites can now use apps to greatly increase efficiency. Construction-specific task management apps and desktop software enable users to share technical drawings, project updates, work assignments and other information from anywhere. Users also have the ability to create shared task lists, categorized by project or job type, that include deadlines, priority level, necessary manpower and other relevant information. Some apps even allow you to add task lists as an overlay on project blueprints or drawings, to provide additional context. Many also generate daily progress reports for each task.
According to Yves Frinault, CEO of Fieldwire, a highly-rated task management app, one of the greatest advantages of this type of construction app is that it allows your entire team to easily keep track of all aspects of a project, both big and small. “The devil is in the details, and those details are the ones that end up causing a lot of delays or rework on projects. The main reason people decide to use Fieldwire instead of doing things the old way is because they see savings in the order of 20 hours per month per user.”
The main ROI factor you should be looking for when choosing a construction management software or app is the amount of reclaimed man-hours. The tools that you should invest in are the ones that are easy to use, reliable and can consistently save you time.
- Yves Frinault | CEO, Fieldwire
Construction-specific apps now exist that allow users to create custom safety checklists for their projects and to conduct and log safety inspections. Many of these apps, such as SafeSite, automatically produce safety reports, making compliance extremely simple. Many also give you the ability to log safety hazards on the spot and track progress toward resolving them.
Every job site presents many potential safety hazards, especially during periods of industry growth when competition is high and new workers are entering the field. Yet something as simple as downloading an app can dramatically improve safety for your workers.
While many apps for contractors focus on streamlining the big stuff, others can provide a virtual toolbox for simplifying everyday tasks on your job sites. BuildCalc is a favorite app of many contractors because of its ability to calculate layouts for everything from balusters to rake walls. It can also perform various types of materials estimations and perform a wide array of conversions. According to Ben Askren, the app’s developer, “A construction calculator app goes the extra distance by giving you and your crew all of this power when you are most likely to want it: on the job site at the moment someone is thinking of a layout.”
In addition to calculations, you can find apps for contractors that will automatically alert emergency contacts in case of a fall, help with simple translations when there are language barriers between workers, and even provide virtual versions of tools like protractors, plumb bobs and levels.
Putting a good construction calculator to work means having less of the worst kind of waste—raw materials you spent time to source, cash to purchase, time to deliver, space to inventory and then finally pay someone to dispose.
-Ben Askren | Developer, BuildCalc
By embracing the above types of construction apps, you can save time, save money and offer more competitive prices without producing lower-quality work or cutting corners that could create safety risks.