As the construction industry faces a shortage of skilled labor, slim profit margins, and slow, outdated processes, finding ways to get a competitive edge are necessary. Advances in technology have changed how you can monitor and manage your construction site to keep projects on time and on budget.
“Outside of desktop computers, smartphones are the most frequently used computing devices by construction professionals,” reports JBKnowledge in their 2014 Construction Technology Report & Survey.
Mobile technology such as mobile forms allows you to get more work done in less time by eliminating delays. Plus, smartphones and tablets are likely to already be on the jobsite, making it simple to use them in your workflows.
How often are things held up because a report you just filled out on a clipboard at the jobsite now needs to be driven to the office and filed, or left for someone’s approval? In any construction project, you’re working on a specific timeline to get the job done. And when those deadlines aren’t met costs go up. Using mobile technology, you can send paperwork and forms from the jobsite back to the office in real-time. This let’s you cut down on the wait time to get a reply or the approvals needed to move forward.
Receiving data in real-time also allows managers to adjust schedules as needed based on the most up to date information. Communication is improved and everyone is on the same page, so there are no surprises about what is or isn’t done. Mobile forms can help you to get a more complete picture of the status of your project because the information is accessible immediately after being submitted.
Get it Right the First Time
During a construction project, there are inevitably changes and problems that will arise. When using mobile forms, you can respond to obstacles more proactively and avoid making errors that cost time and lead to reworks. With many data collection software platforms, you can set up an alert for a manager when a certain field is filled out. So if there is a problem, the right person is notified immediately.
With mobile technology, there are no delays in completing necessary paperwork and getting it sent to the right person, making workflows and reporting easy. This keeps you from having to spend extra money to rush a shipment, pay overtime to get something finished by the deadline or face fines and penalties for not submitting paperwork on time.
Improve Data Quality
When paperwork isn’t getting to the right people, needs to be manually entered or is incomplete, time has to be spent to fill in the gaps. Better data quality means you can make informed decisions and get the job done on schedule. Save yourself the hassle of constantly updating and reprinting reports and forms. Inspection forms and reports can be completed on a smartphone at the jobsite and sent to the office in the format that works for you.
Keep Information Accessible
On every construction job, there are legal guidelines and safety regulations that need to be followed. Not having the paperwork and data needed for these audits and reports can hold up the project. When the inspector is standing there asking for the form you filled out last week, you don’t want to spend time digging through a stack of paper or a file cabinet. Keep all of your forms and paperwork in your database for easy access instantly.
Plus, you won’t be left wondering if you’re looking at the latest edition of a report. Any updated information from the jobsite will already be available.
Get Forms to the Right Person
Managing a paper-based documentation system can become difficult quickly. With mobile forms, you don’t need to go running around the jobsite looking for the person who needs to sign a specific form. It can be dispatched right to their phone or tablet. Once the form has been filled out, it can be sent directly to the person who needs it via email, or included in your database.
For a construction company, this paperless system keeps you from needing to run back and forth between the office and jobsite, so there’s a smaller chance of paperwork getting lost in the shuffle. You also eliminate the chance for someone to fill out a report incompletely, or forget to turn it in.
Focus on the Project
When project managers and field supervisors are stuck spending hours each day processing paperwork and dealing with administrative tasks, they aren’t doing what they do best; making sure the project gets done. With a paperless solution, forms don’t need to be entered into a database or spreadsheet manually. The data is sent from the jobsite directly to where it needs to be.
Use mobile forms to streamline collecting inspections, job reports, time sheets, and safety audits, and get back to the project faster.