The construction business is changing—a shortage of skilled labor, growing costs of materials and increasingly complex and demanding projects are squeezing profit margins in ways that big firms have never experienced. A firm that can find new ways to save time and reduce costs is going to have a competitive edge and mobile technology gives construction companies the opportunity to do just that. Here are just a few ways that your construction firm can harness mobile technology to become more competitive.
Mobile Time Card Apps
Using their mobile phones, your subcontractors and employees can check in at the jobsite using a timecard app that verifies their location with GPS tracking. With this simple app, you can save on labor by preventing employees from time-rounding and even mitigate against time theft. You’ll also save money by switching to a paperless process that allows your back office to quickly complete payroll and increase your understanding of the true labor costs associated with the projects your firm works on.
Fewer Errors Mean Less Costs
Reworks are the biggest source of unexpected additional expenses for most construction firms. The best way to avoid reworks is to get the job done properly the first time—the way the customer wants it, with the materials they want used. Reducing errors comes down to facilitating correct understanding of what’s required between the customer, project managers and employees in the field. With real-time access to job documentation and specifications on their mobile phones, your workers will have the information they need to get things done right the first time. Real-time access to data means fewer expensive mistakes.
More Efficient Project Management
Project managers in the construction business have a difficult time doing their jobs today. Paper reporting leaves them with a mound of data to compile and process on their own, creating significant delays between when a problem starts and when it can be recognized and corrected. Mobile technology allows for real-time data collection and transmission between the jobsite and project managers in the back office. The result is that more informed project managers that can use their experience to guide the firm to success, rather than waste energy sifting through reports all day. Automated reporting with mobile technology represents a big leap forward for the construction industry.
A major issue in construction projects today is a highly fragmented workforce. With workers, engineers and equipment distributed around a jobsite, plus offsite stakeholders, including project managers and the customer, it can be hard to get everyone on the same page when a decision needs to be made. Instead of driving to the office for impromptu meetings, firms can use mobile technology to facilitate a meeting of the minds that leads to definitive conclusions without interrupting the day’s work. Real-time communication ensures that any issues on the jobsite get resolved quickly and effectively and that every stakeholder can have a say.
Better Organization, Seamless Integration
Job costing and expense tracking is already a nightmare for back-office accountants at construction firms who are flooded in paperwork every day. A cloud-based solution that enables on-site employees to submit timecards, expense reports, requests for information (RFIs), work records and other verified documentation saves hundreds of hours per year in data entry and automatically organizes critical files—no more shuffling through files looking for old reports. The best mobile technologies integrate with your accounting software, making it easier than ever to keep books and generate reports.
Integration of mobile technology in the construction business is already helping firms of all sizes become more competitive. Each application we’ve mentioned has the potential to produce game-changing results for any contractor or construction firm within just a few weeks. With so many ways to save time, reduce costs and improve workflow, isn’t it time to see what a difference mobile technology can make for you?
Tyler Riddell is the Director of Marketing at eSUB Construction Software, a leader in mobile and cloud-based project management and document control software designed specifically for subcontractors in the construction industry.