Tips and Benefits of Using Mobile Apps in the Construction Site

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construction worker using a mobile phone

It has been a long time ago since the world entered the digital era and it has greatly revolutionized different industries. At present, almost all companies rely on the internet and computers for speeding up their business processes. But those who truly want to modernize their business are finding their way onto smartphones as a sort of an alternative to the traditional desktop.

But how do you capitalize on mobile apps in the construction site?

Construction management software has been around for a while now. Almost all construction projects already make use of one for planning, scheduling, monitoring, and communication. It has proven to be a useful tool in making these processes more agile. But for convenience, construction software also already come with their mobile app versions.

Why Use Mobile Phone in Construction Sites

Mobile devices are quick to bring information directly where they’re needed in a construction site. It’s convenient and it’s a no brainer to use by anyone involved in the project from engineers to non tech savvy laborers. 

Almost 80% of smartphone owners check their phones way too often in a day. Over 4 hours of their day are also spent using their phones. Those who hold position in a company like supervisors and managers see mobile phones as the most effective channel to connect with their subordinates. So the use of mobile app in a construction site is well founded. 

There’s just so much information needed in a construction site every day and giving crew members an easy and quick access to it can contribute to improved productivity and consequently, profitability.

How Construction Can Benefit from Mobile Apps

If you use your construction project management tools right, you can enjoy this and more benefits than you can ever imagine. Some of these benefits include:

1. Improved Efficiency

Nothing can ensure efficiency and productivity better than construction project management tools. These are part of the project manager’s responsibilities, but with such a large scope, the tendency of overseeing some important things is high. 

With a mobile app version of a good construction management software like Pro Crew, project managers can easily see all movements in the construction site without having to tour the site, which can be very time-consuming.

Another process where using a construction mobile app is better is when a task needs urgent approval from the bosses. Sending documentation or supporting files to justify a task request is faster when shared across the cloud. Executives aren’t always on their tables so having a mobile app lets them review the request anytime and anywhere they may be. 

Construction apps can also be used for supplier management. Any construction work can’t move on to the next step when material runs out. With a mobile app, orders can be placed quickly and they are documented too so there’ll be no problems later on like undeclared and invalid purchase.

Processes done via construction project management apps replace manual entries which are usually cumbersome and time-consuming. Also, mobile apps provide hard metrics and proofs whenever one process is completed. And we should note that these are automatic. 

Furthermore, mobile apps make procedures more transparent as activities are seen by all members. This enhances not just efficiency and productivity but also boosts credibility. Consequently, the relationship between everyone involved in the project is strengthened.

2. Ensures That Everyone Complies with Safety Policies

Nearly 7 million people around the world are in the construction industry and all of them are facing the risks of serious injuries. This is why it is important to train everyone before they are deployed in a high-hazard industry.

Diminishing the injury rate is any contractor’s top priority. When there are no accidents, there are no extra expenses and no losses incurred. Hence, they make sure that their members take their safety trainings and mobile apps are a way to monitor their completion. Consequently, regulatory compliance is strengthened and you might even gain ISO 45001 certification, which can attract more clients in the future.

Immediate reporting of injuries and other safety concerns is also more efficient via construction management mobile apps. Once details are inputted, a report is automatically generated, taking away the need for a safety engineer or supervisor to manually report the incident.

3. Minimizes Delays

Efficiency goes hand in hand with productivity. As discussed, the features of a construction project management app were designed to make processes faster and easier. Furthermore, mobile apps make important information readily available through the cloud, calendar, and the messaging function.

Similarly, cloud-based construction management software can ensure that there are no delays in any activity in the construction site. Let’s take additional materials for example.

Big construction projects take a very long time to finish. Most of the time, a building project sees different seasons, which can be the reason for delays. This is especially true when the project manager couldn’t go to the site for inspection because of weather disturbances.

Monitoring is then stopped, making the project unable to advance because the manager can’t give his approval to start with the next phase of the construction. This is also true when materials are already all consumed but the manger isn’t aware because he couldn’t make a site inspection.

With a mobile app, there’s no reason for a project manager to not know what’s going on with his project. He can just monitor progress from his construction project management app and allocate additional materials through cloud-based sharing of order slips.
All these greatly reduce chances for delays.

4. Cost-Effective Alternatives

Paper-based and manual inputs are so obsolete and expensive in the long run. Plus, there are just a few ways you can confirm that an important document reached the party that should receive it. With an app, you can check in real time whether a document was already seen or not. This will give you a cue that you need to send a reminder when the recipient has forgotten to read the document or respond to it.

When it comes to the expenses of employing a mobile app in the construction site, all that a contractor needs to do is to pay for the monthly subscription. Mobile apps are compatible with most smartphone brands – from Android to Microsoft to Apple – and since almost everyone already has a phone, there’s no more need to invest on buying each member a new one.

5. Improved Communication

Communication is often a major issue in the construction industry. Most workers would tell their supervisors that they weren’t able to see the board so they didn’t know that there was a change in schedule; or a client saying he doesn’t have access to his computer because he was on a trip. With a mobile app, all these become mere excuses.

Smartphones are now the most effective channel for communication. So putting monitoring, collaboration, and communication tools in the phones of members ensures that everyone is properly informed.

It also helps to have a communication channel where all transactions and conversations are recorded. Later these can be references and evidence when a problem arises.

Choosing the Right App for Your Construction Business

At this point, you may already be convinced that a construction project management app can be an asset in your construction business. However, there are too many options out there that it can also be a tedious task to find the right one to use.

So to guide you in choosing the best construction mobile app, we made a rundown of the factors to look at when shopping for the best app to use.

1. Determine Your Needs
Every construction firm has its own unique needs. Building construction processes are different from road construction works. So, to know which mobile app to use, start with defining your project and what you might need when it comes to collaboration, messaging, scheduling, monitoring, and planning.
2. Test Out the Apps
Settling with the first app you see isn’t always the best practice. Since the app will be your partner in handling important tasks, you should see to it that your decision is warranted.
Most apps come with a free version. Take advantage of this opportunity to test out several apps and confer with your team to get their opinion on which app they think is the best.
But never stick with the lifetime free apps. The features you can use are very limited in free apps so SAS is still more useful.
3. Smartphone vs Tablet
Tablets also fall under the mobile category and there will be more people who prefer to view schedules or documents from a bigger screen. Tablets are then a better alternative than the mobile phone. But when you choose a construction management app, you should check that it installs in both devices.

Other Tips for Employing Mobile App in the Construction Site

After you choose your mobile app, there are other things you should consider to make construction project management app implementation in your business more successful.

1. Connectivity
Since mobile apps will only work when you are connected to the internet, be sure that your device can connect to both WiFi and mobile network.
2. Device Storage
Apart from the space required to install the app, opening files like plans and blueprints will consume so much of the phone’s storage. Phones with 64 GB storage are becoming a standard but this doesn’t mean that you should require your members to buy a new one when their phones are with a lower capacity. The solution is to buy memory cards to expand your phone memory until it reaches 64 GB.
3. Apple vs Android
The brand shouldn’t matter but in reality, it plays a factor in your mobile app experience. Some budget phones aren’t powerful enough to handle your activities in the app. This is especially true for a project manager who needs to multitask on several features.
Apple has always been known for its advanced chipset but so does top of the line Android phones. Managers should probably use these more expensive phones while others can work from their existing smart phones for as long as they can open all types of files.
5. Protective Cases
Dust, debris, chemicals are everywhere in a construction site. For any app to be useful, your device should first be working. So invest in a quality protective case to keep your device safe from all possible elements that can damage it.

Final Words

Construction project management tools are valuable assets in a construction site. It may only cost a few hundred bucks but its functions can lead you to higher profitability. 

So whether you want it in your mobile or your desktop, the true key to successful modernization in the construction site is learning how to use the tool properly. 

Pro Crew is an emerging construction planning and scheduling software used in the U.S. It boasts strong connectivity, guided planning, flawless collaboration, and other functions any construction project would need. Try it today for free for one month and sign up only when you are already decided to use us as your lifetime construction partner.

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