Going Mobile in the Construction Industry Today

Published April 17, 2014 by Whirlwind Team

construction mobileThe construction industry, more than any other, has been able to harness the power of mobile technology to harness success. These technologies enable job sites to be more efficient and productive than ever before. Unlike other businesses, where employee mobility is relatively new, we have always dealt with the complexities of employees working in remote locations, creating some sense of flow between project owner, vendors and subcontractor timelines and schedules, and maintaining an open lines of communication. Mobile technology has made it possible to do all of that and more.

Is your company taking advantage of the myriad of ways mobile technology and gadgets can streamline worker productivity and efficiency throughout the life cycle of your construction projects? Here is just a sampling of reasons and examples how going mobile can benefit your company.

Mobile marketing can help to expand your business. Without new prospects and clients, your business can't last long. While word of mouth is still important, the majority of your clients will be looking for you online. Its imperative that your company have a website that is mobile compatible. If you don't have a website, or your website is five or more years old, it's time to get a new one. Tech experts say that by the year 2015, online searches from mobile devices will surpass those from desktop or laptop devices. If your website and its content isn't mobile-friendly, you'll be missing out on serious leads.

Operational benefits. Your company's mobile connectivity allows outside and inside employees to be immediately in touch. When sales personnel are stumped by a client question or demand, they can communicate with you immediately. Delays in product delivery can be announced in real time so you can begin working on a new plan of action. Mobile technology makes it possible for instant communication to take place between management, employees, vendors and subcontractors from any time, anywhere, which greatly enhances overall efficiency.

Keep track of employee time. One of the greatest drains on a construction company can be mismanagement of employee time. Wireless time cards, which are as simple as adding an app to the company and/or employee phones, allow employees to arrive directly to the job site - no need to clock in at home base - and get to work with a simple touch of the screen. With GPS technology, you can use this information to track employee locations and monitor whether or not particular jobs are being performed in a timely manner. Mobile and wireless time cards also cuts down on internal paperwork, time tracking and payroll entry times.

Monitor your company vehicle locations. Another way to increase employee efficiency is to install geo-fencing software on your company's vehicles. There are a range of ways to set the software up, including settings that will alert you if a vehicle leaves your pre-determined boundary lines, is stopped when it shouldn't be, or when it has entered a monitored area so you know when products are being delivered, employees are returning from a remote site, etc. Once employees know the company vehicles are being tracked, you are likely to see slashed company gas bills, reductions in unauthorized breaks, and increased productivity.

Increase project management efficiency. Perhaps one of the largest game changers for the construction industry has been the influx of construction project management software. These cloud-based software systems can be used by your architects and engineers, project managers, superintendents, employees, vendors, and on down the line. They work to keep everyone on the same page from the time a project is in the bidding stages through its completion. They are designed to keep the entire AEC (architecture, engineering, construction) team informed in real-time.

Construction project management software can be custom tailored for your company's needs, no matter how small or how large your firm is. It standardizes your processes, making them more efficient, and creating a more seamless transition from project to project. These programs also provide higher standards for document and cost control than more traditional, disjointed systems ever can.

Some of the top construction project management software on the market includes:

These are just a handful of excellent programs available. Take time to research them all, check out demos, and determine which ones will fit your company's current and growing needs.

Making the switch from stationary to mobile technology can be a difficult pill to swallow for some company owners and managers. Change isn't always welcome and, yes, it will take time to adjust to new methods, protocols and procedures. But these temporary inconveniences will be well worth the company's time, effort, and financial investment. Embracing mobile technology for construction will allow your construction company to grow and thrive in the 21st century.

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