December 14, 2015

Going Mobile In Construction: Tips for mobilizing your data

It’s happening whether you like it or not. A shift in the way the construction industry operates has been coming now for many years. Medium to large scale construction companies are realizing the potential in having information move to and from devices, on and off the construction site.

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Why the change?

It just makes sense. With such widespread use and adoption of mobile phone, construction companies can arm their employees with the tools they need to capture up to date project information. Delay, error, loss can be things of the past, as all project details can be recorded digitally with visual images and text. In construction, the more you keep track of the better. Having a thorough record in a field of work where things move so quickly can be a huge helper when trying to figure out what happened

Making the Jump.

For an organization that has been operating smoothly without technology, it may be difficult to implement and make the leap into a technology embracing organization. Implementing these new tools will require some research and know-how to ensure that the right tools are put into place at the right times. Here are a few tips to making that transition as smooth as possible:

  • Take it for a test drive: The software space has created for you a wide array of options that will all jump out trying to get you to bite. Examine them carefully, and even better, take them for a spin. Many of these tools will let you try them out, free of charge for a few weeks, if not even give you a free account forever with limited features. Take advantage and try a few out, to simulate what it would be like to have the tool running in your organization.
  • Baby steps: As with any change within an organization, the best success comes with small, incremental changes that employees can get used to, instead of one large, overwhelming overhaul to the way things are. With so many tools out there for almost every use, you can easily implement a new tool to a specific part of your business, without interrupting your day-to-day operations. These small steps will let you see what works and what doesn’t without taking a big bite out of your bottom line.
  • Free your data: When implementing a technology it’s important to have full control and freedom over your data. Keep an eye out for products that allow you to import and export, to ensure that your decision today won’t lock you in and keep your data hostage, making it harder to change and grow in the future.

Some useful starting places.

Below are some good starting places where digital information collection can give a big boost to your organization.

  • Daily and weekly safety inspection forms: to quickly collect, store and escalate safety issues that require attention. Maintaining an online library of this information will be crucial when your insurance carrier investigates your safety procedures after an insurance claim is made.
  • Safety Hazard forms: provide your staff and contractors the means to quickly collect and comment on a safety issue in the making. A photograph, GPS coordinates and commentary can be quickly assessed and acted on, before someone is hurt or a project significantly delayed.
  • Incident/accident forms: in the event of an accident, details including photos, video and commentary from witnesses can be immediately gathered and stored. This information can be hugely important when insurance companies and lawyers begin the discovery process.
  • Punch lists and deficiency tracking: creating a digital record of deficiencies on site and sharing it with the appropriate contractors can help in speeding up the close out of contracts, keeping customers happy and subcontractors informed.
  • Progress reports: provide clients with up to date project progress reports without having to post-process photos and text at the office.

There are likely plenty of other uses for mobile technology in construction that haven’t been listed, and likely a tool out there that can soothe that pain. Implementing a technology in this line of work can be challenging, but implementing now in small steps can help reduce the challenge of implementing something new in the future.

Get some help.

In the business of construction, sub-contracting is nothing new. Why should technology decisions be any different? At Opus2, we focus on bringing new technologies to businesses that are ready for the change and are looking to take their business to next level. Get in touch to find out how we can be part of your team, and bring a boost to your already great organization.

Bhavik Mistry
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Bhavik Mistry

Application and UI Developer at Opus2 Mobile Solutions
Bhavik is a rounded application developer by trade, and Civil Engineer by education. Bhavik lives all things technology, and loves to share about how to make life easier using technology.
Bhavik Mistry
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