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5 Ways an Enterprise Mobile App Can Improve Your Construction Business
Construction projects are complex. Whether you are building a modest community center or a towering skyscraper, a minor design deviation can result in delays and cost overruns. Therefore, it is vital to establish a solid workflow to assess risks, monitor work, and manage costs, schedules, and procurement daily.
But establishing a solid workflow is not easy when your teams operate out of various locations. According to a survey by Levelset, only 30% of construction companies complete projects on time and within budget. In addition, nearly 80% of survey respondents find it challenging to coordinate with field workers.
An enterprise mobile application loaded on your team’s smartphone or hand-held device can improve collaboration immensely. It helps every stakeholder get a comprehensive view of your construction projects and brings your teams together no matter where they are.
In this post, let us explore the benefits of building a cloud-based enterprise mobile application for your construction company.
Benefits of a Construction Enterprise Mobile App
1. Less Paperwork and More Clarity
The construction industry is the second least digitized sector in the world. The construction industry has always used pen and paper, from daily reports to handwritten timesheets. But keeping track of a paper trail is never easy.
A mobile application brings more transparency as every activity is logged and traceable. You can even collect location details for every update and track your crew’s punch ins and out with GPS-based timesheets. With a mobile enterprise app, a supervisor or a project manager no longer needs to wait for a report to arrive from the job site. A field engineer can update ground details in the mobile app so all stakeholders receive instant updates.
Field engineers can also create purchase orders, attach all relevant documents from the job site, and send them for approval. This ensures that each order is well documented and fulfilled on time. Overall, a mobile app brings more clarity and improves the relationships between everyone involved in the project.
2. Better Safety Compliance
Construction workers are at risk of serious injuries. A shocking statistic reveals that construction companies spend only 2.6% on safety training and over 3.6% of their budget on treating injuries. Increased training, frequent inspections, and health and safety meetings can improve workplace safety. It is essential to train your staff before they start working on a site.
With a mobile enterprise app, your team can access training materials, important safety briefings, and warnings anytime. In an accident, a supervisor or a field worker can use the app to report the incident. Later, a safety engineer could review the report and take necessary precautions. You can also keep an audit report to see how many workers have completed training and what jobs are compliant.
While maintaining paperwork might seem less expensive in the short run, the costs of creating a mobile app are not high compared to the benefits it brings. For example, if you want to clear construction waste from the site, you will need to generate a report for approval from the parties concerned. Traditionally, there is no sure way to find out if they have reviewed your request without a follow-up message.
A cross-platform app would serve your current and future needs. Since everyone has a smartphone, you wouldn’t have to spend money on a device. But with an app, you can check in real-time whether the stakeholder has viewed the document. Also, timestamps are a reference point for sending a reminder if the recipient has not responded to your request.
4. Improved Communication
Poor communication is one of the leading causes of delays in the construction industry. In some cases, it can even lead to conflicts and disputes. For example, if a change in construction material is not communicated on time, it can lead to a conflict regarding who will pay for the material. Real-time communication through a mobile app creates transparency as it communicates every instance.
Bad weather is also a common cause of delays in construction. With an enterprise mobile app, project stakeholders can check on-site weather conditions to plan and adjust job schedules. Your field engineers can also use the enterprise app to document weather-related delays and safety issues.
5. Better Planning & Problem-Solving Using AR/VR/BIM Technologies
Visualization technologies such as Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) help your team to get a better sense of space before they begin an actual construction. It also removes guesswork in construction. For example, AR can be used to accurately measure the real dimensions of a construction space and compare it with the building plan.
Including these emerging technologies in your construction mobile app, can eliminate process bottlenecks, improve collaboration and even cut building costs by up to 90%. With AR/VR and BIM, you can also impress clients with a virtual tour instead of a 2D rendering or model.
The following are a few factors to consider before choosing to build a mobile app for your construction business:
If your team is already using collaboration tools, the new mobile app must also integrate with those to avoid significant disruptions. An enterprise mobile application would seamlessly integrate with other applications in your system.
2. Offline Mode
Whether working in a basement or a tunnel, having an offline mode in your construction app can come in handy. You can still capture data on your device, and the app will synchronize the data with the server when an active connection is available.
3. Platforms to Support
For security reasons, you may want to provide your employees with a mobile device at the company’s expense. In such a case, you choose to build a native app that operates only on a specific operating system. Native Android, iPhone, and iPad apps are developed using different programming languages. However, if you support both iOS and Android platforms, it is better to build a hybrid app. Hybrid Apps are easy to develop and require less maintenance.
4. User Experience
From field workers to contractors and project managers, an enterprise app brings your entire team in one place. That’s why it is crucial to build a versatile app that delivers every feature and functionality that your employees want, without compromising on user experience. A cluttered home screen and poor navigation can confuse or overwhelm some users. It is important to research user roles, behaviors, preferences and pain points to ensure user-friendliness.
A mobile construction app is a great tool to improve communication, efficiency, and productivity. To conclude, a careful selection of features and utilities, a no-frills user interface, and a knowledgeable mobile app development company will surely increase the percentage of success in your project, creating business value. Talk to our experts to explore how a mobile app could elevate your construction company.