As daily reliance on mobile technology increases, so should use of technology on the jobsite

Think about your daily activities. You wake to the sound of an alarm on your mobile phone. Electronic meeting reminders help you stay punctual and remember important events. Your phone and tablet allow you to stay connected to news and information when you’re away.

We plan and manage our lives on mobile devices, so why should construction jobsites be any different? Mobile devices can be used to collect and view project data wherever you are and whenever you want — in the office or out in the field. Project managers, planners, executives and owners want to know what is happening in the field as quickly as possible, and mobile devices can accommodate those demands. Here are three fundamental reasons you need a mobile solution to collect construction job site data.

1. Provides immediate visibility into job site activities

Software with field data collection applications enables users to link information from job sites to field offices and vice versa. This provides better visibility into job site data, such as hours assigned to tasks or information on safety incidents — all with the click of a button. Gone are the days when project managers in field offices had to wait for crews to return to the office each evening and manually input information before they could view reports.

2. Creates efficiency by eliminating paper process

It’s easy for details to get lost in the paperwork. Paper gets misplaced. Handwriting isn’t legible. Coffee spills onto reports. A lot of things can happen when you’re bound to one hard copy report — not to mention the poor staff member who is going to have to enter the paper documentation into the system anyway. Avoid the time drain. Mobile applications eliminate the paper process, making field data collection more efficient. Today, construction crews can use mobile technology from practically anywhere. Even when connectivity is a problem, some advanced mobile applications allow data to be entered in offline mode and synchronized later.

3. Shows real-time performance and keeps the project on track

Extending project systems with mobile technology can provide instant access to key performance details. By learning of problems when they occur, rather than at the end of each day or week, you can more quickly solve problems and keep your project on track.

Maybe you’re thinking, “I get all of that, but it sounds complicated.” You’re not alone. Research shows that one of the primary reasons construction companies hesitate to implement new technology is the fear that it will be too complex for crews to learn and use. After all, even the best technology solution in the world is useless if people can’t figure out how to use it. This is why the best mobile applications are “battle tested” by construction crews early in their development cycle to ensure that user-friendly functions are actually user friendly.

As our reliance on mobile technology increases in our daily lives, so should our use of mobile technology at the job site. Mobile technology isn’t a trend or a fad. It’s a reality. It provides instant visibility into job site data, creating efficiency and connecting key stakeholders in real time. To stay current and competitive in this industry, mobile technology solutions are no longer just nice to have, they’re must-haves.

About the Author

Brad Barth is Chief Product Officer for InEight Inc., where he oversees the product management and product marketing departments. Prior to InEight, Brad was Vice President of Industries for Hard Dollar Corporation, where he was instrumental in transforming the company from a start-up software developer into one of the world’s leading solution providers for project-driven enterprises.

*This article was originally published on: Construction Business Owner