End Communication Gaps between the Office and Construction Site

Technology has advanced immensely over the past 20 years. ‘Can you remember when Apple stock was just $14 a share, or when talking over the internet first became possible?’ 10 years ago, Cisco launched its first 79 Series internet phone and Facebook finally made itself available to users other than college students. Only five years ago, Apple stock was $350 a share and mobile tablets were moving into the mainstream.

Today, almost 200 million smartphones are used in the U.S. alone. This means that 2 out of every 3 people have non-stop connections via technology. The irony is, many of us in the construction industry are not leveraging these advancements in consumer electronics in the workplace. For example, we may be completely wireless and use tablets to speak with our children via video calls at home, yet, at work, we still use the old 79 Series Cisco phones. Essentially, we are working like Fred Flintstone in a George Jetson world!

What does this mean for construction projects? Long, slow and inaccurate paper trails from the jobsite to the office. Crews aren’t doing the most critical tasks. Problems aren’t caught and addressed until long after they happen. Point timesheet systems that lack integration with other project systems can create even more problems than they solve.

Communication is key in the construction industry. Knowing the plan and consistently and efficiently executing it is imperative to project success. It doesn’t matter how good the plan is, if it’s not communicated effectively, it will not be executed well. For example, gaps in communication between superintendents and foremen often obscure inefficiencies that won’t surface until cost reports are printed a week or more later. Disconnects can occur from the huge amounts of paper needed to communicate, especially around time tracking, quantity tracking and old Excel spreadsheets that are not integrated with mobile technology.

Does this story sound familiar?

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