The fast expansion of mobile technology, which includes modern smartphones, tablets, notebooks and other devices, has affected nearly every aspect of the average consumer’s life.
While its integration into areas such as education and recreation are readily apparent, the impact such technology has had on the construction industry, including its widespread adoption of software, is not so obvious.
Streamlined Project Management
If you’re a project manager, you’ve probably already witnessed how smartphones have jumpstarted the use of software by builders and construction companies. Whereas the job of the project manager once involved visiting multiple jobsites on a daily basis, keeping track of handwritten timelines and holding meetings in person, mobile communications now let you accomplish all this from nearly anywhere in the world.
Project management software is incredibly diverse. With a plethora of different options and functionality available, it can be difficult to choose the right application. Generally speaking, innovative project managers should be on the lookout for software that utilizes cloud connectivity, scalability and the ability to add as many teammates to your project as necessary.
While mobile technology allows project managers and company leaders to perform some of their duties away from the actual jobsite, the same technology can be applied to certain construction workers.
Although this is a very involved and hands-on line of work, some roles, such as that of a supervisor, surveyor or contractor, can now be completed without having to get your hands dirty.
Remote-controlled drones, for example, are incredibly useful when measuring large plots of land or verifying the completion of daily activities.
Drones have a limited range, however, which requires the operator to be in close proximity to the jobsite. You’ll also need a device that is capable of running the software, which might eliminate your personal smartphone as an option.
As an alternative, some companies are installing jobsite cameras. Whether they’re meant as a permanent installation or just until the construction phase is over, these cameras can often be viewed through any online connection.
Not only does this let construction managers keep a close watch on individual job sites, but the public can also be given access to stir up interest and help kick-off your initial promotional campaign.
General Business Management
Just like with any other business, the day-to-day management of a construction business can also be strengthened through the effective use of computer software and mobile technology.
Apart from the ability to connect team members and increase productivity both on the job site as well as back at the office, business management software and mobile apps are able to improve resource allocation, workflow planning, invoicing, logistics and more.
Mobile technology has also improved the creation, processing and storage of construction-related documentation. Instead of carrying around stacks of papers, binders and blueprints, jobsite superintendents and managers can now store all of this information on their phone.
Advanced software features like optical character recognition, or OCR, are able to scan documents into an editable form.
Technical drawings can be supplemented with integrated hyperlinks, comments or complementary research materials and 3D drawings can provide you with a photorealistic tour of a new building before work has even began.
High Level of Customizability
Thanks to the use of application programming interfaces, or APIs, construction professionals can create and develop their own tools and utilities that match their specific project requirements.
Such a high level of customizability grants many benefits to the end-user, including relevancy of features and options, overall accessibility and guaranteed compatibility with any company-issued mobile devices. APIs can even be used to tailor a certain program to a user’s preferred device, thereby offering even greater compatibility and accessibility.
Greater Software Adoption Than Ever Before
Although it took a while for the construction industry to catch up to the current state of technology, proactive builders have been partnering up with tech-savvy professionals to try and revolutionize the field on their own behalf.
While some applications have been hit or miss thus far, the usefulness of computer software amongst construction company owners, managers and supervisors will only increase as software becomes cheaper, more accessible and easier to use.