A few years ago, only science fiction characters carried and used them. Today, you see them everywhere in real life, and even infants and toddlers use them with surprising ease. "Them" of course, would be mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and their yet-to-catch-on lovechild, the "phablet". And while it's getting harder and harder to imagine a time when we didn't use them to make telephone calls, watch television, or listen to music, these devices are still underutilized in terms of their business potential. Especially in the construction industry. While many firms have graduated from green books and typewritten forms in terms of daily reporting for example, they continue to use "legacy" software.
"Legacy" first appeared in computer lingo as early as the 1970s to describe a system that was out of date. The term is used today in IT circles to refer to older software programs. While "legacy software" programs are often not obsolete, they tend to be difficult to install, can't accept upgrades easily, often affect office-wide computer use while upgrades are being downloaded, and can only be used on limited machines under certain circumstances. If this sounds like the construction project management software that your firm is using, it might well be worth moving to software that features apps that can be downloaded to mobile devices, like Raken for daily reporting. Working on devices powered by Android and iOS, Raken allows for between 60-90 minutes per day to be saved on report writing and filing. Raken report fields meet industry standards, assuring that these reports can become legal documents, if necessary. And Raken allows for real time editing and viewing, meaning that the "meeting about the report data" can be held anywhere, even when all meeting participants aren't necessarily physically in the same place, saving travel time and money. And Raken is not a construction manager's only "mobile solution" for a more effective construction site. There are a number of other products out there using technology that most site employees are already carrying in a pocket or briefcase. Other possibilities include a mobile app called JobCost that allows employees to update their timecards with their devices and managers to track work, JobWavz, mobile apps for construction that allow residential projects to be scheduled, and managers to receive job bid notifications via devices, and various tagging products that allow managers to conduct inventory updates with yes, a few swipes of a phone or tablet.
While it sounds like construction managers should hop right onto that app bandwagon, they are warned that not all construction software packages are appropriate for all projects, and due diligence should be done before making purchases. But for managers willing to do the homework, the many construction mobile solutions now out there not only save firms time and money, but will keep them competitive traveling down that digital highway.