Construction Technology Trends: Best of Breed Apps
By Stephanie | Posted on May 28th, 2019
From the dawn of time (or at least whenever marketing was invented), there have been products out there claiming to be the cure-all, silver bullet solution. They offer answers to all problems, and when advertised, you see phrases like, "never buy another in your life!" or "the last product you will ever need!" but in reality, the majority of these all-in-one solutions will likely give a weak amount of assistance to a variety of issues. For the construction industry, all-in-one software is everywhere you look. The big names in construction tech all offer an all-inclusive solution, and most contractors have tried at least one of them. The issue is, once purchased these all-in-one solutions rarely deliver on their lofty claims. You bought a miracle cure, and ended up getting a decent swig of something that, while it doesn't necessarily hurt, doesn't come close to curing all those diseases listed on the bottle.
It's not that all-in-one solutions are inherently bad for your business: they have plenty of good qualities as well. They can be a great way to see the overall health of a project, and can be a good "single source of truth" when it comes to running your construction firm. However, if you are expecting one software solution to do absolutely everything, and do it well or even passably well, then you might have bought into something that wasn't entirely true. However, the construction technology landscape is such that, whenever an all-in-one solution fails to deliver, there is a best-of-breed or point solution ready to pick up the slack.
These best-of-breed solutions aren't an alternative to the all-in-one: they are too focused on doing one or two things well to be able to do all of the things that the all-in-one does. However, they do what they do so well that one could consider them indispensable appendages, add-ons to the larger system that help the whole thing function more efficiently. If you think of your all-in-one solution like the brain, then the best-of-breed solutions are the hands or feet. They don't replace the brain, but when used together they allow you to do more things.
We've rounded up five of the top construction apps that offer a best-of-breed solution to project management, in the categories of field reporting, tool tracking, scanning, inspection, and media recording. When apps like the ones listed below are used together, high quality projects are completed properly and efficiently.
Best-of-Breed Construction Apps
We all know of DeWalt as a long time staple in the tool industry, and their tools have always been innovative, but the century-old company is really keeping up with the times by adding high-tech features to their tools. Tool Connect is a system that uses bluetooth technology to keep track of tool inventory, prevent theft, and provide real-time updates. With the Tool Connect product line, users can customize settings and check up on data through both the mobile and web apps.
Safety Culture's iAuditor program allows users to quickly set up inspection sheets for jobsites so safety issues can be proactively resolved, before anyone gets hurt. By making the inspection process easier, those on the jobsite can quickly assess the situation and take or refer to photos, notes, and more through structured digital checklists. Inspections can be scheduled ahead of time, so teams know exactly when they need to complete their checklists.
This innovative tool can give individuals a virtual walk-through of the jobsite, no matter where they are. StructionSite compares drawings and renderings to footage captured on the jobsite to show exactly how a project is going, and users can add notes and ask questions to collaborators. Its compatibility with 360-degree camera technology makes for an extremely accurate visual representation of progress, even providing an X-Ray viewing option.
By combining AI and risk management software, Smartvid.io makes sure that jobsite risks are taken care of, while providing a platform for reviewing and annotating photos. Like iAuditor, the program's foundations lie in jobsite safety, but Smartvid.io's focus is on identifying hazards through intuitive image recognition. Photos are automatically tagged and categorized, keeping all documentation organized and accessible.
Raken is the construction management app designed with the field in mind. With a mobile and web app, Raken streamlines communication between the jobsite and the office, and cuts the field reporting process down to a matter of minutes. By focusing on field reporting, Raken has fine-tuned the processes of submitting dailies, time cards, summaries, and more. No more paper, no more spreadsheets, and no more hassle means crews in the field can finish their workdays and get home to their families faster.
Best-of-Breed Just Makes Sense
The process of finding all the right apps for your company can take a little bit of time and research, but in the long run, you will be glad that you carefully invested in tools that are actually utilized by your crews. Adopting a so-called "all-in-one" solution may seem like the easiest option, but it doesn't necessarily get the job done the right way. Best-of-breed softwares and apps are created for specific user personas, so they can serve as the best possible solution for individual tasks, as opposed to the quantity-over-quality approach of an all-in-one. By choosing best-of-breed solutions, your crews will be able to complete their jobs more efficiently and produce better results.
Let's put it into perspective - getting your car fixed, your teeth cleaned, and your taxes filed are all services that you need done, but you wouldn't expect your mechanic to also serve as your dentist and your accountant, would you? The bottom line is that there is no one software to rule them all, and to ensure that your company is fulfilling its construction app needs, it's imperative to focus on individual areas. With your crews' best interests in mind, when choosing construction apps, opt for best-of-breed solutions.