How Mobile Apps Are Changing the Construction Industry
They're annoying. They're intrusive. And they have very rapidly become almost essential to daily life. "They" are of course mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. And they have quickly moved from being used simply for passing on messages and making social plans to being important educational and workplace tools.
And a surprising workplace where these devices are showing up more and more is at construction sites. It's not quite as surprising to those who work within the industry, however. There's a lot more going on at these sites than hoisting girders, moving dirt, and hammering. Effective communication at all levels is important at a site. So are different types of daily reporting in addition to note taking.
The construction industry has done an impressive job over the years by getting this done via the infamous "green notebook", runners, and frequent meetings. But even ardent fans of "doing it old school" have to admit that those methods were not without their flaws. But what other alternatives were there? Even if a site allowed for the installation of telephone and Internet lines, the temporary nature of these sites made such installations problematic, costly, and still didn't solve other problems.
Then wireless technology came along and transformed how the construction industry does business. Recently surveyed construction firm managers indicated that they are now spending as much as 50% of their IT budgets on mobile devices, and slightly more that 10% of those budgets on mobile applications.
In the case of the Raken app, it is now possible for foremen and project managers to complete and submit professional looking reports from a variety of devices, from any location. The app also allows other workers to review and collaboratively add to reports (including photos) in real time. This cuts down on frequent meetings and site visits. The cloud technology used by Raken also allows data to be stored safely and securely for up to ten years, avoiding file loss and damage. And the Raken app can also be used to get real time weather updates and issue site alerts, improving site safety.
Other apps for the construction industry have now replaced traditional construction tools such as levels and rulers. They also are rendering calculators obsolete and taking the guesswork out of determining supply level needs for projects.
So while there's no denying that the theater-goer who forgot to turn their phone off will always be annoying, devices and their apps are more and more becoming an integral part of construction work. Firms are advised to make thoughtful choices about the construction mobile apps that will work best for their needs.