By Dominick Bass | Posted on
The following post was written and contributed by Dominick Bass, a Sales Development Representative for Raken, who works closely with construction professionals every day by helping them solve the pains of daily reporting.
As a sales representative, I’ve encountered plenty of subcontractors that tell me what a huge headache it is to turn in reports exactly how their general contractor wants them to be. The headache always starts in the same place: pen-and-paper reports and excel spreadsheets take too much time. As a general contractor, efficiency while managing the field is highly valued as they deal with more projects and have to keep tabs on all their different subcontractors, so it’s crazy to imagine how the general contractor can expect efficiency while demanding paper daily reports. They’re commonly turned in late with faulty information or just not completed at all. And if they’re hard to read, they're essentially useless and a complete waste of time. Construction projects are all about following the most efficient route so having a standardized, clean, and consistent reporting method is critical. That's what we're here to talk about today: the benefits of a digitally connected field reporting process vs. pen and paper.
What are the Benefits of Daily Reporting Apps for General Contractors?
The benefits of daily reporting apps like Raken include decreased time spent doing daily reports, real-time mobile visibility, lasting legal protection, quick and easy implementation, and accurate time tracking. This happens through a central feature called the Super Daily. The Super Daily automatically connects the subcontractor's daily reports to the general contractor's daily reports, allowing for standardized, beautiful reports across the board. But how do these benefits come into play and what do they look like for the field? Here is some elaboration on the benefits of having a connected daily reporting app that the subcontractor and general contractor can share and collaborate with:
Decreased Time Spent Doing Daily Reports
Let's be real, time is money, and in this industry, time and money are usually both working against you. This is where being efficient as a construction firm and making sure that low hanging fruit is taken care of really pays off. It's reported from various industry professionals that the process of pen-and-paper daily reporting takes well over an hour at the end of every day. With Raken, these professionals were able to track their daily report data throughout the day as they walk the jobsite, resulting in them spending about 20 minutes in total by the end of the day instead of an hour and a half. The time saved adds up very quickly and ends in huge amounts of hours saved on the site. For example, saving 60 minutes a day, five days a week, over the span of a 10-month project results in 1,000 hours saved with Raken. I'm just going to leave that there.
Standardized and Consistent Daily Reports
Construction reporting is usually messy cocktail of excel spreadsheets, random images with no text associated with them, scribbled paper reports, and maybe even the end of a 2x4 with some time card notes penciled on it. When construction firms use Raken, they can be sure that every single daily report will be beautiful, presentable, and consistently formatted. With an automated weather report, work logs from subcontractors, project information, notes, photos and attachments, and site safety observations, each report will be a simple and legible guide to what happened on site every day.
Real-Time Mobile Visibility
Now let's talk communication. It’s important the subcontractor acknowledges how busy the general contractors are and how important it is to help save them time. Using a daily reporting app solution, the general contractor is able to instantly receive updates on projects from people out in the field. Rather than having to call the subcontractor's project manager every now and then to figure out job progress, they will be able to have physical evidence such as written descriptions of what happened on site that day, photos and videos, site safety observations, and manpower data right at their fingertips. This seamless communication between general contractor and subcontractor improves the quality and pace of work.
Lasting Legal Protection
One of the central benefits of a daily reporting app like Raken is the protection for the company using the software, as best documentation usually wins in court. If something goes wrong on a project, the general contractor will be able to quickly figure out which subcontractors are responsible. Those that aren’t responsible will have solid proof of their completed work. With paper reporting, the general contractor would have to dig through filing cabinets trying to piece the work together which takes even more time and is typically unsuccessful.
Fast, Easy, and Free Implementation for Subcontractors with Super Daily
One of the concerns that a general contractor has about using a daily reporting app is having to purchase reporting software that their subcontractors can work with as well. Fortunately, Raken has a feature called the Super Daily where general contractors will be able to invite all of their subcontractors to use the app for free. Raken was designed to be easy to use and easy to learn, so worrying about implementation is unnecessary. In a recent case study, Don Mason, VP of Construction at Tri-State General Contractors said, "What I found to be the best about Raken is that it is easy to use. I could give it to the most sophisticated, technological superintendent we have or I could give it to the least sophisticated, technological superintendent we have. And what I found was, in five minutes, both of them could use it like professionals."
Accurate Time Tracking
Another huge headache that general contractors won’t have to worry about if they’re using Raken is dealing with scattered time cards. So often are general contractors paying crews too much and wasting time due to poorly allocated and disorganized time tracking. With the help of a mobile time card solution, superintendents and foremen won’t have to scribble down the amount of hours that each crew worked, including overtime and double time, just to get back into the trailer later and not be able to read what they wrote. It's as simple as walking the jobsite, inputing hours into the Raken app, assigning customized cost codes, and moving on with the day without errors.
Some general contractors have digital time card software in place to avoid this headache but have no way to quickly and accurately match up the hours with the correct work that was done. On each Raken daily report, the work logs will be right next to the hours worked, so proof of the work and the hours can be accounted for. The guys in the field will save time and the general contractor won’t be losing money on over-paying employees for work they haven’t done and they won’t be wasting time on trying to receive and comprehend their time cards.
Summing it Up: Why a General Contractor Should Be Using Daily Reporting Software
At the end of the day, general contractors need to be as efficient as possible to ensure the success of all their projects, especially when they have a handful of workers and subcontractors to supervise. Raken will easily clear the headaches by connecting the jobsite, keeping up with completed work, and making sure workers are paid quickly and appropriately. Need proof of how much Raken helps? Check out what other construction professionals have to say and experience Raken firsthand with a 15-day free trial.