Mobile Technology Advances in the Construction Industry

B2W Mobile App for Field Workers & Mechanics

by B2W Software

Construction Executive’s Tech Trends, April 16, 2014 – There is no doubt about it: The future is mobile. As mobile technology continues to advance and improve, the benefits for construction companies continue to expand. Adopting a mobile strategy can help companies increase job profitability and efficiency with the click of a button.

According to a forecast by Forrester Research, tablet sales are expected to overtake laptop sales by 2015. This only reinforces the fact that mobile technology is becoming more integrated with the way people communicate and do business. Additionally, the adoption of mobile technology is easier than ever as consumers use more mobile apps in both their personal and professional lives.

Mobile in the Field: How Technology Improves Accuracy and Efficiency on the Jobsite

  • Capturing Labor and Equipment Hours. Accurately capturing employees’ hours in the field is key to tracking costs associated with a project. Paper time cards can be difficult to read once they are turned in to the office, causing inaccurate employee tracking. Mobile-based programs that allow field foremen and project managers to clock employees in and out on the jobsite help cut down on these mistakes and inaccuracies. Similarly, tracking equipment hours inaccurately can lead to inefficient uses of equipment, as well as incorrect cost tracking. A field foreman or project manager can account for equipment hours on a tablet device and mark the information down as it occurs, rather than having to remember it later.
  • Instantly Analyzing Daily Production. The ability to instantly analyze daily production allows field foremen and project managers to make necessary changes and course corrections immediately, rather than waiting days or weeks for the information to become available. This ability can make all the difference for a project being completed on time and on budget.

Mobile in the Shop: How Mobile Technology Allows Mechanics to Efficiently Repair Equipment

  • Planning and Tracking Work Orders. Using mobile technology, mechanics in the shop can receive work orders on their tablets, allowing them to immediately begin necessary repairs. In addition to having the details of the request at their fingertips, they can see past work orders for a specific piece of equipment and access repair manuals. Having the complete history of a piece of equipment in the palm of their hands allows the mechanic to accurately diagnose and repair equipment quickly and efficiently.
  • Capturing Hours and Parts Usage. As with employees in the field, accurately capturing mechanic hours can greatly affect a company’s bottom line. Using mobile technology, a mechanic can track the amount of hours spent on a work order, allowing the time to be allocated correctly. Shop personnel can also view real-time data on what parts have been used for various work orders and what parts are available. They can use this data to keep an accurate inventory of parts and supplies, cutting back on equipment downtime related to ordering parts.

Mobile in the Office: How Mobile Technology Allows the Office to Use Information From the Field and the Shop to Seamlessly Manage a Business

  • Instantly Approving Information and Requests. On the job, any delay can affect whether a project finishes on time, and costs associated with delays can quickly add up. With mobile technology, companies can cut back on delays that result from waiting on approval from the office. Field foremen can instantly submit requests from the field, which are then delivered to the office in real time, allowing for quick and efficient approval. Office staff can instantly view and approve timesheets submitted from the field or shop, streamlining the accounting process.
  • Tracking Costs and Production in Real Time and Making Course Corrections. The ability to track how a job is doing in real time means there will be no surprises at the end of a project. Real-time information tracking in the field gives the office instant access to how well a job is going. This allows the office to make any necessary course corrections and plan for additional staff if needed.

The effects of implementing mobile technology can be seen across all departments within a company. As mobile technology continues to grow and expand, the practical applications available for construction companies will only increase. Setting your business up for success now will allow your company to grow and succeed within the ever-evolving construction industry.