As a construction professional, you need to do more than bring the best skills possible to the job. You also need to stay competitive. In modern construction, this requires the ability to apply mobile technology to improving efficiency and reducing the possibility of error. It's something many young contractors have mastered.
Apps for the construction industry exist today to help enhance information exchange, collaboration, finance, quality control, performance tracking, time management, scheduling and blueprint management in construction projects. If you're unsure how technology helps in these areas, here's an introduction.
Apps that offer detailed technical help
Technical aid apps help in a number of ways. PlanGrid puts blueprints and technical drawings at your fingertips; GoBim helps contractors and engineers visualize projects in 3-D; and FingerGrid helps contractors create engineering drawings of construction projects with simple finger traces.
As useful as these apps are, they can be resource-intensive. A powerful phone is an essential. It's important to check benchmarking tests that gauge phones for real-world performance. Mobile brands such as Sony Xperia do well for performance and offer the ruggedness needed for field work.
Apps for project management
There's a great deal that apps can do for project management.
Communication: Apps like BuilderTrend help connect everyone involved in a project by keeping them on the same page. Tasks can be delegated; plans can be annotated; and notes can be shared. It's even possible to keep the customer up-to-date with the latest in their project.
Reporting: Construction plans are complex projects that involve dozens of professionals including superintendents, foremen, managers and engineers. Work is delegated to different professionals, and these need to be reported on. Apps such as Raken help with memo creation and time-stamped work reports.
Paperwork reduction: From bid management to cost management and invoice management, there's a lot of paperwork that goes into keeping a project on track. Apps such as Co-construct offer help every step of the way.
Construction projects require reliable calculations. Equipping yourself with professional apps can be a great way to avoid mistakes, not to mention, a way to ease your workload. Fast Concrete Pad Calculator offers detailed tools to help contractors reckon concrete and rebar needs, and minimize waste. Roofing Calculator helps with calculations involving roofing projects, including shingling reckonings and cost estimations.
Construction Master Pro offers a collection of calculation tools for all kinds of everyday construction applications, including unit conversions, trigonometric double-checks and dimensional math.
Apps for safety
Safety apps are arguably one of the most important tools available to the contractor. Apps such as SafeSite help in the creation of safety inspections, reports and checklists. The idea is to make safety requirements easy to comply with, and this app succeeds in this aim.
Software makers come up with ingenious industry-specific apps on a regular basis, and it's always a good idea to keep yourself updated.