You probably think that your company has fully embraced the digital revolution. You’ve moved far beyond the days of pen-and-paper record keeping. You manage scheduling, accounting and documents using advanced software. What’s more, you store vital project data in the cloud.
Your firm may be doing all of the above, but if you’re not utilizing mobile platforms in your day-to-day operations, you could be in for a shock. Even if mobile is already a part of your workflow, you might not be using it to its full potential.
This is problematic because technological deficits — no matter how small — cause inefficiencies that accumulate over time. Workflows that revolve around out-dated systems will eventually become too labor-intensive. And in today’s world, there’s little room for high-maintenance tech.
“We have moved from an industry built on personal relationships and handshake deals to a fast-paced market revolving around high-speed emails and close encounters,” writes Carlos DeLeon at Construction Today. Construction firms that are thriving in this market are making use of every technological shortcut they can find. Now it’s time for your firm to do the same.
Not sure if mobile is a problem for you? Here are 5 signs that your company needs a new mobile strategy.
1. You can only access critical project information from the office.
If you can’t access data when you’re away from the office, you’re already a step behind the competition. Today, information sharing happens at rapid speeds and clients expect short response times. For this reason, you need to be able to share project updates, access reports and check-in with onsite managers from anywhere you are.
By using a mobile platform, you can update stakeholders and send critical documents wherever, whenever. Because we all know that responding to client requests quickly is the best way to keep them happy.
2. You don’t have a bird’s-eye view of daily operations.
Day-to-day construction management requires dual focus. This means monitoring every project detail while also keeping an eye on the big picture. If leaders don’t have a clear understanding of how day-to-day data fits into the larger context, their decision making will be flawed.
Mobile platforms have dashboards that provide an overview of up-to-the-minute data. Zoom in on specifics or access long-term planning views for a complete picture of how a project is progressing. If you’re lacking this kind of perspective, you’re driving blind.
3. PM’s are detached from what’s going on in the field.
Most construction PM’s are managing several construction projects at once and so have limited time to spend on job sites. Still, this doesn’t mean that project managers should be disconnected from what’s happening onsite. If your PM can’t answer key questions about the status of onsite operations, there’s a problem.
The best construction apps make managing and monitoring sites from a remote location easy. PM’s can access real-time reports from the field, communicate and collaborate with onsite workers and receive alerts about challenges or issues.
4. You have conflicting data across databases.
Consistency is key. But it’s hard to keep everyone on the same page when there are so many variables. During construction projects, stakeholders can get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of documents that are produced and shared daily. Document management is even more challenging when companies bridge together multiple software solutions. This scatters information and makes it hard to know if data is relevant or up-to-date.
For an ERP system to be effective, it must offer non-conflicting information. Period. Empowering stakeholders with a mobile platform allows them to make changes in real-time and access a single source of truth.
5. Onsite productivity is lagging.
With better tools, your onsite workers can get a lot more done. Yes, there are many tried-and-true tools that will never be replaced by advanced technology. Nevertheless, mobile devices give workers access to a range of reporting, modeling and collaboration tools that will make their job faster and easier. Put simply, a mobile device is the ultimate multi-tool.
If you’ve noticed your firm struggling with any of these issues, it’s probably time to embrace mobile. Get started with these 7 Tips for Developing a Mobile Strategy.