When construction leaders are shopping for new software for their company, they’re not just buying for one department because they’re buying for every department. That means that all team members, from on-site workers to executives, need to be satisfied with this increasingly necessary piece of technology.
When it comes to mobile construction management apps in particular, choosing an app that will improve the day-to-day lives of your team and the firm overall is crucial. And, because the quality of construction apps varies significantly, it’s up to construction leaders to find a solution that improves upon every aspect of construction management.
Some standalone mobile apps may be inexpensive and easy to implement, but because their functionality is limited and not deployed as part of a standalone solution to manage all aspects of a firm’s project delivery operations, they must be integrated into a larger system of multiple applications. Bridging together several mobile applications can prevent real-time data from getting to the right people and this can make the lives of key players much more difficult. To make sure that a mobile solution is right for your team, it’s important to look at the app from their perspective, considering every team member when assessing your construction software options.
One way to make the lives of all your employees easier is to invest in a complete construction ERP software platform that also includes mobile functionality. Let’s explore how key team members will benefit from choosing a single database solution.
Even when you pick a great subcontractor with the proper qualifications and a reputation for success, mistakes still happen in the field. Your electrician may have several worksites to visit in a single day and as a result, arrives overworked and behind schedule. An advanced mobile solution can maximize your subcontractors’ efficiency and make the most of their time — on and off the job site. Here’s how:
- Reducing Paperwork: Replacing paperwork with a mobile platform eliminates the need for subcontractors to collect and sort through countless documents. With access to your firm’s ERP platform, there’s no need to collect physical documents, schedules or blueprints from the office in between jobs. Less paperwork means they have more time to focus on getting the job done.
- Eliminating Confusion: Avoid costly errors that arise when your accountants try to read the scribbles a carpenter has left for them. A “1” that looks like a “7” can create serious confusion down the line.
- Mobilizing your Schedule: Offer subcontractors mobile schedules and checklists — all within a single platform. Make it easy for workers in the field to check-in to the job site and mark tasks as completed through their smartphone. They’ll always know the next task at hand, and stakeholders will know exactly when each task is complete.
- Standardize Reports: Collect standard reports through a mobile app to keep track of the work.
Project managers deal with many moving parts every day, especially in large firms. They plan budgets, negotiate estimates, create schedules and report back to the client. Seasoned project managers spend years perfecting their management style, but no strategy can replace the efficiency of a unified mobile platform. Here’s how mobile ERP software improves construction project management:
- Oversee Operations from Anywhere: When mobile apps are part of a single database solution, project managers can manage construction teams from anywhere. Applications like CMiC Field, download project information locally onto the mobiles device, allowing PMs to monitor, track and modify essential project data. Any changes made or new information added will be automatically synched with the database. And, if there’s no internet connection, offline changes are saved and synched with the database when the device is back online.
- Receive Photos from the Jobsite: When something goes wrong on the job site, project managers want to know about it. Advanced mobile tools allow for problems to be reported in real time. Workers can easily send pictures so that project managers and stakeholders can see the challenges for themselves.
- Customize Reports: Stakeholders must be informed and may need to approve of certain details before operations can continue. To avoid potential bottlenecks, mobile solutions offer tools to automatically populate reports in a variety of formats. CMiC’s platform, for example, is built with a workflow engine to quickly distribute data and gather approvals, with notifications to keep things moving forward.
Looking for more project management wisdom? Check out our blog on the 5 Traits of Successful Project Managers.
Some executives are more concerned than others when it comes to the nitty-gritty details, but all executives need to be kept in the loop. Mobile technology makes it possible to provide the most up-to-date snapshots so that executives can quickly get all the information they need. Even high-level executives can benefit greatly from knowing that day-to-day operations are going off without a hitch. And if issues are coming up, they can see who’s accountable and isolate the problem.
- Computerized Reporting: With all communications happening inside a single mobile platform, it becomes easy for executives to assess project status at a moment’s notice. You can know instantly when things are behind schedule or over budget.
- Store Everything: Store the details of your firm’s mobile interactions, including communications and document versions. Advanced software will even track which changes and approvals were made as a document is passed around. That way you can keep everyone accountable and protect yourself in the event of a legal dispute.
- Trust the Data: With CMiC Field in particular, data is always extremely reliable and up to date. That’s because CMiC single database system never copies and distributes numerous versions of the same document. What you see will always be a reliable “master” version with markups and a full document history attached.
Project owners have the most to lose and are often the least involved in the project — especially when a firm is using legacy software. ERP systems with mobile apps built in allow owners to check in on day-to-day operations quickly and easily.
- Stay in the Loop: Owners are often too busy to keep tabs on every detail of their project. Mobile software makes it easy for PMs to send out reports (in a variety of formats) with the click of a button — all based on real-time data.
- Eliminate Human Error: People make mistakes, but a trusted construction firm with smart mobile ERP can significantly reduce human error when it comes to data entry and data management. Intelligent platforms like CMiC’s ERP software automatically pull data from the relevant documents and auto-populate new forms so that the numbers are always correct.
- Quickly Fill Change Orders: A solid mobile platform makes it easy to change directions on a dime. When a client makes a change, owners can easily get in touch project managers so that the change is implemented ASAP.
If you want to learn more about how ERP mobile technology can transform operations, 3 Ways Top Contractors Lose Clients—And How Mobile Can Help is a must-read!