Thanks to innovations in hardware and software, mobile technology on the jobsite has helped the traditional worker transition out of the pen and paper zone and into a more productive digital landscape. From the ability to streamline multiple communications into a single report, to scheduling key project dates and deadlines in advance – there’s no question that mobile technology increases productivity on the jobsite.
The evolving modern jobsite consists of a variety of assets, stakeholders, staff and data that benefit from the tools and efficiencies offered by mobile technology. According to 2018 Construction Technology Report compiled by JBKnowledge, the most common mobile apps being used in the field are photo/video (55.3%), daily reporting (53.6%), time management (46.5%) plan management (37.8%) and safety management (37.1%).
Although smartphones, tablets and laptops have become typical in construction zones, new applications of mobile technology continue to emerge. The growing use of digital tools in the construction industry is as vast as the individual job sites themselves, and the needs for each project just as varied. Construction firms are benefitting from this explosion of technology by instantly increasing productivity with a device employees simply pull from their back pockets.
As more mobile solutions become available, it’s important to identify how to best use them given the specific needs of a project. Here are five valuable ways to use mobile technology on the jobsite:
- Capturing Experience and Knowledge: Turnover is common and frequent in construction. Add to that the increasing number of employees ready to retire, and you’ll find yourself losing years of valuable institutional knowledge if you don’t document it properly. The best way to bridge the gap between younger employees and their mentors is by uploading and maintaining best practices and standard operating procedures into an internal knowledge library, one that can be accessed and updated remotely via a mobile device, from the jobsite, giving newer workers the benefit of others’ experience. Remote access to this wealth of documentation and best practices helps with on-the-job training, to get newer employees up to speed and productive faster.
- Better Collaboration: When collaborating with multiple stakeholders on multiple projects, communication is of paramount importance. Mobile technology eliminates unacceptable lapses in response time. This is essential when communicating unexpected changes. Being able to update and submit reports, photos, timesheets and other important documents from your mobile device improves collaboration, helping to keep remote stakeholders informed and eliminating manual tasks. Incorporating mobile technology into your communication and collaboration practices strengthens communication channels and improves efficiency and accuracy.
- Project Management: Organizing project-related tasks and managing schedules using mobile apps enables project managers to stay productive wherever they are. The ability to view, alter and share project tasks, milestones and deadlines from anywhere keeps all interested parties up-to-date and on-track, while minimizing miscommunications and improving workflows.
- Real-Time Reporting: Construction professionals are always mobile and benefit from having constant, accurate data at their fingertips. The availability of real-time analytics (material costs, equipment usage, timelines, etc.) via mobile access provides data that can help identify potential problems and improves communication, accuracy, productivity and efficiency between the field and the office. Additionally, managers can use mobile apps to document activities, job status, policy violations, working conditions and other essential information in the field, rather than having to use pen and paper, which can be tedious and unreliable.
- Safety and Security: Safety on the jobsite is top of mind among construction firms. Technologies such as sensors and wearables that transmit data in real-time, or solar-powered mobile camera trailers that can be set up to capture photos and videos in remote locations or after hours, help improve worker safety and jobsite security.
Beyond Smartphones and Tablets
Mobile digital technology is revolutionizing the construction industry and is not limited to just smartphones and tablets. Whether utilizing project management software to streamline workflow or prioritizing security with 24/7 security recording, TrueLook’s mobile camera trailers are a standout addition to any jobsite’s mobile technology solutions.