Construction sites are infinitely complicated places that require multiple projects working at once to deliver the project on time and under budget. Teams used to organize those projects on paper, then spreadsheets, but now the most organized and easy-to-use solution for any construction project comes in the form of mobile project management software.
Mobile project management software gains its mobility and ease of use by living in the cloud. No longer are project managers tied to desktops and printouts. Today’s construction project management tools allow real time updates that move with the interconnected projects, suppliers, craftsmen, and managers who must work in tandem to get the project finished.
Mobile project management tools work in the cloud, a setup that gives project access to all team members, whether in the office or in the field. Mobile and cloud access is available from anywhere on any device with mobile data or wifi capabilities.
Teams have a single point of reference for documents, timelines, materials lists and expenses. Instead of driving back to the office after the day’s work, managers and subcontractors can send daily reports directly from the job site. In-app notifications give all team members access to changing requirements as they happen, rather than sending a courier.
Instead of using spreadsheets, paper reports, and blueprints, the whole team has access to burndown charts showing which projects should run at what time, workflows that automatically move documents from request to approval, and electronic documents that provide easy reference for subcontractors and new team members. Most modern solutions can also integrate with third-party systems your team may use on the job, such as billing/invoicing tools or work order software.
When the team implements a construction project management tool with a friendly user interface and intuitive controls, staying on top of the project becomes as easy as updating your facebook status. Notifications update and inform all members of the team on the fly rather than requiring meetings and face to face interactions that waste valuable building time.
Mobile project management tools use many formats for communication including notes and tasks to voice over device, video and text notifications. Best of all, many users can access the software and its capabilities from their personal mobile device. A bring your own device policy (BYOD) reduces company’s investment in costly technology for the job site or vehicles. Administrators can give users granular access to tools within the software, facilitating workflows and increasing security over sensitive information.
The move out of spreadsheets and into a cloud project management tool gives your team visibility and clarity into all points of the construction project, including materials, tasks, and timelines. When multiple users can access the important documents in a central location, they spend less time moving from task to task and double checking requirements.
When decision-makers change course or supplies are arriving late on-site, mobile project management tools provide real-time updates in the office and with the work crews. This increased agility and ability to react to unexpected delays and changes is enhanced by pictures and video files from the worksite to build formal requests and keep all stakeholders informed.
Even computerized spreadsheets, workflows, and blueprints require a level of sharing through file transfers or email. Mobile project management tools that reside in the cloud let teams set up central repositories for project-critical documents, that all users can access immediately, without having to search through emails.
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Companies that switch from spreadsheets and paper plans reduce costs in several areas:
-Paper for work orders and printed daily job sheets
-Blueprint and plans printing
-Couriers and postage to transfer documents
These costs do not even cover the time loss for driving back and forth to the main office from the job site and hunting down requisitions and invoices to file with accounting departments.
Other than your monthly subscription and any security measures for your BYOD devices, using a cloud software for your construction project management means the entire team has access from anywhere for a lower cost than traditional desktop software. The team doesn’t have to spend a lot of money on installing iPads in each of the trucks or providing each of the employees with laptops when they can work on their mobile device.
Much of the cost reduction and increased efficiencies come in the form of increased communication. All parties can access budgetary requirements and restrictions, plans have a central source of truth, and subcontractors can access completed work and get up to speed quickly. Notifications give team members real-time access to changes that come from the office or field, and everyone has the power to view changing requirements and react accordingly.
Tamara Scott is a technology analyst at TechnologyAdvice, a research company that connects buyers and sellers of business technology. She writes about project management, marketing automation, CRM software, and many other technology verticals.