In today’s fast paced world construction professionals have to deal with a tremendous about of information on projects. Everyday Project Manages and Superintendents must make many decisions that may have multiple ramifications in the future. In the current construction market, project Owners are asking for schedules to be accelerated and projects to be delivered early. The changes to design during the building seem to be the new industry standard. This leads me to ask the question: How can construction professionals keep up with today’s fast paced projects?

One solution for construction professionals can be the adoption of mobiles devices such as tablets that allow construction professionals in the field to do this faster than ever before. Through the use of tables and apps, field staff on construction projects can access the information and files they need access to in real time. Over the past few years I have developed a construction specific Mobile Device Program.

The goal of this program is to help field staff better accomplish workflows such as…

  1. Viewing Plans
  2. Completing Daily Reports
  3. Progress Photos
  4. Entering Time
  5. Documenting Safety

View Plans:

Projects are built based upon the project documents (the specifications and plans). The Superintendent must have access to the most current set of plans in order to ensure details are built properly. They can either carry around a large set large plans and try to find a flat dry spot to roll them out OR walk back and forth to the trailer all day. Apps on tablets provide an easy way to view and mark up drawings in the field. Consider using established apps such as Bluebeam Vu, Fieldwire, PlanGrid, Procore, and Skysite. There also new plan options such as BIM 360 DOCS, Construct, Drawboard, Geniebelt, or Rollout AEC

Progress Photos:

One of the best methods for documenting project conditions is by taking progress photos. The old process of using a digital camera, downloading the photo files to a laptop, and then uploading the photos to a company server is simply too time consuming. The challenge to this workflow is how to take photos ,tag them with key information, and then save them automatically to a location that all team members can access in the future. This is where apps on mobile devices can provide easy way to capture progress photos in the field. Consider using established apps such as FieldLens, FotoIn, or Notevault. There also alternative options such as cloud storage such as Box, Dropbox, iCloud and Google.

Daily Reports:

One of the key workflows a Project Superintendent should conduct every day is creating a detailed Daily Report. The question to ask here is how are they accomplishing this? Are they using a logbook, notebook, or a three ring binder full of forms? Would you like a way to have daily reports created, shared and backed up to your server everyday? What information are they collecting about the project site? Are they documenting manpower, deliveries, or weather conditions? Consider using established apps such as FieldLens, FotoIn, and Raken. There also alternative options such as App Sheet, iAuditor, and Quickbase.

Entering Time:

One of the most important workflows is documenting the hours each employee works on your project site each day. How does the Superintendent keep track of the hours each employee works? A time clock, a sign in sheet, a notebook? How are the hours transmitted to the office and entered into the accounting system? Are they tracking just direct employee time or subcontractor hours as well.  Consider using established apps such as About Time, Clock Shark, and TSheets. There also alternative options such as Fieldlens, Raken, and Procore.

Safety Reports:

Properly documenting safety activities tends to be an overlooked workflow on most construction project sites. Unlike other workflows, certain safety events such as accidents or OSHA inspections can have significant long term effect on companies. The Superintendent is generally responsible for conducting a toolbox talk and sending me the proper form documenting the training. Consider using established apps such as iAuditor, Safesite, Safety-Reports, and StriveZero. There also alternative options such as App Sheet, CCS Safety, and Quickbase.

What workflows for construction are you conducting on tablets?

What apps and platforms are you using today?

Please leave a comments or two about what your team is using or needs assistance with today.