New apps are popping up that make using technology in the field much more accessible. Project information can now be kept in one easy-to-use system that everyone can access, making it much easier to quickly and effectively capture and share information.
Digital Collaboration Begins in the Field
The construction process contains a massive number of opportunities for digital collaboration and communication. Consider the jobsite where every construction foreman keeps his or her own daily journal. The foreman’s records are usually a combination of a notebook and schedule, a manual process. He or she may be heavily invested to using paper with the claim that it is less time consuming than putting information on electronic devices. But construction is project-based, and productivity relies heavily on collaboration between project participants. That is where the paper v. digital debate has a clear winner; the old ways of color-coded MS Project calendars, Gantt charts, and notepads are rapidly fading.
The list of advantages of electronic media in construction is huge. Emails ensure that information is transferred in a written form, and construction drawings or other documents are easily presented – powerful tools when combined with field apps.
Advantages of Digital Integration
Capturing data in the field offers the ability to sort and organize information in real time.
Among the range of activities that could improve with the integration of technology, the foreman’s record keeping is one of the most achievable, and potentially one of the most valuable to companies.
Information can flow through a common platform, allowing for different parties to upload and download on demand. Participants who are linked together through the sharing of information are more likely to work together efficiently, having avoided unnecessary or excessive communication. If time means money, there are significant cost savings to the smooth back and forth transfer of information between the field and office.
Fewer Barriers to Adoption Today
Expensive monthly fees and complicated apps made many companies hesitant to embrace technology. The emergence of affordable cloud-based apps, specifically designed for the field, such as PeerAssist’s Field Work Order (FWO) are making technology much more accessible, helping and furthering the industry trend of adapting technology.
In the case of PeerAssist’s FWO, a visible platform for capturing, tracking, managing field work orders, with shareable data and seamless information exchange, it is much easier to learn and simpler to use than other software. The latter is critical to changing the mindset of construction staff, particularly foremen who don’t have a lot of spare time and can be at times, reluctant to new tools.
As digital tools become a part of the everyday life on the job site, there are benefits to the entire lifecycle of a project including more accurate and timely reporting of data, increased collaboration and communication, and better management and storage of data. Information can be repurposed later for a range of uses such as cost and business analytics.
The other advantage of a cloud-based application like FWO is that it doesn’t require additional infrastructure and it can be deployed for a low monthly subscription rate with long term commitments.
The former barriers to technology in the field are breaking down, which couldn’t be better timed as the construction industry finds itself amid widespread digital transformation.
McKinsey reports, “other industries have shown that first movers can build a sustainable competitive advantage. In the construction sector, this is also likely to be the case. Over the next decade, these winners of tomorrow will take the lead in technology innovation and digitization. Resisting change is no longer an option.”