How Mobile Apps can Streamline a Construction Business
For construction businesses, streamlining operations is an ongoing challenge. Construction businesses that are looking to streamline operations and save money without compromising on the quality they offer their customers would do well to make the most of mobile apps.
No longer the province of social media or promotions, mobile apps are becoming more commonplace in the construction industry.
What are some of the ways the construction industry is tapping into and making the most of apps?
No more lost paperwork
One of the challenges for businesses in the construction industry is keeping track of paperwork.
From blueprints to bids to workers' contracts, with so many staff members traveling out of the office on a regular basis, keeping track of paperwork can be messy and time consuming.
The use of apps makes paperwork a much easier and quicker task, as Jayson Global Roofing discovered when they started using the ProntoForms app to track and send paperwork with attached photos.
The app meant photographs and notes could easily be married together and transmitted, cutting out time spent on paperwork and separate uploads.
Using an app for paperwork means vital information can immediately be stored in the Cloud or on the business' own FT server.
Less physical paper documents means less lost or misplaced paperwork, and more information in the right place just when it's needed.
Keep track of every aspect of construction
For construction businesses, using apps is a way to keep track of every aspect of a job, from the bid onwards.
Apps are available for creating and keeping track of bids with sub-contractors, for sharing blueprints and floor plans, for quickly sending photographs to colleagues, and for creating contracts to send to clients.
No matter what stage a construction project is at, businesses will find there are apps available to help streamline each stage.
At heart, apps help construction businesses to communicate better and more effectively.
As mentioned in "How to Market an App to Consumers," sharing apps with colleagues is important. Construction businesses can use apps to pass information more quickly between sites, offices and workers, for more effective working.
Less time wasted
Using apps is good news for construction companies who want to cut down on time wasted chasing information or paperwork, or making copies of forms, one for the office and one for the site.
Apps make it easy to pass information from place to place, which means less time spent chasing down contacts and trying to track down important information.
Less time spent on administration, paperwork, and following up information requests, means a more efficiently run company and less stress for employees from the CEO to the contractors.
Resolve issues more quickly
Effective construction is a balancing act - from getting the right people to the right site at the right time to managing the flow of materials, bottlenecks and mistakes can throw a spanner in the works and leave a project trailing behind.
When working on the Ritz-Carlton Montreal renovation project, construction company Pormaleau used the Aconex Field app to track any defects in the construction, which meant problems could be dealt with quickly.
Mobile apps can be used to keep track of materials on a site which means easy access to inventory and early flagging of any possible materials deficit. Keeping an eye on materials is also useful in terms of preventing robbery or other loss of materials, and therefore money lost in that way.
From bidding to billing, mobile apps provide the construction industry with easy and accessible ways to build more effective and streamlined businesses.
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn writes on a wide variety of topics, including social media, small businesses, mobile apps and construction.
BT and Microsoft unveil strategic partnership
BT and Microsoft have launched a strategic partnership to accelerate innovation across enterprise voice, cyber security and industry-focused services in sectors from digital manufacturing to health.
BT has already been named one of the first development partners for Microsoft Operator Connect and Operator Connect Conferencing. The renewed agreement will allow BT to build on this relationship and offer its own branded global managed voice services directly through Microsoft Teams, with an approach that further enhances customer experience and creates new opportunities for growth.
The strategic partnership will build on BT’s existing portfolio of cyber security services built on Microsoft technology. It will see the companies push forward with the design and launch of a new generation of managed security services to enable and protect the modern collaborative workplace. BT will work closely with Microsoft to develop distinct security propositions to defend customers’ operations across the cloud as well as its own IT estate.
Sustainability and collaboration on digital skills are integral to the partnership. BT and Microsoft will work together on further enhancing sustainability credentials within their supply chains and join forces on promoting digital skills in the communities.
“BT and Microsoft are at the forefront of innovation in global digital platforms and connectivity that will take technology and communication beyond limits,” said Bas Burger, CEO of Global at BT and executive sponsor of BT’s partnership with Microsoft. “This partnership will ensure all of Microsoft’s solutions work ‘Best on BT’ and support both companies’ commitments to improving digital skills in the community.”
Omar Abbosh, corporate vice president of industry solutions at Microsoft, said: “BT can use Microsoft’s cutting-edge tools to develop new communications services that meet the needs and demands of today’s customers. By aligning our visions for communication, connectivity, security and digital technology, Microsoft and BT will support real growth for businesses across the world.”
Microsoft's vision is to transform construction and built environment businesses with design innovation, a supply chain you can control, and a connected, safer, more productive workforce.
Microsoft recently unveiled strong results for the quarter ending June 30:
- Revenue totalled $46.2 billion, up 21%
- Operating income was $19.1 billion, up 42%
- Net income was $16.5 billion, up 47%
- Diluted earnings per share was $2.17, up 49%
For the year, revenues totalled $168.1 billion (up 18%), operating income hit $69.9 billion (up 32%), net income was $61.3 billion GAAP and $60.7 billion non-GAAP, and increased 38% and 37%, respectively.
“We are innovating across the technology stack to help organizations drive new levels of tech intensity across their business,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and chief executive officer of Microsoft. “Our results show that when we execute well and meet customers’ needs in differentiated ways in large and growing markets, we generate growth, as we’ve seen in our commercial cloud – and in new franchises we’ve built, including gaming, security, and LinkedIn, all of which surpassed $10 billion in annual revenue over the past three years.”
In a trading update last month, BT reported profit after tax £2m, down £446m, due to a "one-off tax charge in the quarter to reflect the remeasurement of deferred tax balances following the enactment of the new UK corporation tax rate of 25% from April 2023".