In the construction business, most of the day-to-day action takes place on the jobsite. Thanks to mobile technology, contractors can store vital project information on their smart phones and tablets for easy access and sharing on the go.
Keeping in mind that any technology purchase (even a free download) should be thoroughly researched and carefully considered, here are six of the hottest trends in construction apps right now:
1. Daily reports and punch lists. With a few taps of a finger, these apps let users take photos, make notes, assign tasks and generate professional reports from anywhere — including a jobsite. The reports can be shared via email or on cloud-based platforms such as Dropbox or Google Drive. (Examples: iNeoSyte and ArchiSnapper.)
2. Timesheet management. Time-tracking apps provide a way to record work hours without having to punch a physical time clock or fill out paper timesheets. Crews can log and track their time using the app or by simply entering a jobsite. (Examples: Hubstaff and ClockShark,)
3. Plans and drawings. Several apps allow users to easily view and manage construction plans and drawings. An architect or designer can publish drawings to a cloud server for easy sharing where you’re then able to add notes, requests for information, punch lists and markups. You can even compare different revisions of documents or drawings by overlaying them. (Example: PlanGrid.)
Other apps let you create, access, share and print CAD drawings via a mobile device. You can leverage augmented reality to take measurements and create room plans in seconds. (Examples: FingerCAD and CamToPlan.)
4. Building information modeling (BIM). The latest BIM apps enable you to navigate multidimensional models and their associated data better than ever. Some facilitate production and resource planning, cloud-based field collaboration, and document sharing. (Examples: goBIM and Autodesk BIM 360.)
5. Touchless ticketing for deliveries. For several years now, concrete and other materials suppliers have provided customers with mobile apps to track and manage their orders. Some are now offering a paperless ticketing option that allows customers to electronically sign for deliveries via text or mobile app to ensure drivers and onsite construction workers are safely distanced. (Examples: ConcreteDirect and iStrada.)
6. Project management and jobsite coordination. For construction company owners who are looking to fully automate their jobs on one standard platform, there are apps that do it all. These solutions essentially combine all or some of the capabilities of the previously mentioned apps in an effort to manage projects, resources and financials from planning to closeout. (Examples: Procore, Bluebeam Revu and Fieldwire.)
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