Let’s meet Jessie, a hardworking and determined entrepreneur who successfully built a small construction company of their own. Even though Jessie was knowledgeable about the construction industry and had an accomplished workforce by her side, it was not easy, and she had to deal with her fair share of struggles.
While Jessies’ people always make sure they deliver the highest quality work, managing business operations has not been easy. With seemingly no end to paperwork and spreadsheets, deadlines were being missed, and budgets were being exceeded. No matter how much time was spent on preparation, unexpected hurdles were encountered, and stress only increased as the workload became overwhelming. It was all very frustrating.
But soon, Jessie met a fellow contractor, Skyler. Skyler was in a similar situation and faced various obstacles in managing his construction business. But, Skyler learned how to transform business operations and improve revenue.
Skyler started using construction apps to streamline complex business operations and accommodate their changing needs.
Jessie learned about construction apps, and once she started to use them, she saw the positive impact they had on her business. From project management tools to time-saving scheduling software, Jessie discovered the importance of construction applications in transforming her business operations. It allowed Jessie to meet deadlines and manage her business more efficiently.
Being a part of the construction industry, you, too, may have faced this. Whether you are a small business owner like Jessie or you have grown a little larger, construction apps are the key to unlocking your business’ full potential and achieving even greater success.
The Need for Construction Apps
Like Jessie, you have probably struggled to combat business difficulties. Nowadays, many construction business owners have started to utilize construction apps to solve major issues in their businesses. By utilizing the various apps available, you can improve and refine your existing business processes. Here are some of the major issues that can be addressed with the help of applications focused on the construction industry.
1. Cost overrun
Exceeding the initial budget is a common issue in construction projects, with over 86% of them going over budget, resulting in an average of 28% more in costs. Lengthy construction projects are particularly challenging and costly, with various factors contributing to cost overruns, such as incorrect project estimates, communication breakdowns, inadequate resource planning, and lack of contingency plans.
2. Missed deadlines
Missing deadlines and delays are prevalent in construction due to various factors such as bad weather, inadequate planning, and material delivery issues. Poor project management practices like inadequate tracking systems and wrong personnel assignments are also major contributors to missed deadlines. The magnitude of the issue in the US construction industry highlights the need for improved project management systems.
3. Scheduling overlaps
Scheduling jobs in the construction industry is a complex task that requires accurate planning and proper personnel allocation to ensure timely completion within budget. The use of low-cost methods, such as spreadsheets, may not be effective in the long run and can lead to unmanageable schedules.
Delays in one project can have a domino effect on others, resulting in scheduling overlaps and rescheduling. Overlaps can limit subcontractors' control over the pace of progress, making it best to avoid them altogether. The root cause of scheduling overlaps is often the use of outdated tools for resource allocation and dispatching, leading to inefficiencies and problems.
4. Construction site theft
Theft on construction sites has become a major problem. Valuable resources and equipment are kept on-site, and proper consideration needs to be given to security. Many construction sites have improper surveillance, inefficient asset management systems, and unorganized inventory management, all contributing to construction site theft.
A report by the National Equipment Register (NER) revealed that construction sites are the most frequently targeted location for theft and have risen over the last five years. Preventive measures must be taken to avoid such theft instances and business risks.
5. Productivity issues
Many construction projects are held up due to productivity issues. Delays due to lack of productivity have a real-world impact on the overall cost and timeline for completion. By standardizing processes and providing necessary training, the construction industry could alleviate many issues and get back on track with improved levels of productivity.
Coordination of stakeholders is difficult. General contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers all need to communicate and poor communication only compounds any inefficiencies that already exist. A reliance on archaic tools and manual processes, creates one more opportunity for problems to creep in. For improving overall project efficiency, choosing to adopt new technologies can be the right move.
6. Limited access to real-time work status
In the construction industry, contractors typically have limited access to the real-time construction project status. Lack of communication and improper tracking tools make it difficult for contractors to see the status of various jobs.
Traditionally, construction work relies on paper-based reports, which are time-consuming and error-prone. Contractors need real-time updates to understand site progress and modern tools make this possible. If a business hesitates to adopt new technological solutions and keep up with the change, they may end up losing to their competitors.
7. Managing multiple projects simultaneously
Construction companies commonly handle multiple projects simultaneously and confront diverse issues such as assigning resources, scheduling conflicts, and poor coordination among teams. Effective project management mandates efficient communication, coordination, and task administration to ensure the project progresses according to plan, without encountering setbacks and clashes.
Top Construction Apps for Every Contractor
Construction companies must tackle these issues head-on to outperform their competitors. Leading construction businesses have embraced a technology-driven strategy, with a focus on collaboration apps that streamline communication between field and back-office teams.
Picking the right construction app for your business may take time and effort. To help you accelerate the process, we have put together a list of the best construction apps every contractor must use.
PlanGrid Build from Autodesk Build is a popular app used for managing construction projects, and it is available on Android and iOS. The app gives a collaborative space for various teams, providing real-time updates and keeping everyone up-to-date about the progress and schedule.
It comes with a diverse range of tools like cost calculators, estimators, and more. Using these tools, construction businesses can view all job-related documents, such as site pictures, 3D drawings, construction designs, field markups, blueprints, and more.
- Provides access to data online and offline through the cloud
- Helps manage construction request for information (RFIs) effortlessly
- Allows stakeholders to view 3D model designs and sheets
- Customizes forms with safety checklists, daily reports, and digital signatures
- Syncs all project data in the app’s cloud-based system as and when required
Zuper is the most comprehensive field service management solution used by construction industries to streamline their field operations. Its intelligent dispatch board does not only make the life of a dispatcher easy but also makes scheduling hassle-free. Construction businesses can use the automated scheduling feature to find the right resource for a job in a matter of minutes.
Using Zuper, construction businesses can manage the schedules of multi-day projects and even dispatch multiple teams effectively. Zuper’s location intelligence feature enables the real-time tracking of work progress, automates employee timesheet tracking, and monitors technician location to keep stakeholders in sync.
Your construction site workers can access their work orders, easily update project status, and collaborate with other employees using their Zuper Mobile App. Its reporting and analytics module turns your existing construction business data into meaningful insights to make informed decisions. The best part, Zuper is the most flexible and customizable solution on the market and it integrates seamlessly with most popular third-party tools used by construction businesses.
- Multi-day scheduling and dispatching
- GPS-enabled location tracking
- Ready-to-use quotation and invoice templates
- Teams and employee management
- AI-powered facial biometrics
- Pre-built, customizable dashboard
- Hassle-free asset and contract management
- Seamless third-party integration
QuickBooks is one of the best accounting systems for construction companies, and it offers a comprehensive set of features to manage their accounting processes. It facilitates accurate tracking of income and expenses, helps share estimates and invoices, and makes online payment collection effortless.
It also generates custom financial reports in a variety of formats using the available data. Best of all, construction businesses can key in and manage their bank accounts securely on QuickBooks. This way, it is easy to track transactions and stay ahead of reconciliations.
- Organizes all your finances
- Tracks incomes and expenses
- Generates invoices instantly
- Manages all bank accounts securely
- Creates custom financial reports
Field Nation is a gig workforce management platform that helps outsource construction work to a nationwide network of gig workers and get the job done on time and within budget. This app helps find the best match for a business requirement by analyzing the skill set of available technicians. It makes the construction business owner’s life easy to find qualified workforce, assign them jobs, and track their efficiency.
- Finds out a worker’s availability with job calendars
- Keeps track of on-site service specialties
- Offers a communication portal for workers
- Sends automated notifications to customers
- Provides workforce performance analytics
Zoho People is a human resource management system that lets you maintain your employees, both full-time employees and gig workers, in one place. Construction workers can punch in and punch out when they start the work and the data will be automatically synced with Zoho People. It integrates with most accounting and project management tools, helping avoid double entries.
- Offers structured new hire portal, customizable workflows, and status reports
- Makes the completion and tracking of on- and off-site timesheets easy
- Tracks project completion time for each employee without manual intervention
- Manages shift schedules, periodic rotations, PTOs, and more
- Helps send important communication directly to an employee’s mobile device
Builder’s Helper MAX
The Builder's Helper MAX app is an advanced and user-friendly construction calculator built for both experienced and novice workers. Its ability to store and recall triangular measurements at the click of a button makes it easy for construction workers to calculate the pitch of a roof, the rise of a rafter, the length of the staircase, and more.
- Helps calculate measurements and convert units easily
- Provides a graphical interface to calculate all projects, big or small
- Keep important notes in a notepad and export them when necessary
SpotLens is an ideal GPS-enabled camera app used by many construction professionals. It captures pictures of a construction site for documentation purposes. The app takes on-site photos and stamps them with location, direction, geo-coordinates, and time. Construction workers can document these pictures by the project name, company, and other categories.
- Allows the capture of pictures and documents according to a project
- Minimizes the data error and risks associated with the loss of data
- Helps categorize images to simplify the retrieval process
The FingerCad app is a mobile-friendly iOS app that helps to draw, design, and visualize construction projects easily. This handy app features an easy-to-use interface and a range of tools to quickly create designs, floor plans, and 3D models.
- Offers end-to-end design possibilities
- Gives highly precise drawings and designs
- Provides export options in various formats
- Enables import of images (in different formats)
- Converts imported images into 3D for ease of use
Construction Calc Pro
The Construction Calc Pro by Lightray Studio is a handy calculator app for building construction employees. It is a user-friendly app that makes estimating labor and material costs and quantities for construction projects easy and effective.
- Offers 82 construction calculators, 15 measurement apps, and 32 material estimators
- Allows construction businesses to estimate the costs of materials accurately
- Helps calculate a number of construction-related measurements precisely
Irrespective of the size of your construction business, it is time to address the major challenges in your business and eliminate them with available technological tools. Gone are the days when you can rely on ineffective traditional methods to improve employee productivity. Encouraging your employees to use mobile apps will enhance their efficiency and help scale your business.
Implement construction apps to boost your business’ productivity and see how they can directly impact your business operations. If you are looking to streamline the field service operations of your construction business, then give Zuper a try!
Having questions about where to start? Request a personalized demo here. We’d love to give you a tour of our product.