Viewpoint survey offers valuable insights on contractor use and plans for incorporating mobile technology into their everyday work order and service processes.
No one can avoid the onslaught of new technologies these days. But, while we’re generally quick to incorporate the latest technology and mobile trends into our personal lives, businesses are often slower to adapt.
Companies that are able to take advantage of the latest technology advancements such as mobile, wearables, and cloud-based software, can pull ahead of the competition by gaining transparency into their operations, improving productivity, speeding processes, and making more informed, data-backed decisions.
In their recent eBook, Viewpoint Technology Survey 2014, Viewpoint Construction Software (a Service Pro development partner) provides valuable information for construction firms regarding the uses and various types of technology available today. The survey, based on responses from over 250 construction contractors, reflects current trends in technology for construction businesses and how they can begin incorporating the latest advancements into their organization.
With over 50% of survey respondents reporting that they will invest in technology in 2014, it’s clear the use of technology and mobile apps is critical for construction businesses of any size who wish to retain their competitive edge.
Incorporate Mobile into Your Everyday Business Strategy–A Word from Viewpoint Mobile Product Owner, Barry Frangipane
Viewpoint’s survey found that 96 percent of respondents carry at least one mobile device in the field. This number is supported by Sage survey findings, which reported 83% of construction professionals view mobile technology as important.
According to Viewpoint Mobile Product Owner, Barry Frangipane, “Today’s contractors want to access their software that contains the data they need, regardless of their location or the device they have, be it a tablet, laptop or phone. This all-time access allows for a consistent flow of information to and from the field, allowing for increased and accurate visibility into project details. This improved visibility can have a direct impact on the decisions project managers make every day, and ultimately, their bottom line.”
Since most workers already carry mobile devices, the transition to using them in the field with a mobile service app to help perform their jobs, collect data, and provide better customer service would be simple.
Automate Manual and Paper Based Processes
Fifty percent of respondents reported that their most difficult task is effectively managing paper files, yet 33 percent still use pencil and paper in the field. Something doesn’t add up here. Automating field and inspections processes through mobile is key to success in today’s increasingly connected environment.
Businesses that adapt a cross-platform mobile inspection app will be able to move beyond time-consuming paper-based processes, perform more efficient inspections, and use them more strategically with automatic storage, analysis, and reporting through the cloud.
Viewpoint’s survey revealed that 70 percent of daily field reports are handled by written forms or spreadsheets. This number is shocking due to the proven advantages of using mobile electronic forms to run and store field reports.
Collecting data electronically reduces errors and increases both the timeliness and accuracy of information. Many companies have seen that the savings from more accurate labor and equipment time collection alone has made the difference between loss and profit on a project.
Mobile Electronic Forms—The Secret to an Efficient, Automated Organization
Contractors have to perform a variety of inspections throughout the day. Whether it’s a series of safety inspections when they start and close a job for the day, or quality assurance inspections after a job is finished, those inspections processes add up in time and cost, especially if you have to print the forms and reenter the data every time.
Quality mobile inspection apps include a customizable and easy to use forms builder. Even if your inspections are complex, the mobile forms builder meets your specific needs, including branching (if/then) logic and customizable, drag-and-drop forms.
Benefits of Using Mobile in the Field
The most common barriers to adopting a mobile solution are easily countered and overcome by the many benefits of using a mobile app. According to the survey, the following are the top 5 uses of tablets and smartphones:
1. Viewing email, calendar, and contacts
2. View and approve documents
3. Daily project visibility
4. Collect employee time
5. Manage service work orders—collecting work performed
Equipped with the right workforce management technology on their mobile devices, workers gain the above benefits and much more.
- They’re able to see daily project visibility and get automated scheduling alerts.
- With up-to-date field productivity data, foreman and project managers can predict estimate overruns and make necessary course adjustments on a timely basis.
- They collect employee time, instant status changes, and location information.
- They can manage service work orders and create new work orders on the spot.
- They collect work performed and track that performance over time for better business insight and long-term decision making.
Conclusion: The Future is Mobile for Contractors
Mobile capabilities are evolving beyond just data collection. Mobile apps that extend a contractor’s core operational software are a key component in allowing contractors access to the data they need, when and where they need it.