8 Ways Mobile Technology Helps Contractors on the Job

December 2, 2016

By Shawn McCadden

Contractors are joining the ranks of workers who bring their own devices to the workplace. A Texas A&M survey found that 72% of professional contractors now use smartphones at work, while 53.9% use laptops and 50.1% use tablets.

Mobile devices are assisting contractors in virtually every phase of construction, from finding clients and managing projects to making estimates and bookkeeping. Here are some of the top ways mobile technology can help you on the job.

Customer relationship management

Any job starts with a client, and customer relationship management tools such as Improveit 360 make it easier to find and manage clients. It includes tools for:

  • phone and email marketing
  • centralizing your incoming lead database
  • tracking and managing leads
  • preventing duplicate leads
  • appointment scheduling
  • sales

Invitations to bid

The bidding process is a big part of landing clients, and bid invitation apps are designed to make it easier for you to win projects. These apps typically provide a communications dashboard, where you can send, receive and monitor your invitations to bid. They often include templates to help you

  • formulate and start the draft bid process
  • customize subcontractor access options
  • share calendars to manage bid deadlines

Estimating

Estimating is one of the most important and time-consuming parts of the bidding process. Construction calculator apps make estimating easier by providing a spreadsheet-style layout, where you can enter and calculate bid data. These apps often come with design layouts for different parts of a building to help you develop details of your estimate.

Building information modelling

With today’s technology, digital building information modelling is the most efficient and least expensive way to plan projects. The Autodesk app allows you to do BIM from your mobile device. The app also helps you build more efficiently and cost-effectively by letting you create 3-D models of your building projects that you can rotate and even animate.

Project management

Once you start a construction project, use your smartphone to manage it through an app like Fieldwire, which is designed to assist construction managers and workers in the field. Fieldwire enables you to

  • pull up blueprints
  • share files with your crew
  • create and assign tasks
  • track issues using photos from the field
  • receive notifications when tasks are updated

Safety

Safety comes first on any project. From a technology standpoint, the Safety Meeting app makes it easier for contractors to

  • schedule meetings
  • pull up safety meeting topics
  • document meetings
  • receive incident and near miss reports

Although the app aims to help users comply with U.S. OSHA regulations, the above functions are useful regardless of what jurisdiction you’re in. Other apps are available to help you select personal protective equipment, perform safety audits, access fact sheets on a wide range of hazards, track lone workers, and more.

Field data collection

The success of any project depends on accurate data collection, and field data apps like Canvas make it easier for you to collect the information you need. In addition, Canvas lets you

  • create and fill out forms
  • capture photos
  • perform calculations
  • send emails and files to crew members

Accounting

Bookkeeping is a necessary chore for any contractor, and accounting apps like QuickBooks Online take much of the labour out of bookkeeping by letting you automate the most repetitive and tedious bookkeeping tasks. Use your mobile device and let QuickBooks Online

  • manage your cash flow
  • send invoices
  • accept payments
  • scan receipts
  • make and record deposits
  • pay bills and expenses
  • create monthly statements
  • print or email reports
  • export data into tax preparation software

Shawn McCadden is a consultant, educator and speaker who offers business consulting and coaching services for remodelling business owners who want more for and from their businesses and their lives. He also consults with construction-related product manufacturers and suppliers, helping them understand, find, educate and better serve remodelers. Check out Shawn’s website http://www.shawnmccadden.com/ and blog www.shawnmccadden.com/Subscribe-to-The-Design-Builders-Blog.

Related Articles


Latest Articles


Changing Scene

  • Eureka Wins Red Dot Award for Atoll

    Eureka Wins Red Dot Award for Atoll

    July 16, 2024 Eureka is pleased to announce that its Atoll luminaire has received a Red Dot Design Award for Product Design. It is the 10th consecutive year that Eureka products have been honored with this prestigious award, which is a testament to the company’s consistency and relentless drive to design the best luminaires in… Read More…

  • Sarah Hansen Named Western Regional Sales Manager with Hammond Manufacturing 

    Sarah Hansen Named Western Regional Sales Manager with Hammond Manufacturing 

    July 15, 2024 Hammond Manufacturing is happy to announce that Sarah Hansen (nee Hammond) has accepted the position of Western Regional Sales Manager for the electrical enclosures division. This newly created position reflects Hammond’s commitment to continued growth of enclosure sales in Western Canada. “Sarah has spent the past thirteen years in leadership positions within… Read More…

  • ABB and NASCAR Reveal EV Prototype and Launch Electrification Innovation Partnership

    ABB and NASCAR Reveal EV Prototype and Launch Electrification Innovation Partnership

    July 15, 2024 ABB in the United States and NASCAR announced the ABB NASCAR Electrification Innovation Partnership and revealed a new EV prototype at the 2024 NASCAR Chicago Street Race. This partnership brings together world leaders in EV technology and auto racing to advance NASCAR’s strategic ambitions across electrification.   “ABB is a technology leader… Read More…

  • Nedco Introduces New General Manager at Nedco West

    Nedco Introduces New General Manager at Nedco West

    July 15, 2024 Nedco has announced Jay Frezell as the new General Manager of Nedco West, effective August 1st, 2024. “Jay brings over 25 years of experience in the datacom, power quality, and wire & cable industries. His impressive track record of success in distribution, sales, and manufacturing equips him with a deep understanding of… Read More…