How to Use Construction Tech To Improve Field Management

As a construction company, you know the need for mobile field management technology. While this has been an upward trend for some time, the past two years have created a greater need for collaborative mobile work solutions. Despite the surge in many other industries to accept new technology tools, the construction industry is slow in adopting cloud-based solutions. However, the perspective is shifting as construction field management is increasingly mobile, and the benefits are impressive. 

Construction companies, project managers, and contractors who integrate construction technology into their field management practices are discovering things:

  • Enhanced data access from field to office 
  • Seamless flow of information among all team members
  • Tighter control of their schedules and budgets

The overall result is a streamlined process that simplifies and improves your operations while reducing construction risk and boosting profitability.

Construction Field Management: Yesterday and Today

The crux of good field management is strong communication practices. Communications drive everything critical to construction field management. The flow of information from the field to the office makes or breaks a project. 

Delivering your project on time and within budget requires significant coordination and communication of many moving parts and team members. The construction industry has a long history of everyday communication practices. Notes scribbled in the margins of paper blueprints; sticky notes used to flag essential documents, phone calls, texts, emails, and quick conversations in between tasks are still the norm for many contractors.

Paper-based construction change orders require physical delivery to the contractors on the jobsite in time to avoid costly rework, schedule delays, and material and labor budget overages. When project managers need field data to make design changes or adjust schedules, they have to visit the jobsite in person to get the most accurate and up-to-date information to take those actions. It forces manual processes to be managed by ever-growing office staff.

Manual reports require data entry, scanning, storing, searches, or management by numerous office staff. But the digital tools available today eliminate yesterday’s costly and time-consuming practices. Digital delivery eliminates driving change orders across town (fuel costs and lost productivity time) and allows project managers to access field data instantly via cloud-based servers. Produce daily progress reports at the tap of a button daily. Documentation has never been easier to share, store, and recall when needed. The efficiency and productivity gains are an instant boon to your growing construction business when you adopt tech into your field management practices.

The Mobile Turning Point For Construction Field Management

The rise of mobile devices and software applications accelerates the adoption of field management technology. From your superintendent to your subcontractors, everybody on the job site has a mobile device these days, making it significantly easier to implement construction management software company-wide. Many construction firms are even providing company-issued devices to their employees to ensure the security of their corporate data as they require their employees to use construction tech more frequently in the field.

For team members and contractors in the field, having mobile devices for field management that connect them to their team members in the office (and vice versa) to share real-time data is nothing short of revolutionary. It has completely changed the landscape of field management practices and streamlined tasks to the point of many of them being near, if not completely automated

Adding Virtual Machines (VMs) or cloud-based servers backs up the high rate of mobile devices in the field. VMs do just as much to transform field management as the implementation of mobile devices. With cloud-based servers, every piece of documentation your company has ever produced, and the related communications, can be at your fingertips. 

The combined use of these tools, mobile devices, and cloud-based servers results in powerfully effective field management for your business. Project managers can leverage real-time data entered digitally, make the most accurate and timely decisions and communicate changes to the field. Effective field management means less rework and fewer delays. 

Additional Construction Tech Tools For Field Management

What are some construction tech tools you can use to improve your field management when mobile devices and cloud servers act as toolboxes? 

  • Digital blueprints. An absolute game-changing tech solution for field management. No more waiting (and paying) for paper copies of blueprints for all of the critical team members to have on hand. No more worrying about carting plans from job site to job site, about keeping track of them, or about them holding up throughout a lengthy project build. Team members off-site who make changes to plans and specs can immediately update the cloud-based servers accessible to your on-site teams. Digital plans should allow you to zoom in to see updates and share details quickly.
  • Plan and photo markup capability. Not only can these tools make it easier to convey critical information from the field to the office in real-time, but they can also be leveraged for safety and quality control. Add text, highlight specific areas in a photo or on your plans, and notify on-site crews of safety issues on the job site.
  • Daily report generation. Assign and send progress reports that compile the data from the day’s work and generate a document. That’s a significant daily time and productivity savings for your superintendents and foremen. 
  • Predictive analytics. With the assistance of predictive analytics, you can improve your business’ decision-making to manage risk and increase profitability. There is enormous potential to eliminate inefficiencies, boost productivity, optimize contractor performance, forecast project needs, and have tighter control over the budget for overall improved operations and successful growth.

The Comprehensive Tech Solution To Field Management

While it is possible to pick and choose among the available construction tech tools for field management, there are comprehensive solutions available in construction management platforms. FieldLens is one such solution. The innovative FieldLens app brings your construction teams into the conversation with off-site partners and provides all of the features today’s construction professionals need for strong field management practices. It offers digital blueprints, photo and plan markup capabilities, automated daily reports, and tracks your project’s analytics. Through the automated summary and data integration features, you can track and sync your documents within one location, keeping your data secure and shareable.

It goes beyond the basics to provide integrated messaging, alert, and notification features. Create punch lists within the app while looking at what needs attention. Additionally, create post flags for RFIs, submittals, and safety concerns to ensure they immediately come to the attention of the appropriate team member. 

The benefits of going with a single, comprehensive platform are:

  • Cost savings
  • Centralized tech support
  • Feature compatibility.  

Ensure your tool’s compatibility and seamless operation for maximum efficiency and productivity by using FieldLens.

In searching for the best construction tech to improve your company’s field management, consider our FREE TRIAL to see how a comprehensive construction platform can give your construction business an edge over the competition.