What's ‘App-ening in the Construction Industry?
The construction industry as a whole has been seen as rather slow on the uptake when it comes to new technology, especially digital technology. The progress made in technology over the past twenty years or so has revolutionised the ways in which we live, work and play and nothing demonstrates that more than the fact that most of us have an internet phone. The early mobile phones were house brick sized, barely worked efficiently due to poor signals and were so clunky that you needed a piece of luggage to carry them round with you! The early adopters spent a lot of time standing on doorsteps to try to improve the signal and developed back complaints from the extra weight they carried!
Fast forward less than thirty years and just about everybody has a mobile phone that barely weighs anything and will fit into a back pocket easier than most wallets. Furthermore, these phones are not only used to make phone calls – we use them to organise our lives. We use our phones to access the internet (another huge leap forward in technology in recent years) – a whole world of knowledge available to use at the touch of a button. We carry our music round with us on our phones and play games on them. You can’t go on any form of public transport nowadays without being subjected to a hub of constant conversations as people talk and text each other ceaselessly.
One of the developments that has made our phones such a ubiquitous part of modern life is the app – there are apps for everything. This is great news for the construction industry as a whole – there’s a wide range of data and services that we often need to access while out on site and using an app on a mobile phone or tablet is a convenient way of doing this. When we’re on the move, we still enjoy constant access to the key information we need such as compliance guidelines, project information and health and safety regulations.
Apps can be used by managers to keep projects on schedule, keeps costs within budget and minimise any errors. All that’s needed to communicate with colleagues and access information is now in our pocket, ready to serve at the touch of a button (or swipe of a digit). A contractor’s interaction with the supply chain which involves tendering, information and drawing exchange can all be done via an app. Companies have in-house apps that are used for human resource purposes, such as outsourcing work when a technician is absent.
There are so many app companies out there nowadays, that having an app created for your company is a viable option financially – an app that is totally tailored to your individual business needs. It’s just a matter of identifying the services and information that you would normally want at your fingertips and then hiring an app creation company to develop the app for you.
Next week we’ll be taking a look at some of the most useful apps for the construction industry.