Like many industries, the construction industry is investigating how the interconnectivity and data centralization of cloud-based apps can help streamline processes and cut costs throughout the process. These costs are cut by factors like increased supply chain management efficiency and reducing communication errors between contractors and designers.
When building an in-house app for this purpose, there are plenty of considerations that would be beneficial to the construction industry, while some integrations are critical. Here are the must haves for a construction company app.
Application Performance Monitoring and Logging
The only thing worse than inconsistencies in the planning process is when a powerful tool– such as an app– is put in place and causes further inconsistencies. When this happens, it’s due to poor application performance monitoring (APM) and failure to log events within the app. Logs are records of what’s happening in an application to track what’s gone wrong, why the problem occurred, and offer valuable guidance on how to correct the issue (Source: loggly.com).
Consider this: a problem occurs within the application that prevents the project management page from refreshing. One of the construction teams is waiting on the design team to make an update and indicate that it’s been completed on the app. With APM in place, you’ll be able to see that the information isn’t going through. Without it, your team will be wasting time waiting until someone eventually calls for an update. Both APM and logging are critical components of an effective app.
The ability to take measurements and have them stored in a centralized location for a project will make your in-house cloud app a powerful tool that will simplify things on the job site. For example, the latest updates to Apple’s IoS interface lets users take measurements using the device’s camera. Integrating a similar feature into the app, that will also help calculate the pitch of a roof, and take measurements for stair lengths would be a valuable addition to an in-house app.
For a more sophisticated app, this feature could be integrated into a centralized database that will allow all of the workers to access the measurements or send them directly to the design team.
Project Management Components
Imagine having an in-house app that can be accessed from the job site or headquarters, that provides all of the information pertinent to a project. This project management system could have task lists, provide contact information for key members of the project team and the clients, assist with scheduling, budget tracking, time tracking, and so on. Additionally, the platform could allow for images to be uploaded to provide visual updates from the job site to key shareholders.
The implications of having cloud access have changed project management across various industries. In the past five years, the once highly sought after project management software that could generate reports from one central computer has become obsolete. Now, through the use of apps and remote access via the cloud, companies can keep team members up-to-date instantly and inexpensively.
While these three components are essential for a successful in-house cloud app for construction, other features would also be useful: calculators to determine how much materials are required, conversion calculators, safety recommendations like installing a metal guard rail, and materials and tool tracking to name a few.
The more streamlined a construction project can become without compromising safety and integrity, the more profitable the construction company will be. An in-house cloud app can assist in those efforts.