“Modernize or die.” That was the message a recent white paper published by The Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labour Model had for the construction industry.
If you’ve been putting off using technology to help with construction management, you risk being left behind, the paper warns. While it’s hard to change how you operate if you’re used to doing things the old fashioned way, there’s really no reason to wait anymore: the industry is awash in software that can help you do your job in a much easier and more efficient way.
Like it or not, it’s time to modernize.
“The challenge the report sets us is to do things differently – to reduce the reliance on building in the same way that we have for decades if not centuries,” said Andrew Wolstenholme, Chair of the Construction Leadership Council.
What is it about the construction industry that makes people so slow to adopt new technology compared to other industries? There are a number of reasons, but three of them are especially to blame:
- The average age of someone working in construction in the United States is 42. The industry hasn’t done a great job of attracting young, creative minds to solve its complex problems.
- The construction industry has fewer advanced degrees than any other industry besides agriculture. Our smartest people are often going into other industries, leaving construction neglected.
- Changing your processes may result in disastrous consequences, so many construction managers avoid tweaking the process. “For some, the cost and risk of adopting new technologies outweighs the perceived benefits, while others may be reluctant to move out of their comfort zone,” states the Global Construction Survey from KPMG.
Construction is an incredibly complex industry, which is why it’s so shocking people still insist on working out of Excel and even pen and paper.
Construction management apps
Mobile apps continue to make our daily lives easier. Newer solutions are popping up within the construction industry, allowing you to save money and be more efficient. They offer small and medium companies a way to survive in this hyper-competitive environment.
We’ve found 12 examples of mobile-optimized software that are either free, offer a free trial, or have a low price. They are listed in alphabetical order.
(Screenshot of AutoCAD app)
- Facilitates the faster importation of geometry to PDFs
- Data is easily synchronized on the cloud
- Tool has an intuitive design for creating and editing project details
- Settings are made to be customized to suit your exact requirements
- App comes with real-time alerts
- It is easy to use thanks to the help tutorials and the content libraries provided
- Enhanced interconnectivity across numerous devices makes work easier
- Stellar 3D design helps in easier visualization of core concepts
- Tool is easy to customize and configure to personal requirements
- App makes sharing and collaboration of essential work-related data into the cloud easy
Have you used AutoCAD? Leave a review.
(Screenshot of Photo Measures app)
This app is the perfect partner for all contractors working with remote clients. With it one can view the measurements and exact dimensions on photos taken. It is ideal for realtors, contractors and movers. It ensures all your items fit perfectly into the new location.
- App is easy to get started with
- Reliable support for users
- Regularly updated
- Functions on all devices available
- It saves both time and money
- You can resize, edit and import photos of all sizes and aspect ratios
- Tool supports retina display for Apple product users
Have you used Photo Measures? Leave a review.
(via Building Radar)
Downloading is not available on iTunes or Google Play; you’ll have to deal directly with the company.
The Building Radar app has been instrumental in more than three million construction projects worldwide. It provides viable leads to contractors looking for construction projects in their vicinity or in far-flung locations. This mobile-optimized software provides the user with leads and analytics to grow their businesses.
- App is powered by algorithms that make it possible for you to get accurate details for as many projects as you want
- It comes with customized real-time alerts
- Reliable support and customer care services
- It has detailed market and neighborhood analysis for all viable construction projects nearby and far away
- Real-time alerts on all the featured projects
- User gets to know of the persons in charge of the various projects
- Getting started is a hassle-free process thanks to the detailed tutorials
Have you used Building Radar? Leave a review.
Preparing time sheets is never easy—it takes a lot of time and effort. One slight mistake and the entire project could be at risk. Thanks to ClockShark, however, the job can be straightforward and easy.
- Tool is easy to use and customize
- Reliable customer care support
- Automated time tracking features enabled via GPS
- Designed to work across multiple platforms and devices
- App syncs with QuickBooks automatically for payments processing
- Eliminates the stresses of using papers for documentation purposes
- Cuts both time and the finances needed in the project
- Enhances productivity
- Allows easier scheduling of the employees on the job site, remotely
- Eliminates the need for the paper time cards
Have you used ClockShark? Leave a review.
(Screenshot of FallSafety app)
The FallSafety app is built for professionals working at dangerous heights and at risk of falling and consequently getting seriously injured. The mobile-optimized software detects the possibility of a dangerous fall and proceeds to raise an alarm. The two-stage alarms can help improve worker safety by triggering sirens after they have an accident at the site. It also facilitates the easy location of a fallen contractor on a site.
- Fall Safety comes with automatic fall alerts powered with a GPS location finder
- Easily configurable and customizable to meet the specifics of the user
- Billing procedure is straightforward and the end-user agreement is hassle-free
- Users can set app reminder for enhanced security and safety measures
- Tool comes with text and mobile-based alerts and notifications to three emergency contacts
- Reduces the incidences of accident on the site
- Faster rescue and recovery efforts to workers involved in accidents
- It increases the overall productivity of the workforce
- It works on a broad scope of platforms and devices
Have you used FallSafety? Leave a review.
(Screenshot of GenieBelt app)
The GenieBelt app comes with an intuitive design, and aims to help construction managers cut operational costs. The GenieBelt app can be accessed from many different devices via your mobile, tablet, and desktop computer. The tool was built to ease the sharing of project information for builders and contractors. The construction team on site can share their data and information with workers operating from the office in real time.
- App comes with real-time information sharing features
- Has features for real-time audits, daily logs and activity records of the project
- Contains extra features for clocking in the employees hours
- Customer care support
- Easy to use graphic interface
- Customizable settings
- Tool comes with enhanced security protocols to safeguard private client information
- It comes with a full audit trial for beginners
- App facilitates easier decision-making processes
- Enhances transparency and accountability
- Saves contractors both time and money
- Reduces redundancies
- Improves planning and resource utilization
Have you used GenieBelt? Leave a review.
(Screenshot of iAuditor app)
Accidents lead to costly delays on a job site, so it’s imperative to have means and avenues of heightening the safety of the workers at the construction site. The app made to do just that is iAuditor, which backs up all the inspections performed on the cloud and shares that data with all of the stakeholders involved in the project.
- Operates in real-time
- Comes with a free 30 day trial plan
- Easy to set up configuration
- Comes with a drag-and-drop digital editor
- Contains logic-driven checklists having built-in Smart and Dynamic Fields-Follow Up actions enabled
- Users get to access a wide plethora of Public Library templates
- App data is easily accessible anywhere, provided the user has a smartphone
- Eliminates the use of lengthy report writings
- Reduces accidents
Have you used iAuditor? Leave a review.
The motto of the MagicPlan app sums up everything: “As easy as taking a picture.” With this app, users are able to come up with accurate floor plans using the camera on their iPhones or iPads.
- Easy to use interface, which is customizable
- Tool makes it possible for you to create and export 3D floor views
- Free trials available
- Made to work with both Android and IOS platforms
- App facilitates easier planning
- Saves time and money by shortening the floor plan development process
Have you used MagicPlan? Leave a review.
Proposify is mobile-optimized software that enables you to create professional proposals to win projects. The app helps users streamline their sales processes, thereby hastening the deal-closing process.
- Easy-to-use editor
- Countless templates for beginners
- Customizable default settings
- Reusable content library to help your pitching endeavors
- Real-time updates are enabled
- Saves time and money
- Tool comes with countless default templates for the users
- Gets the job done faster and more efficiently
- App facilitates better collaboration for teams
Have you used Proposify? Leave a review.
(Screenshot of Quilder app)
Quilder is a free estimate app built for tradesmen. It provides estimates, invoices and shopping lists on the fly to the users.
- App searches supplies and parts, along with their prices, from the leading suppliers in the UK
- Tool manages your paperwork
- Free to use
- Users get to create customized shopping lists for better price evaluations
- Users can easily change the colors to match individual suppliers
- Default templates greatly simplify your work
Have you used Quilder? Leave a review.
(Screenshot of Raken app)
Raken is a daily reporting app ideal for contractors, allowing them to create and edit reports quickly and easily.
- App has templates to aid in the writing of lengthy reports
- Customer care support is available at all times
- App is supported on both iOS and Android platforms
- Improved compliance
- Easier monitoring and evaluation of progress
Have you used Raken? Leave a review.
If you are looking for an app to help you streamline the data and information received from your fleet of trucks, Truckast is an app specialized for just that sort of job.
- Powered by GPS for real-time information and updates
- App contains features which reduce downtime and redundancies
- App comes with videos and tutorials for users
- Users entitled to free trial
- Increased productivity
- Eased communication
- Accountability and transparency at the job are guaranteed always
Have you used Truckast? Leave a review.
Which construction management apps did we miss?
There’s a lot of great apps out there. Have you found any particular apps useful in managing your construction business? Let us know in the comments below.