Five Construction Apps To Improve Productivity

Advances in mobile technology continue to change the ways we live and work. Cloud computing and 4G/LTE connectivity speeds have now made it possible for commercial construction professionals to handle all of their office work from anywhere they go in the field. There are literally hundreds of apps available now for mobile devices that can handle just about every aspect of managing a construction project from bidding and estimating tools, to plan viewing and project documentation. These apps can help lead to improved productivity. Think of all the wasted time spent running back and forth from the office to the jobsite to pick up that revised set of plans or process payroll that you could eliminate by managing all aspects of a project from a tablet or smartphone. In addition to improving productivity, these five apps can also go a long way in eliminating all that bothersome paperwork.

PlanGrid – PlanGrid is a blueprint viewing app that gives you access to your plans, specs and photos wherever you go. You upload your PDF drawings and specs on your computer and then you can use the free mobile app wherever you go. The app also allows you to document the progress of a project, create punch lists and create and manage requests for information. The app also offers takeoff and estimating tools and everything you do gets automatically synced and backed up to the cloud that everyone accessing your plans has the most up-to-date information. The app is available for Apple and Android devices. PlanGrid has a range of pricing from their Hammer plan which is free and allows up to 50 sheets of storage all the way up to their Crane plan with unlimited storage for just $99.99 a month.

SmartReality – The SmartReality app allow you to view and interact with a 3D BIM model of your 2D physical drawings using a camera-enabled mobile device using augmented reality. Basically you upload your 2D plans and 3D models and once processed you point your mobile device’s camera at your 2D drawings to render your 3D model on top of your drawings. The app lets you to zoom in on the BIM model, take photos, record video and view the time progression of a construction model with 4D BIM which is the 3D BIM model with time (schedule) added. The app is available on iOS and Android mobile devices and is free to download once you register. Read more about how the construction industry will benefit from augmented reality here.

Procore – Procore is a complete cloud-based construction project management software and app. Procore allows you to manage virtually every aspect of a construction project from budgeting and bidding to drawing management and RFIs all the way to creating final punch lists. Procore allows you to manage documents, submittals, timecards, contacts and daily logs. The Procore app allows you to take all your project data wherever you go with the ability to work offline and offers unlimited users and data storage. The app is free and available on iOS and Android mobile devices, it does require an annual access agreement with a flat rate that is dependent on the size of your company and the values and number of projects your company is expected to handle in the coming year.

ClockShark – ClockShark is a time clock software and mobile app designed specifically for construction companies. Employees can download the free app on their smartphone or tablet and use it to clock in and out for each shift. The app allows you to schedule employees by jobsite and can employees can clock in on specific jobs and tasks to aid in job costing. The GPSTrak™ feature shows you on a map where each punch occurred for all employees. You can check out our full review of the ClockShark software and app here.

Safety Meeting App – Safety should always be the top priority on any jobsite and this app lets you conduct safety meetings anywhere with ease. This app allows for unlimited users and storage to record incidents and accidents, date stamp and save meetings, and record disciplinary actions. There are more than 950 safety topics covers meaning the app can be used by general contractors, sub-contractors and specialty/trade contractors. and meets OSHA’s required meeting laws. The app is available for Apple and Android devices and pricing starts at just $5 a month. We highlighted a number of construction safety apps in a previous blog post which you can read here.

Here at Construction Data we’ve just released a new mobile version of our Lead Manager™ web-based software.  The new responsive design allows you to access your saved searches, tracked projects and saved contacts on your phone, tablet or other web-enabled device with ease. Project details now include linked numbers and email addresses, allowing you to call or email your leads with a single tap of the screen – instantly! Regardless of whether you prefer to use your device’s portrait or landscape orientation, all information automatically adapts to the width of your screen making scrolling anywhere other than up or down a thing of the past. There’s no app to download, you will be automatically redirected to the mobile version of Lead Manager™ when you login with you smartphone or tablet.

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