Many different mobile applications for the architecture/ engineering/ construction (AEC) industry are available. Some have very specialized purposes, such as 3D model viewing, field inspections or document viewing and redlining.
However, others that are completely integrated to your construction program management system, while providing similar capabilities, provide a more holistic approach to mobile-enabling your project team.
When evaluating mobile applications for your project team, keep in mind the end game – increasing their productivity, efficiency and responsiveness. The shortcoming of limited function stand-alone mobile apps is that they’re good at one thing, but you don’t do just one thing. Let’s assume that you’re using a stand-alone mobile application for field inspections. You’re on the job site, going through the inspection checklist. You record your notes, take photos and attach them to the inspection report. Some may even allow you to email the report and the photos from the mobile device to whomever needs to receive the report.
That’s all fine and good, but now what? How do you track that the inspection report was responded to appropriately? How do you add the inspection report to the full library of related project documents? How to you tie inspections reports to change orders? With a stand-alone mobile app, you will often need to record your field-related actions to your construction program management system manually. This is work duplication and does nothing to improve productivity.
A mobile app integrated with your construction program management software solves this problem. Because both the main application and the mobile application use the same project information, workflows and documents, the mobile application is an integrated job site extension of the main application. Construction program management software that allows any workflow or document folder to be mobile-enabled will put its full productivity improving power into the mobile device.
Actions taken in the field will be automatically recorded in the main system. No more manual re-entry. This saves time and reduces errors. Workflows operate the same way in the field as they do in the office. No duplicate processes. No multiple processes to learn. Nothing gets missed. This too save time and reduces errors, and it’s simpler to learn and use. This will increase acceptance by your field project managers.
An integrated mobile app maintains the critical requirement of a single point-of-truth about what’s going on in your construction program. It’s this single-point of truth that provides you with the program controls, transparency and visibility to drive savings and improve your project delivery quality.