Save Thousands of Dollars This Year:

The Definitive Guide to Eliminating Construction Paper Forms

Chapter 2

Thinking Strategically About Construction Mobile Apps

Whether you focus on commercial construction or on private homes, the details matter. But what are the best methods for collecting your information? Since every business has different needs, great construction companies ask themselves certain questions while setting up their processes. To have the best information collection for your construction business, ask yourself these strategic questions.

What Info Do You Need?

To begin, start with one process that you use on a daily basis. Every construction site, for instance, has a daily safety inspection. Make a list of what information you need to have to cover your bases.

A great way to form this list is as an outline. That way, you will have both the substance and rough shape of your future mobile app.

More than safety, it’s important to ask yourself another question. Do you need more information on your employees or subcontractors? Have you had to scramble for information on equipment in the past? Have you been worried about legal liability? Your answers will help you decide what new information you need to ask for.

Mobile apps make gathering this information easier. While you can bold fields on paper, you can’t require people to fill information out. With mobile apps, you can make certain fields required. That way, your users must fill out those fields to submit their form. You’ll get the information you need no matter what.

What Information Do You Want?

More than what you need, it’s important to decide what you want from the data. What data do you not have? Where are your blind spots? Are you thinking of change or growth in certain areas?

Create a list of areas where your current data is lacking or what you will need before making future strategic decisions. Making future strategic decisions.

Some areas where our clients have expanded their information includes:

  • Photos of construction site to validate safety inspections and provide visual confirmation of compliance
  • Automatic date and time stamps when perishable materials arrive to a work site
  • Pre-populated forms with helpful information such as labor and material descriptions and prices
  • Adding GPS location capture for work site inspections

It will take time, but if you go with mobile apps, you’ll have all that information in real time. Thus, you’ll be able to make strategic decisions quickly and effectively.

Without information, you lack the evidence to prove you need to change. Gathering much of the necessary information with paper takes longer and requires more work from you and your employees. Mobile apps make it easy to expand and analyze your information, so you can make the best decisions for your business.

“With GoCanvas we can quickly modify or create any app to meet the specific project requirements.”
– Rick Davis, Owner of Rick Davis Consulting

How Do You Want to Receive Your Info?

More than the information you need, how do you want to get it? Some fields could be simple text boxes. Others could be a drop down list of values for the inspector to choose from. Maybe you want photos to validate inspections of equipment or certain set-ups. Knowing how you want to gather the information will save you time when you’re creating your mobile form.

Finally, you also need to think about how you’ll want to access and share the information later on. With mobile apps, all of your information is accessible 24/7 in the cloud. Will you want to download all of your data as a CSV or XML file? Or maybe you need to send the data to a customer, colleague, or subcontractor as a PDF?

Perhaps you prefer a seamless integration with one of your existing systems via an API? An API integration will allow you to get forms such as work orders and time cards in real time in your databases. These are all great options depending on your needs.

With GoCanvas, all forms go immediately to the cloud. Not only will you get more data, but you skip manual data entry necessary with paperwork and other systems. One customer of ours has saved over $40,000 in administrative costs.

You can’t control the weather or the price of concrete. However, you can take steps to eliminate inefficiencies in your business. Mobile apps provide a unique opportunity for construction firms to collect insightful business information. With smartphone technology, you can validate your information easily and quickly. All of this can be collected in half the time it took your employees before.

What could your business do with hundreds of more hours on-site and at the office? Every construction business has unique needs. To capture the best data for your business, you need to understand your needs. Asking yourself these questions will help you quickly and easily collect the information you need to succeed.

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