Making technology that works for construction

In part one of this article, we discussed how some construction technology solutions got it wrong and lost sight of their customers. These solutions were not solving the correct problems for the construction industry and tended to have a short list of accessibility, created a burden on the user, were inflexible in their design, and were built on a legacy of a legacy, often putting construction as an afterthought.

Usability: the technology linchpin

The single most significant shift in modern construction technology came with the arrival of the iPad, which virtually eliminated the need to be chained to a laptop or desktop computer. The iPad was not in itself a construction tool. But it empowered new and existing technologies to be accessible and highly portable, unchaining planning and production solutions from the office desk and bringing them to the jobsite. Simply put, the iPad increased software usability. This newfound Mobility previewed construction’s current stage of modern connectivity and how radically different construction work could become with the right tools.

Usability remains the linchpin of any successful innovation in the construction industry.

Tools are built to accomplish a specific task or set of tasks. Usability refers to how effective and efficient a tool is at the task, specifically when used in its intended environment. More simply, usability refers to how well a tool does its job in the manner it needs to be done. Three critical factors broadly define usability in construction.

 

Elements of Construction Usability:

  1. Mobility: Construction was a distributed labor force before “remote” was a buzzword. Mobility means the right people have access to the right tools when and where they are needed most.
  2. Data: Knowing what should happen and what happened on your jobsite is half the battle. Data provides the means to capture, share, connect, and collaborate information at the speed required.
  3. Configurability: To remain competitive, construction companies must consider scalable construction solutions. Configurability ensures that solutions meet your evolving needs today and well into the future.

Building for the path forward

Solving the construction industry’s growing challenges requires adopting new tools, more robust processes, and better reporting. To support this, software solutions should adapt to the unique needs of contractors, not the other way around. Technology must meet these requirements to be successful.

A successful digital transformation means investing in technology tools that deliver mobility, data, and configurability.

Construction-ready starts with mobility

Better decision-making in construction starts with knowing the who, what, where, when, why, and how of field production. Accessibility to timely, accurate project data relies on how information is collected, shared, and connected. The challenge for most construction teams is that this data collection and sharing on reports like timekeeping and daily construction reports are managed through a combination of paper, PDFs, and spreadsheets. While tools like paper are easily carried on the jobsite, they lack the mobility features that simplify accurate documentation, real-time sharing, and centralized reporting.

Not all data is created equal

Unfortunately, over 95% of all project data generated on a construction project will be unused for planning and decision-making, buried in stacks of paper forms or deep in spreadsheets. Digital tools offer a new way of unlocking this information, providing consistent and reliable production data that can be searched, shared, and filtered in real-time.

Concealed insights result in reporting that cannot drive compliance and actionable insights. Unlocking the full potential of project data requires systems and tools built for effortless data usability and connectivity.

Structured data that can be searched, filtered, and easily connected to other construction planning and accounting systems empowers your project analysis and insights that would have otherwise remained buried.

The software solution you choose will need to deliver the features and flexibility you need to streamline your field workflows and enable real-time data insights from time tracking to out-of-scope reporting. Roughly 13 percent of a construction team’s working hours are spent looking for project data and information.

Meeting your unique needs with configurability

Every company deals with workflows that reflect its specific needs, from the project size, material requirements, and geographic location. Configurability ensures that distinct reporting needs are met today and in the future.

To remain competitive, construction companies must consider scalable construction software solutions. While a level of customization is important, the best solutions are configurable, allowing companies to adapt and scale as requirements and environments shift quickly. By choosing the proper application that allows for upgrades, flexible integrations, and the training support your team needs, you are on your way to mastering operational efficiencies.

“Other solutions would have required us to change our business! Rhumbix was built for contractors. It’s the worker first philosophy that we fully appreciate.” ROBERT VALDERRAMA, Chief Project Delivery Officer, Sprig Electric

Configurability is about adapting to and overcoming new construction challenges. Nothing has better demonstrated the need for configurability than the challenges of the recent pandemic. With reporting requirements changing daily, construction teams needed to rapidly evolve and implement new processes across their crews and projects. Customization may meet today’s needs, but configurability meets tomorrow’s challenges.

Rhumbix is transforming how contractors capture field data and manage their project reporting. See how Rhumbix can save your team critical time while driving faster, smarter productivity.