The future of digital tools
In a time where the construction industry suffers from a chronic shortage of skilled labourers, and businesses must do more with less, digitalisation can be a helping hand.The Federation of Master Builders reports a 40% skills shortage, a complex issue of an ageing workforce and a less attractive prospect for young people.
The bottom line: for the foreseeable future, you must do more with the resources at hand – making it vital to use these resources in the best possible way to maximise the effectiveness of your efforts.
If any of this sounds vaguely familiar to you, don’t despair! There is hope.
This is where digital tools can help you out. Digitalisation does not have to be an Odyssey. Let’s look at two situations where digital construction tools can help you out.
Simplify your process
The phone rings, your employee is at the site, but he has a problem. He didn’t get the right checklist for the tasks that day.
Now, there are a couple of solutions: he can come back and pick up the right one, you can drive over there and hand it to him, or you can take a picture of it on your phone and send that off. No matter what you choose, it’s going to cost you time and contribute to your stress level.
With digital quality assurance software, you can manage checklists digitally, from creating and designing them to filing them away – all without ever having to worry about the paperwork again. This way you can make sure that the next time your employee calls to ask about that list he forgot, it’s no further away than a couple of clicks on the phone.
Being able to customise your checklists gives you the ultimate freedom to meet your needs. You can design the questions, define the possible answers and even make sure they’re signed off before being sent back.
The punch list and its correction seem daunting and a chore. Imagine being able to distribute the tickets at a click of a button. Not only that, but also being able to filter the tickets you want looked at first, as well as see statistics of which tickets appear most frequently and much more. That’s all possible with digital ticketing software.
In 2015, 27% of building projects were heavily impacted through building defects (9.07% of total project costs are estimated to be due to rework) – eliminating these through efficient ticket management can be very impactful on the overall construction process. If you can save just 30 minutes a day on paperwork you will save 7590 minutes, or 126.5 hours, this year. That’s more than 5 whole days!
You’re inspecting your project before it’s handed off. During your inspection you notice a few faulty installations. Now, what would you normally do in this scenario? One solution is to take out the digital camera that you brought and document the fault. Then, you write a note about the fault to ease documentation afterwards. You’ve finished your inspection and get back to the office, where the real work is about to begin: first, you import the pictures from your camera, then you type up your notes and attach pictures to them.
This is a laborious affair, and let’s be honest, you’d rather be doing other stuff than sitting by the lamp light fixing a punch list and distributing tickets at the end of the day. Studies claim that construction professionals spend more than 14 hours each week on suboptimal activities: looking for data, resolving conflicts, and dealing with unnecessary mistakes and delays!
Rome wasn’t built in one day – they didn’t digitalise in time
In the end, there are compelling arguments for going digital. It saves on paperwork, letting you spend more time doing meaningful things such as building and constructing. Few people get into construction because of their love for paperwork.
Going digital also makes documentation easy. No more documents getting lost or misplaced, everything exists in the cloud, available at a moment’s notice, everywhere. In the end, time is money and by being smart about your use of digitalisation you can achieve more. Instead of paper-stress you can go paper-less.