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The construction industry is unique simply based on its mercurial nature. From hiring work crews and keeping track of weather and equipment, to staying in touch with everyone invested in a project, it truly is the world’s most protean vocation. As a result, the industry has welcomed the app metamorphosis with open arms, enabling it to cut risk and grow productivity. Job functions including BIM, payroll, safety, equipment tracking, blueprints, fleet management—and even OSHA reporting—all have their own apps specifically built for real-time communication between the construction site and the office.

The trend of mobile applications is so hot right now that construction companies are even opting to build their own—creating customized applications that addresses their needs directly. Let’s take a look at where apps are having the most influence.

BIM and 3-D scanning have become integral tools during the construction of complex infrastructure. Case study after case study shows that the implementation of these apps onsite allows for more informed decision-making and real-time collaboration. The data is valuable to engineers and project managers alike, and 3-D visualization tools let clients see how improvements are being integrated into existing conditions.

GPS tracking of both people and equipment is now standard use on any project. How do workers feel about being tracked? Pretty good apparently. With higher risks for injury, the construction industry is always looking for ways to increase safety. Using an app that can track individual workers and alert a manager if a worker falls or when the temperature changes to dangerous levels can mean the difference between life and death for a crew member.

Fleet management has benefited, with apps allowing companies to see where inefficiencies are in their vehicle use and come up with solutions that save energy and money. From keeping tabs on shipments to managing the use of heavy equipment on jobsites, these apps are indispensable when it comes to efficiency.

Apps also have relieved how companies do their payroll: one of the most time-consuming and headache-inducing tasks on any large construction job. GPS time-tracking allows workers to know they are getting paid fairly and project managers to show clients the actual costs of the project. It eliminates buddy-punching and time lost trying to figure out if someone is at the jobsite they claim to be. With payroll apps, crews now can submit their timesheets directly from their phone and reports are automatically generated.

Punch list apps are stealing the show this year, allowing project managers, architects, clients and all involved to stay on a literal “same page.” Tasks and notes are easily shared so the entire team can be updated in real time on plan changes.

The construction digital solution industry has moved quickly, solving so many time and efficiency issues, that we cannot wait to see what these innovators are going to come up with next. Need a solution for onsite or in office? There’s probably an app for that.

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