The world is getting smarter by the day. A quick look around, and you can immediately point to a couple of things directly or indirectly operated by a mobile device. From the way we entertain ourselves to the way we do business or even try to live a healthy life, mobile devices have permeated almost every area of our lives.
Today, many people rely on their smartphones, tablets, and other electronic or smart mobile devices to execute basic daily tasks like setting the alarm, creating reminders, and completing bank transactions.
Digital transformation and the Construction industry
This wave of digital transformation has not left behind the construction industry. And according to Jeff Gerardi, president and CEO of Proest Estimating Software, the emergence of mobile solutions offers “new expectations” while “creating important new opportunities” for the construction industry. But, he admits that the construction industry, albeit presented with tremendous opportunities regarding the use of mobile capabilities, hasn’t often led the charge in adopting strategic mobile access. However, he recognizes how mobile devices can deliver essential benefits for construction companies only if they take advantage. Let’s look at why Jeff Gerardi believes it is critical for all construction companies to make mobile capabilities their number one priority.
- First mobile capabilities can help increase employee engagement.
According to Jeff, “a robust mobile platform” offers a “powerful means to foster connection and enhance engagement.” And this is especially important for remote workers and team members who are most often on the road. An excellent mobile platform will help improve the responsiveness of out-of-office employers, promote their communication, and make them more engaged without being restricted to a specific location. That means they can handle their emails and complete other business tasks while on the go, increasing productivity.
- Improving team communication
Mobile capabilities can improve collaboration among teams. According to Jeff, “an increasingly mobile workforce needs a reliable way to connect, communicate, collaborate, and contribute.” Only mobile-enabled platforms can offer the level of communication and collaboration among teams or stakeholders working on the same project, even if at different stages.
Effective team collaboration is important because it makes it possible for all stakeholders to have access to and share essential information with the help of their mobile devices. And this helps to “break down barriers and facilitate stakeholder communication” – an essential ingredient for effective collaboration.
- Maintaining workflow
Furthermore, mobile capabilities can maintain an efficient workflow. There’s nothing more frustrating and time-wasting than dealing with so many bottlenecks and bureaucratic processes when working on a project. The best-case scenario will be to have a project that flows seamlessly from one stage to the other with few or no distractions at all. Plus, a flowing project also helps to save time and reduce work costs. Most construction companies work on multiple projects simultaneously, and every project needs to be done on time and within budget. But as difficult as it may be to ensure that all projects run smoothly, Jeff believes that mobile technology that will allow teams and individuals to remain connected will help minimize issues and ensure that projects stay on track while eliminating unnecessary bottlenecks.
- Reducing costs using technology
Mobile capabilities can also help reduce infrastructure costs. We have already mentioned how mobile solutions can help keep projects within budget and save cost. But there’s more; mobile capabilities can help contractors achieve more in less time, reducing cost in the process. Jeff believes this is where the value of a mobile estimating platform, for example, comes in. A construction company can make a “substantial difference in monthly overhead costs” by replacing traditional equipment like fixed phone lines with “more portable devices that connect in the cloud.” The less physical infrastructure, the less need for upgrades, repairs, maintenance, and other forms of infrastructural costs.
- Keeping potential disruption to a minimum
Mobile capabilities can also play a huge role in minimizing disruption. The recent global challenges have highlighted the importance of mobile solutions in keeping businesses productive in challenging times. For example, companies have relied on different types of mobile applications like remote calling to enforce remote working and keep business running. Jeff believes that construction companies that have mobile estimating platforms in place have enabled important employers to work remotely. And that has allowed individuals and teams to collaborate and perform critical business tasks without interruptions.
- Attracting great employees
According to Jeff, mobile capabilities can also attract the best talent. If there is one thing that millennials admittedly find very easy to adopt, it is technology. But, even millennials are not alone when it comes to mobile devices, as even the older generation find using smartphones very easy. Therefore, for construction companies to tap the best talent across various generations, mobile solutions offer a powerful platform. Beyond that, mobile solutions also provide the kind of “flexibility and freedom that many prospective employees value most” without affecting their ability to be efficient, productive, and profitable in their work.
- Mobile capabilities creating human-centric culture
Mobile capabilities can also create a human-centric culture. At the heart of any human-centric workforce is the ability to work independently and remotely. Any construction company that wants to create an efficient and happy workforce needs to take the opportunities that mobile capabilities offer to make their workforce more ‘mobile.’
According to Jeff, “the most progressive production companies” are the ones that have recognized that “mobile workers are often happier and more productive” than a workforce of personnel constantly glued to their desk, especially when there is no need to do so. In short, the more flexible a company’s workforce is, the more productive they can be.
- The future of work
One final point Jeff Gerardi makes on mobile capabilities in construction is that mobile capabilities can prepare you for the future of work. Mobile devices have come to stay. And it is almost impossible to imagine a future without them – and this includes the future of work. Construction companies that fail to move with the times and take advantage of the numerous opportunities of mobile capabilities will find themselves left behind.
There is no doubt that construction companies need to make shifting to mobile capabilities their number one priority if they benefit from the numerous benefits it comes with. Jeff puts it this way, “embracing a robust mobile platform today is crucial for competitive success in the future.” A commitment to enhanced mobile solutions will increase your company’s competitive advantage over time.