Foundation Mobile
10 September 2015

Keep Field and Office in Sync with the New Wave of Mobile Solutions

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Mobile technology in the construction industry isn’t just about keeping on the cutting edge with the latest gadgets. It’s about keeping your field and your office in sync so that your business can stay efficient and competitive. The best mobile solutions will help you do exactly that.

Imagine the life cycle of a piece of paper. It becomes important as soon as your project manager marks on it with timecard data and notes about job progress, like materials used and quantities complete. Then it enters his pocket or her folio, and it sits there—we’re not sure how long. But one day, it eventually does make it home to your offices, where then someone has to interpret the handwriting and manually enter everything into your construction software. Finally, after a long, hard life, the paper can retire, whether to a bottomless filing cabinet or the bottom of a waste bin—until you realize one of the numbers may have been entered wrong!

Mobile technology in the construction industry isn’t just about keeping on the cutting edge with the latest gadgets. It’s about keeping your field and your office in sync so that your business can stay efficient and competitive. The best mobile solutions will help you do exactly that.

Mobile: It’s Here—and It’s Coming!

New technology comes into its own over time. Often it begins simply by giving us a faster way to do the things we used to. Eventually it makes new ways of working possible.

Accordingly, early mobile applications for the construction industry have tended to fall into two types. On the one hand are simple, light-weight and task-based applications. These have let contractors enter timecards from their phones or allowed project managers to upload notes from the job site. On the other hand are full cloud-based versions of desktop software. Unfortunately, the mobility of these solutions are limited, since while they give contractors the power of their complete software in the field by running on laptops and even tablets, their size can be cumbersome and frankly excessive for outside of the office. Each of these solutions have presented great benefits to contractors by making them less reliant on paper or memory and giving them the power of their software even when away from the office, but they only represent the beginning.

The second generation of mobile technology for the construction industry, in contrast, is about field-related tools and integration. If the first mobile construction applications were about getting technology into the field, the next wave packages a unique combination of features in ways that make sense for the job site and for project workflow, all while connecting back with software in the office.

The Next Wave of Mobile

Mobile applications for the contracting industry today provide unique software solutions for the field with distinctive benefits for the job site and the office together, allowing them to work better in sync than ever before. Foundation mobile and Foundation construction accounting software together, for example, offer numerous advancements in mobile construction technology, including:

  1. Improved workflow. With Foundation mobile, administrators can set approvals in their workflow so that entered timecards can be reviewed and submitted all from the convenient mobile interface. Project managers and supervisors can receive email alerts about pending timecards and approve them by batch or by individual entry. Timecard errors can be caught, flagged and annotated and sent back to employees before they ever go to payroll. Finally, with a submitted-time report, supervisors get to see the same overview of data as the office does once they’ve sent it in to be synced with the system.
  1. Weather-to-Field-Log sync. Weather conditions matter in construction, and when conditions in the field need to be recorded, Foundation mobile makes it easy to keep everyone on the same page. Conditions, temperature, wind speed and even miscellaneous notes can be entered from any mobile device and synced right to the Job Center in Foundation. For even greater convenience, mobile captures geolocation data with the press of a button. Work-delaying weather reports can be viewed by the office mere minutes after they’re entered.
  1. Job notes sync. Incidents, billings, meetings and more can all occur away from the office, but they stay tied with the job when entered through Foundation mobile and synced automatically with Foundation’s job notes. Users can tag notes by category and priority level for convenient sorting both on the job site and at a desk.
  1. Equipment, materials and quantities complete. Project managers don’t need a full job-costing system with all the bells and whistles in the field, but they do need to track what happens on a job, including material transfers, equipment usage and job quantities completion. The new wave of mobile enables them to do just that, and Foundation mobile updates the Foundation database all the way from the field.
  1. Reports in the field. When the day is wrapping up, project managers shouldn’t have to drive back to the office just to enter and review the day’s work. Important reports in the field will include daily logs of job site activity—equipment hours, quantities complete, weather and more. Everything that project managers oversee on the job, they should eventually be able to see on their tablet or phone at any time and send it back to the office within minutes. This is becoming the new standard in construction mobile technology.

Paper served the construction industry well enough when offices ran on paper, but offices that operate with the benefit of construction accounting software are going to be out of sync with job sites that use paper and standalone mobile applications for their important data. Fortunately, a new wave of mobile technology just for the construction industry enables employees, supervisors and project managers in the field to have just the integrated tools they need to reduce error, increase efficiency and keep everyone on the same page—wherever they’re working—with one powerful program connecting them all.

Let a representative from Foundation Software show you what the new generation of construction mobile technology has to offer. Schedule a live demo today to see how the powerful team of Foundation construction accounting software and Foundation mobile take your business into the future.

*Published in Construction Executive

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