Analysis

Five must have apps for construction sites

9 October 2019 | By Ibrahim Imam

Ibrahim Imam

Ibrahim Imam, co-founder and managing director of PlanRadar, selects his top five construction apps for increasing efficiency.

As web applications become common practice in everyday life, the integration of them by professional businesses to advance workflow efficiency is increasing.

While most sectors are increasing reliance of app-based technology, over 60% of construction companies still rely on outdated admin and task management tools, leaving them vulnerable in a competitive, digitalised market.

However, as the construction industry is slowly realising the potential for increased productivity and cutting costs with technology, there has been a growing number of construction apps entering the market. As a result, it’s become more difficult than ever for professionals to find the apps best suited to their business. Here are my top picks to use on site. No surprise that I’ve included PlanRadar.

OSHA Safety

In 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established to progress good, safe conditions in the workplace and ensure high standards through training, education, and assistance. On large building projects, the costs of industrial injuries can lead to large and easily avoidable expenses, hence the importance of implementing safety regulations. 

OSHA Safety App encourages this by incorporating the full document of the OSHA regulations for general industry, construction and business, which covers most workplaces. Its users are kept up to date with recent regulations and notifications.

The app can be used offline, ensuring it is always accessible on your device and not dependent on internet access.

SmartBid

Created by James Benham, who established JBKnowledge, a seven-time recipient of the Aggie 100 award, in his final year at college, SmartBid mobile is part of the SmartBid internet application.

The app is a leading construction bid management software. It focuses on contractors wanting to simplify and speed up their workflow processes by making bid project data, documents and subcontractor communications accessible online. It also helps to manage and grow your network of subcontractors.

The software can be used anywhere to manage invitations and collaborations from general contractors. Users can set up and organise their own data pool with qualified subcontractors and invite them to bid.

The app also allows all users to access files and preconstruction plans, created and updated via the administrator. SmartBid is compatible with Dropbox, ConstructConnect, Autodesk BIM 360 and Procore. It also features software that provides private, secure data, monthly updates, estimates and leads take-off integration.

PlanRadar

PlanRadar is designed to benefit everyone involved throughout a building’s construction to efficiently identify, track and document construction issues for verification purposes.

Once everyone has signed up and downloaded the app. the whole team can record any problems on the project site, specify where the issues are via the digital blueprint, and attribute them directly to the subcontractors for completion by simply tagging them.

PlanRadar enables the construction process to increase efficiency by up to 70% for contractors and subcontractors, lending to lower costs for clients whilst greatly helping management. The software is secured on the cloud and allows a 30-day free trial.

Not only can all planning documents be synchronised, retrieved, managed and stored on the cloud, but an offline mode is also available. In 2019, PlanRadar won the Construction accolade at the annual EG Tech Awards and the digital company now has more than 3,500 customers from 43 countries worldwide.

Joist

Joist App concentrates on the needs of contractors. Its main aim is to make quick estimates with professional invoices for small business contractors that can be managed anywhere. Users need only fill out a simple form of their company information.

In addition, Joist facilitates the use of online contracts, speeding up the process of work on site, saving costs on projects. The ease and speed of the app lets contractors win more jobs as its service is more streamlined than competitors.

Started as a windshield business spin-off, it has grown to support almost half a million contractors around the world and gained backing from venture capital partners and advisers in Toronto and Silicon Valley.

Both credit card and e-check payments can be completed directly on the app, allowing clients to be paid faster. It is an all in one client management tool to organise your job. To date, Joist is used by more than 700,000 contractors which have invoiced $7bn worth of transactions.

FallSafety Pro

A mobile safety application for field work, Fall Safety Pro can literally be a mobile lifesaver and great solution during construction projects.

Hopefully, it will never happen, but if a member of the team on a construction site happened to fall off a high scaffold or incur another injury, you’ll be glad to have the Fall Safety app.

It can detect falls and issue automated alerts to your emergency contacts programmed in your smartphone. The app will also provide your location data using GPS to ensure that your emergency contact will find you.

At first, Fall Safety was only available on iOS – now you can find it in the Play Store as well.

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