As a Washington business we understand the central role technology plays in our state’s economy but more than that we understand that our target market is one of the most tech savvy in the country. Our clients are constantly plugged in and turned on both in their careers and at home. They have come to appreciate and depend on the efficiencies and connectedness technology offers and undoubtedly expects a level technological awareness even in their contractor. We, like our clients, have the same appreciation and have built our business practices to take full advantage of cutting edge mobile, cloud and software systems.
It has been reported that two thirds of small businesses leverage mobile technology in some way. Devices like the iPhone and iPad have become almost ubiquitous and we can appreciate why. Mobile technology has given small businesses unparalleled competitive advantages and perhaps none as much as in construction: it provides instant connection between client and the construction team, decisions can be made quickly and answers to vital progress halting questions can be found in a few minutes.
The connection between the field and the office is greatly improved PO’s, change orders, RFI’s, daily logs and time cards can all be done electronically in real time cutting down trips to and from the office, cutting back on data entry and allowing the PM to stay ahead of problems as never before. Orders for materials and deliveries can be scheduled saving many trips to suppliers. Video conferencing alone saves trips to the field and allows eye-to-eye conversation and management. Photo and video tracking and cloud uploading to a central project database of job progress and record keeping reduces liability and costly guesswork (for example recording layout of wiring and systems before cover) and gives everyone involved access to the information whenever and wherever needed.
Clients can pay their bills electronically, change orders generated, invoices presented and schedules referenced and amended all from a mobile device. This creates efficiency and lowers cost to be sure but also allows for a robust communication system, which reinforces our commitment to creating a positive construction experience. For clients who incorporate social networking into their daily lives project updates can be posted and small victories celebrated along the way. This not only benefits the clients but also gets our name in front of all their friends and contacts as well.
Cloud based technology is also important linking our mobile devices with our desktop computers allowing us to work and collaborate using client based software which is accessed and managed through the Internet. This gives management and field staff the ability to work anywhere and access our systems and server information without having to be at the office or in front of a computer.