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How Mobile Technology Can Help Your Construction Company

3 ways to get more from mobile technology

Contractors who juggle projects at multiple sites know it can be tricky to accurately track job data and employee activities. The good news is that there are now a wide variety of apps available for smartphones, tablet computers, laptops and construction vehicles that allow you to store and view data regarding labor hours, vehicle and equipment use, and daily job-site production. Here are three ways to get more from mobile technology.

  1. Use wireless time cards
    To accurately track labor costs, consider wireless time cards. By having employees clock in at job sites with their smartphones and a wireless time card app that verifies they're on-site, you can avoid the risks of "time rounding" (when workers round their times up or down for their benefit) or outright time theft associated with paper time cards.

    In addition, going paperless saves employees trips to the office, so they spend more time working. And in-office staff reduce the time they must spend performing data entry for payroll. Plus, understanding your true labor costs allows you to bid on new projects more accurately.

  2. Try geo-fencing software
    Contractors can cut back on physical site checks by equipping company vehicles with activity-monitoring software. For example, "geo-fencing" software alerts you or your fleet manager when a vehicle leaves a predefined area or when one is stopped when it shouldn't be.

    Geo-fencing software can also alert you when a vehicle is entering the monitored area so you know, say, when work crews or supplies are arriving. These programs allow you to update owners and other interested parties (architects, subcontractors) on the exact locations and estimated arrival times of pertinent assets, too.

  3. Install global positioning systems
    Slashing your fuel bill is as easy as installing a global positioning system (GPS) in your construction company's trucks or on key employees' smart phones. GPS capabilities allow workers to avoid traveling to the office to print directions and reduce wasted driving — a necessity while fuel prices are sky-high.

    There are security benefits to GPS technology as well. Joy-riding employees will have nowhere to hide when you're tracking a vehicle. And you'll be able to assist the authorities in tracking down stolen equipment, potentially saving you thousands in losses.


Benefits of a boost

Implementing technology like this requires an investment of time, money and energy. But the benefits can pay off if you're able to put these tools to good use. Work with your financial advisor to determine whether your construction business could benefit from a mobile boost and if you have the cash flow to make the investment.