It’s been found that construction is among the least digitised industries. As many construction organisations grow through acquisitions, they tend to have a fragmented technology portfolio across divisions – making it more difficult to identify areas to transform.
Digital transformation enables disruptive change, which in turn provides opportunities for growth, competitiveness and lower costs. There are many new and emerging technologies that the construction industry could take advantage of, from artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, to exoskeletons. While exciting, these technologies require a large investment of both time and money to integrate or digitalise processes, and there are much quicker and easier ways to achieve digital transformation within the construction industry.
Although organisations may have invested in mobile devices across their business, many fail to realise the full potential of the devices, as tools to achieve digital transformation, and are only utilising basic features such as email and calendars. 99-100% (Jamf stat – source) of enterprises are now utilising iOS devices, and using them as a starting point for digital transformation. Chances are, all of your divisions have already deployed mobile devices, but aren’t using them as constructively as they could be (pun intended…).
If you’re looking to revolutionise your construction business and reap the benefits of disruptive technology, we’ve collected our top ten tips for achieving digital transformation in construction with Apple/iOS…
Five tips for approaching digital transformation
- Start small
While it’s important to have a roadmap of your overall goals, this can sometimes become a hindrance if you focus more on this than just getting out there and doing something. Pick a single process (part of something bigger, aligned to your overall goals) or single business unit to begin with. Chances are, you already have departments that are itching to use their devices for more.
- Define one key driver
Whether it’s to reduce paper, improve safety or gain insight into what’s costing the most (snags in the building process or materials not reaching site on time), have a benchmark to compare change against.
- Digitise and roll out the process
When digitising a process, some map very quickly to mobile devices. However, you need to be prepared to alter a process slightly to make it more efficient when using mobile tech. Often there is an off the shelf solution that can help you get most of the way, but if not, custom app development is becoming much more accessible. And don’t forget – as part of the roll out process, make sure your staff are trained up on the new processes.
Analyse results against your key driver – how well did you perform against your expected targets? This is important, but something that people can often forget or not get around to. Results can be quantitive, but don’t forget the human impact on your users, as this can be a driver for a more productive and happy workforce.
- Iterate and roll out next project
After review you can update any process that isn’t quite hitting your key driver, or consider additional features or app development to get you closer to your goals. Then, it’s time to consider your next process to digitise aligned with your bigger picture.
Five tips for getting started with digitisation
The biggest benefit to using mobile devices in the field, and digitising processes, is having access to live data, which enables your organisation to make quicker decisions and avoid costs caused by delays. Often the easier things to digitise are paper-based sign-off workflows, but here are some more ideas on places you could get started…
- Design and project planning
Streamline your construction management by digitising your design processes and project planning. You can use your iOS camera for virtual or augmented reality planning, building digitally within your environment or accessing blueprints on your devices whenever you need them.
- Onsite processes
We understand that a big concern in the construction industry is making sure that the workers that turn up on site have the correct training and certification to undertake a project. Streamline this process with digitisation, giving you full visibility of a worker’s credentials before they get to site. You can also utilise GPS to check when your staff have reached the site.
Digitisation also assists in resolving issues on site, by giving you instant access to files or snag lists. If you encounter any problems, staff can capture the issue on site, feed back to their project manager, and tasks can be quickly reassigned until the snag is completed.
- Communication and collaboration
Another issue that construction businesses often come up against is materials not getting to site on time, or needing to buy more materials while on site. By digitising your procurement process, you enable the ability reassign tasks if equipment doesn’t turn up when it should. Or, you’re able to order alternative materials if the ones that have been delivered won’t work for the project. You can use GPS and location services for deliveries, so you also know in advance if something is not going to be where it should.
On top of managing and digitising your own workflow, you will often be working with a multitude of contractors for different areas of the build. Mobile devices can be used to better communicate with contractors, utilising FaceTime or mobile conferencing. Extending your digital processes to them means that they can capture completed jobs, and use similar management tools as project managers, boosting their productivity.
- Tracking, analysing and project sign off
More immediate access to data using a mobile device means that you can use data collected from a build to understand areas that need improvement, for example staffing, training, snags or contractor performance.
Digitisation of paper processes, such as signing off a project, means that you can bring your client on site, have the documents needed all in one place, show them the completed work and get the contract digitally signed off there and then.
- Marketing and sales
Access to live and upcoming projects on mobile devices allows you to gain insight into the latest tenders, review and market to them. Also, having marketing content and reference sites available to you gives your sales arm access to all your latest customer references, and even live data from current builds.
How Fieldwire and GoCanvas can help
Apple iOS is the construction industry’s platform of choice for maximising digital transformation. Apple Mobility Partners such as Fieldwire and GoCanvas Partners – best-of-breed, tailor made industry apps endorsed by Apple – allow you to transform your construction company and realise greater business benefits.
Fieldwire enables better project planning and execution, allowing you to complete builds quicker and improve construction management. With key features such as lightning fast plan viewing, mobile construction management and lean construction scheduling, Fieldwire can reduce your admin time by five hours per user, per week.
You can read the full case study on how Fieldwire helped UK building contractor Speller Metcalfe here.
Canvas works by digitalising paper-based manual workflows, reclaiming huge chunks of wasted time for your business. True Homes were able to streamline inspections and increase sales by up to $1 million by using Canvas, and recovered $22,880 in paper costs annually.
You can read the full case study on how GoCanvas helped property construction company True Homes here.
How else can we help you transform your workflow?
At Jigsaw24, we can offer a range of solutions and services to help you transform your construction business.
Apple Mobility Partners
We work with a range of Apple Mobility Partners, best-of-breed apps for industry that have been hand-picked by Apple themselves as digital leaders in their sector. This means we can provide you with the best tools to get the most our of your devices, and the support to get you up and running as soon as possible.
Custom app development
Grow revenues, increase brand awareness and get real-time feedback with a custom app for your business. Our team of developers can create iOS, Android and web apps, or purchasing portals, and offer support throughout the lifecycle of your app. Our integrated mobility solutions have seen tremendous ROI – furniture company Welcome Furniture were able to digitize their paper-based logistics and delivery processes with a customer app, saving them £130,000 on returns per year.
Mobile device management
Get simple, centralised control of your Apple devices with our hosted or managed Jamf Pro solutions. We can host Jamf Pro for you in the cloud, so you get all the benefits of fast access and high availability, without having to worry about hardware. Or, we can manage your Jamf Pro deployment for you, pre-configuring, pre-staging and enrolling devices, with all your corporate apps pre-installed and managed, so all you have to do is hit the power button.
Want to find out more about how we can help you achieve digital transformation in your construction business? Give us a call on 03332 400 888 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com to speak to our experts. You can also keep up with all the latest news by following us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or liking us on Facebook.