Our top ten tips for digital transformation in construction

Our top ten tips for digital transformation in construction

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
  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Review

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.

  1. 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…

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

5 things to consider when picking stock images

5 things to consider when picking stock images

Picking stock imagery may seem like a chore, but when you’re working on a project and looking to find the perfect photo, the most popular or most artistic isn’t always going to fit the bill. Our team have put together a few tips to bear in mind when selecting the right image for your work.

#1 Get the most from your image

The key here is to think broadly. The last thing you want is to purchase an image for the email campaign you’re designing, only to find out that you need to adapt it into a dreaded skyscraper banner the week after. If you don’t know all the elements of the project right now, try and pick an image that can be easily adapted to different aspect ratios.

Secondly, while I know it seems obvious, you’d be surprised just how many times I’ve seen stock images purchased and used once, only to then disappear into the abyss of a server, never to be seen again. Get your money’s worth, people! Where you have licensed an image for multiple uses, be sure to keep it in the back of your mind in case another campaign crops up where it can be used. We may use the same image in an education piece of marketing as in a business piece, for example.

#2 What’s the best before date?

OK, we all know that some stock photography looks like it’s been lifted straight out of the 80s, but we aren’t just talking about whether or not the models are sporting fetching mullets and a tache here. It’s important to take a good look at the items in shot to make sure that they aren’t going to date too quickly. As an example, we’re always on the lookout for computers or tablets that are about to be superseded by newer models. For some projects, as long as the photo is current, it’ll be absolutely fine. But the last thing you want to do is to put something in print that will result in a reprint in a couple of months.

#3 Don’t be stung by approvals

It’s the rule we all live by and all get caught out on: don’t download the high res version until all key stakeholders have seen the project. Preview versions are there to prevent you from wasting your budget or stock credits, so be sure to use them. And if you’re the kind of person who likes to download and take the hit on the budget so that you don’t end up duplicating work once the high res version is approved, take a look at Adobe Stock. The built-in integration between Adobe Stock and Creative Cloud means that you can use the preview image when designing your visuals and, once it’s signed off, a hit of a button will swap out the linked asset – a massive time saver!

#4 Make the image your own

Most stock image licences allow you to adapt the original photo to some degree, and if you want your project to have something unique about it, it’s good to make the most of that flexibility. Inevitably there are going to be certain images that are more popular than others, so if your heart is set on using them, do something a bit different to make it your own. Take a look at the cover of our brochure of retail solutions, in which we replaced the standard brick wall behind the female shop assistant with a busy store.

Adapting Stock Imagery - Jigsaw24 Retail Brochure

#5 Have a few ideas in your back pocket

The last one is to make sure you have a few ideas stored away in your back pocket. While we all like to think we get it right first time, there are always occasions where the client has other ideas! So be sure to pick out a few image options when you’re searching, so that if they come back with the red pin, you’re ready with some alternatives that you already approve of.

Want to find out more about Adobe Stock? Head on over to our Adobe Stock page to take a look at the full feature-set. You can also give us a call on 03332 409 259, email adobe@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below.

Top tips for searching for stock imagery

Top tips for searching for stock imagery

If you’re prone to picking the first image you come across when looking through stock photography, you might be missing out on some hidden gems. Well, the good news is that Adobe Stock includes some pretty handy filtering tools that make it easier to find imagery that’s right for your project and that hasn’t been used by every single other campaign out there. To give you an idea of the functions available, here are a few tips…

Option 1: Searching on the site

If you’re already using a stock service, chances are this is the search method you’re most familiar with.

As you’d expect, the home page on https://stock.adobe.com gives you the standard search functionality, with the option to type in your topic and the ability to filter down by type of asset – in this case, photos, videos, illustrations and vectors. I’m going to get things started by having a look for some nice photos of the Jigsaw24 mascot, the zebra.

Searching in Adobe Stock step 1

Once your results are in, it’s all about the filters, and first up is your option to sort images into a more meaningful list. Recency, relevance and popularity are all as expected, but Adobe Stock also includes the ability to prioritise the images that you have previously downloaded (handy if you need to refer back to photos you have used to find similar options) or by Undiscovered, which bumps up those images that you’ve not looked at before to help keep your work fresh.

Searching in Adobe Stock step 2

If you have specific dimensions you’re working to, or need an image that is specifically geared to span a page or fit into a tight square box, then use the dimension filter. While portrait, landscape and square are now standard in most stock providers’ searches, panoramic is relatively unique to Adobe Stock.

Searching in Adobe Stock step 3

The next option you have is to either include or exclude people from your images. While I don’t think we’ll be having that problem with our preview below, if you’ve ever experienced stock photography of an office environment you’ll be hitting the ‘Exclude’ button plenty.

Searching in Adobe Stock step 4

 

Another one of the great features within Adobe Stock’s search is the ability to filter by colour. While some searches typically include a few select preset colours to filter images by the primary colour within them, this includes a colour picker tool with full HTML colour options. For this preview I’m going to select standard Jigsaw24 orange…

Searching in Adobe Stock step 5

The final filter available in Adobe Stock is the ability to filter by category. While it’s not so handy when searching for zebras, it is great if you’ve originally searched for quite a broad term. All your standard categories are present and correct – Buildings, Transport, Travel – as well as a few that are less common, including Social Issues and Drinks. Here, I’m going to pick Animals just to make sure I get rid of the random images of cakes and tree trunks.

Searching in Adobe Stock step 6

Option 2: Searching in your app

Your second option for searching is to do it directly within the Creative Cloud app. While you won’t get the functionality you do on the website, you will be able to search for key terms and see the top results without having to leave the app. Within the app you can buy there and then, download a preview, and there’s a button to “Find similar” that will open up your browser and have all the search results ready and waiting.

Searching in Adobe Stock - in app searches

Want to find out more about Adobe Stock? Head on over to our Adobe Stock page to take a look at the full feature-set. You can also give us a call on 03332 409 259, email adobe@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below.