Construction App Integration for Improved Efficiency by Autodesk Blog
By Adam Higgins
Mobile apps are everywhere these days – including on-the-job. Although apps are relatively new to the construction site, they (thankfully) come ready to work, providing much-needed resources for project teams and work crews. Apple and Google’s respective app stores offer prospective customers access to over hundreds of these pint-sized programs that are free to download for any project. These construction project management apps range from a full suite of applications available for a fee, to free applications, to “freemium” apps that are initially free to download but require additional money to unlock certain features.
Yet, while construction apps have provided the AEC industry with a far simpler way to keep various project teams apprised of the latest developments of a joint venture, having to switch between multiple apps to get the job done can be tedious, and sometimes counter-productive.
It is an all-too common scenario to have each project team member relying upon a different app.
For instance, document managers can use a separate file sharing service like Microsoft Sharepoint or Box to securely share contracts and similar documents with other members of the team who can edit these files at their leisure.
Superintendents can use another different app to monitor an RFI from start to finish limiting the need to use paper-based plans.
And yet another suite of digital project management programs lets subscribers create PDF’s with sophisticated desktop-based markup and editing capabilities too.
There are an endless array of choices out there, but having multiple apps as part of your construction project can lead to numerous issues.
Common Issues That Stem From Using Too Many Apps
Many apps and construction software programs come with different pricing tiers that each have different features for different tasks. Training may be required to help other members of the team learn how to use these different apps too.
While training is crucial to ensuring AEC professionals are able to use these apps most effectively, a 2015 Construction Technology Report by JBKnowledge revealed that 33.5% of those surveyed cited “lack of staff to support the technology” as a barrier to adopting technology. The more programs and construction apps a team uses, the more time and resources it will take to train them.
Even after key personnel have been trained to use these construction apps in their day-to-day work, there are still hurdles to scale.
There is no way to guarantee a client will sign off on a document by a specified deadline when using a file sharing service in the cloud, or to ensure a Document Manager sees an update to a digital blueprint, although approval on any final changes could take hours.
The Importance of Construction App Integration
The key to avoid any redundancies and increase efficiency is to embrace the idea of app integration, moving as many programs as possible under one, unified banner.
Essentially, project managers should use a program that incorporates all of these important tools in one location. An all-encompassing solution like BIM 360 can help solve some of the problems that stem from switching between…click here to continue reading.