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Implementing Mobile Workforce Solutions in the New Year

MIKE MERRILL, CO-FOUNDER 
WORKMAX BY ABOUTTIME TECHNOLOGIES 

The upward mobility of construction companies and their projects weigh in the balance of thousands of intertwined decisions. These decisions, made each day on jobsites and in offices, play a critical role in the operational success of companies industry wide. Without streamlined processes, however, they have the potential to increase inefficiencies, errors, delays and costs across a company’s project portfolio. As your company transitions into 2022, mobile workforce solutions are a critical component to help your team achieve its highest potential — saving time and money, eliminating mistakes and minimizing risks across your entire operation. 

Here’s why employing a mobile workforce solution is critical for construction companies in 2022. 

YOUR PROJECTS ARE MOBILE, WHY ISN’T YOUR BUSINESS? 

Construction companies run decentralized operations, but their processes and systems often are lacking in effectively supporting a scattered workforce, especially when it comes to their field operations. With the help of a mobile workforce solution your company can improve operational business practices while also encouraging better collaboration between the different cloud solutions in your tech stack and your various crews and teams, regardless of their roles. As long as your field employees or managers have access to a smartphone or tablet, they have all of the tools they need to take advantage of these software solutions. 

Right in the palm of their hand, field workers can track their time and project progress, gain access to safety training and log the tasks they’ve completed for the shift or for the day. Field supervisors can keep a close eye on workers and the progress of the project, track equipment and materials and share critical information that promotes the health and safety of their workforce. This data is also viewable by off-site leadership and can be integrated with accounting, payroll, project management and other business systems. 

“Every core function of the field should really be digitized, so that we can actually roll up data and run analytics on it to drive productivity and profitability,” said Eric Tucker, senior business development manager with Procore Technologies, a member of multiple AGC chapters. “The tip of the spear for data is creating good mobile experiences.” 

YOU’VE ADOPTED THE TECH. NOW, HOW CAN IT WORK FOR YOU? 

Simply choosing to implement a new technology is a big step in modernizing construction workforces and streamlining operations. But then the question remains: How can this tech work for your company? With a mobile workforce solution, the applications are vast and should include: 

Capturing accurate data in real time: Mobile workforce solutions collect data in real-time, effectively eliminating human errors and delivering timely, accurate and actionable data. With this tool companies can capture labor and payroll hours, safety and injury reports, daily logs, job progress and maintenance reports as well as equipment usage throughout a day. As all these datasets are saved to a remote-access cloud, ensuring team members can make informed decisions in real time. 

Managing and tracking projects remotely: Across projects and offices (be they central or remote) every member of a team can access the data needed to do the job more effectively. With a mobile workforce solution, team members can remotely monitor task and project progress, labor hours, equipment usage and maintenance, materials and more. With this data in hand, leaders can truly predict a project’s completion date and adjust where needed to keep jobs on time and budget. 

Working faster and more accurately: Waiting for hours, days or weeks to access insights into a company’s daily production and reporting can lead to costly errors, oversights, delays, violations and fines. By using a mobile workforce solution, team members can eliminate excess time spent manually entering timesheets and physically delivering daily progress reports, work order, safety and paper receipts. That’s a substantial amount of time and money potentially saved by eliminating time-consuming, inefficient tasks. 

Overseeing employee time and progress: High labor costs and labor shortages continue to burden the construction industry. They can, however, be minimized with proper tracking and management. Intelligent mobile workforce solutions equipped with GPS tracking and facial recognition can help. Accurately capture employee payroll costs including overtime and possible premium pay rates, increase supervisor oversight and access to production trends by using live-field data to track labor hours, production quantities and tasks. 

Customizing workflows and forms: Avoid pricey and drawn-out software implementations with solutions that quickly go to work for a company and are easy to set up and customize for more efficient and quicker deployments. From its clock-in and clock-out configurations to the input fields on digital forms and employee access privileges, mobile workforce solutions are entirely customizable to fit your company’s unique needs and workflow requirements and goals. 

Conducting employee onboarding and training: Protecting your company’s most valuable asset — your people — is top priority. Ensure worker health and safety with on-demand training that covers jobsite safety hazards, new workplace procedures, jobsite compliance or preventing the spread of potential illnesses. These resources will help guarantee that all on-site employees remain informed and can be utilized to quickly onboard new employees and get them up to speed and into production. 

Sharing critical information with clients: The customer experience is a crucial element to a project’s success. With the help of a mobile workforce platform, your company can elevate this oft-strained experience by keeping clients informed of progress and even possible delays at every step. From the onset of a project, use accurate and verified past project data to give an accurate cost estimate. Then, keep clients informed of labor overages, equipment issues, material shortages and progress towards completion as you move throughout a project’s lifespan. 

Integrating with existing business systems: Getting data in and out of a mobile workforce solution should be simple and hassle free. Yet, data risks being unusable if not synchronized with other business platforms managing the day-to-day activities of accounting, supply chain operations, risk management, payroll and more. Fully integrated with your existing payroll, accounting, ERP and HR applications, mobile workforce solutions allow you to act when and where needed. 

With all of these applications providing your company with informed decision-making power, there’s no doubt a mobile workforce solution will benefit your company and help it transition more smoothly into another new year of even greater success and profitability. 

Mike Merrill is co-founder of WorkMax by AboutTime Technologies and host of The Mobile Workforce Podcast. Mike has been an entrepreneur and business owner in the construction and technology industry for nearly three decades.