Construction: The future is mobile
As the construction industry continues to evolve, companies must learn to adapt to the times and embrace existing and emerging technology trends. Bradley Markham, Director at Bull Products, believes that mobile technology plays a key role in construction operations and tells us why companies should adopt it to enhance their site safety and improve productivity and workflow.
There is no doubt that the use of mobile technology has benefited every one of us in our daily lives in one way or another, but when it comes to mobile technology in the workplace, the construction industry has been relatively slow to embrace the change or fully understand the true benefits it could have.
The construction industry is constantly facing pressure to decrease costs and improve productivity, all whilst providing quality client service and most importantly, looking after the health and safety of its workers. And though this does bring about many unique day-to-day challenges, taking advantage of mobile technology will have many positive impacts on a construction company’s operations.
Integration with wireless technology
Over the past five years, technology has pushed the construction industry to become a safer working environment. In particular, the development of wireless technology such as alarm systems are making sites safer. Today, emergency fire, first aid, and intruder alarm systems have become an integral part of the construction sector due to their flexibility, reliability, ease of installation, and usability.
When existing technology and devices become wireless, the functionality increases leaps and bounds. Wireless technology is the ideal solution for construction sites and building complexes that have more than a single building. In the case of temporary installations, for instance, construction sites where the work is in progress, wireless fire alarms can be installed and then removed once the work on the site is finished, or moved to another site, providing a cost-effective and flexible solution to companies.
One of the benefits of wireless technology is that it can be seamlessly integrated with mobile devices. In the case of a wireless fire alarm system for example, this means that managers can monitor, analyse and even programme systems at any time of the day – whether they are on-site or off-site. With false alarms costing businesses around £1 billion per year, plus loss of sales and time, wireless systems that integrate with mobile devices are hugely beneficial to health and safety managers.
Swift team communication
Construction sites are high-risk environments and mistakes and accidents do sometimes happen. Therefore, when errors do occur, having mobile devices on hand is key in allowing site managers or health and safety supervisors to communicate swiftly and effectively with the relevant people, meaning any errors or mistakes can be resolved straight away.
Construction sites are also complex in nature – often with multiple teams operating across several areas – and many projects require constant communication between parties. Mobile technology allows a less fragmented and more collaborative approach by encouraging open communication between teams. In particular for health and safety managers, mobile technology provides the perfect platform to communicate and inform others on important safety issues.
Efficiency and productivity
A key advantage of mobile devices, such as phones and tablets, is the reduction of paper. Whereas traditionally, health and safety managers may have had to do their reporting work by taking a clipboard and paper on-site and filing out documents by hand, mobile technology and devices allow data and information to be uploaded and stored onto a cloud-based app. Not only does this reduce the administrative headache for managers, it decreases the risk of potentially costly mistakes, miscommunication and confusion, and makes documents and reports more easily accessible and shareable amongst teams.
Mobile technology also allows for administrative work to be completed instantly and from anywhere at anytime, giving managers more time to focus on their job at hand. For managers, who are likely to be balancing their time between being on-site, attending meetings, and going to the office, embracing mobile technology and having the ability to access information and data from anywhere, is crucial.
The use of mobile technology plays an important role in any type of business but given the unique nature of the construction industry and its complex challenges, mobile technology should be seen as a vital element on any site or project. By providing managers with real-time information through a mobile phone or app, businesses can ensure hazards are spotted earlier and workers are alerted of the dangers quicker, as well as creating a more collaborative environment for teams across the business.