Paperwork: there seems never to be an end to it. Whether you’re filling out orders, doing spreadsheets, or completing agreements, there’s always some kind of paperwork to do People may not realize it, but the construction industry has just as much paperwork, if not more, as other industries do. Fortunately, while there are still many forms to complete and documents to submit, the electronic age has moved a lot of this paperwork online. In fact, thanks to mobile apps, there’s even less physical paper in use today than ever before, and that’s a good thing for a number of reasons. Here are some ways that mobile apps are helping to eliminate paperwork while increasing profits.
They Automate Reports
One task few people enjoy doing is writing reports, especially daily reports. When you’re using tools that automatically capture data every day at the job site, why can’t that data automatically be inserted into the appropriate template? With many new apps, it can be. There’s no need for anyone to go through the daily information log and pull out the needed facts and figures. Instead, these apps collect all of the required data and generate a report automatically. You can even create a partial report at any time during the day if you want. This report can then be emailed to anyone who needs it, eliminating any and all paper from the task and virtually eliminating the time it takes to do these reports.
They Eliminate Repetition and Redundancy
Even with the best software out there, you may have been creating redundant reports or have several people doing the same thing because that software wasn’t tied together. With a mobile app, however, all users can submit information to one place. This single data repository holds everything anyone would need while working on that project. You won’t have to have multiple accounts or learn different pieces of software, nor will you need to work out how to get data from one program to export in a way that another program can read. It’s all done in one place, removing extra reports and work that simply isn’t needed.
Apps Are Easy to Use
Because apps are mainly used on smartphones, they’re designed to be simple to use. There’s no space on the screen for a cluttered interface. This makes it simple for anyone to pick up the app and learn how to use it with very little training. Your team will quickly see that using apps to take notes, send information back to the office, and communicate with subcontractors can be faster than more conventional ways. It also reduces the amount of paper used on the job site and in the office since there’s no need to have physical notes or other information.
You Don’t Have to Worry About Security
What do you do at the end of the day with all of those documents on your desk that contain sensitive information? In many cases, you have to stack them up and put them in a locked drawer or filing cabinet. Then the next day you have to get everything out again. This can ruin your organization and make it more difficult to pick up where you left off. It can also cause some serious issues if someone comes into your office when you’re not there and looks at these documents.
With mobile apps, there’s no need to have hard copies of this information. You can pull everything up on your computer, smartphone, or tablet. Everything is secured behind firewalls, passwords, and two-set verification gates. Your sensitive data is protected from hackers, phishing scams, and from anyone who might walk into your office and start rifling through your desk.
They Share Data
Do you still need to make use of the software on your PC to complete certain tasks? Not a problem. Many apps are designed to share data in some way, whether it’s through a web portal or by exporting information in a file you can use in other programs. Many apps are even designed to fully integrate with other data systems to make it incredibly easy to share information no matter where you are.
A Necessary Evil
Overall, paperwork isn’t going away, but it is becoming less of a task. In some cases, this necessary evil is simply being translated over into email and online forms. In other cases, however, mobile apps have eliminated physical paperwork and replaced it with a process that takes much less time and work. For example, if there’s a problem on the job site, an employee doesn’t have to carefully write out a description of the issue. Instead, they can snap a few photos with their phone and submit them through the app.
If your crew is still using a large amount of paperwork, take the plunge and look for a great mobile app that can do everything you need. You’ll find that in the long run, you’re saving money, eliminating clutter, streamlining team communication and being more efficient overall.