Most contractors face the same challenges whether they are in construction, HVAC, painting, plumbing or another field. Cash flow, human resource management, customer relationship management, and occupational safety and health are likely to be on your mind every day. If you don’t get these right, both your employees and your clients will be dissatisfied and your business could be in big trouble.
However, you probably don’t have the budget to employ specialists in each of these critical areas. Luckily, mobile apps make it a lot easier to manage almost every aspect of your business even while you move around from site to site. Some solutions are specialized while others can be used for several functions.
Mobile Apps Help with Managing Staff
Do you know how many workers you have on each site at any given time? Can you communicate with them easily if you need them to work on a different project or correct a problem? Is there a simple way for them to log a challenge they had with a task or project? If you find it difficult to answer these questions positively, you may want to consider an app which helps with job scheduling and dispatching. You can assign tasks to employees and have an alert pop up on their phones immediately. You can also see where everyone is assigned with just a quick look at a calendar. It doesn’t matter whether you are in the office or out buying supplies; you would be able to respond as needed. Bridgit Closeout is a good choice for task management.
Mobile Apps Make Preparing Estimates and Invoices Easier
If you’re still preparing estimates and invoices entirely manually, it’s time to up your game. You can use a smartphone app to create bids and proposals for new work, produce estimates for potential clients and invoice them when the work is done. Using an app can allow you to create templates which include those products or services which you often need to include on your documents. Mobile solutions also help you to stay on top of payments made after invoices have been sent out. Invoice ASAP and Invoice Maker are popular.
Mobile Apps Assist with Tracking Projects
It is essential that you know how all your projects are progressing. Cost overruns and delayed completion won’t do any good for your reputation. You need to monitor things closely if you want to know where to allocate additional time and resources. When clients ask for an update, you also need to be in a position to tell them exactly what is happening. If you are currently tracking your projects with paper files in a filing cabinet, you should begin researching apps. Paper files are prone to error, likely to be misplaced and difficult to update regularly. A mobile solution means you can input developments as soon as they occur. This includes problems which need attention and changes which need to be authorized and tracked. Many contractors find FieldPulse helpful.
Mobile Apps Allow You to Keep Tabs on Your Equipment
Contracting businesses are typically equipment intensive. Very often, that equipment disappears or seems to suddenly develop a problem. There are mobile apps you can use to help you create an inventory of your fleet and track whether they are at a construction site or not. Some modern tools also connect with an app to alert you when they need to be serviced or they are falling into disrepair. These types of investments shouldn’t be overlooked. The last thing you want is to be unable to use a key piece of equipment right in the middle of a major project. Use the technology available to ensure your business remains competitive. Equipment360 Mobile Mechanic and MyMaintenance from John Deere are popular choices.
Mobile Apps Help to Maintain Safety on the Job
There are a number of practical apps which encourage workplace safety. In fields like construction where some level of danger is part of the job, they can help to keep team members on their toes. There are mobile apps covering first aid, ladder safety, noise, and chemical hazards. There are even fatigue prediction tools on the market. If you want to ensure your business is in compliance with occupational safety and health regulations and prevent and handle mishaps, you should look into the mobile solutions. Consider the American Red Cross’ First Aid App and OSHA’s Heat Safety Tool. You should also look into other smartphone apps which are relevant to your specific industry.
The contracting field is often highly competitive and somewhat unpredictable. Managing a contracting business is therefore challenging. However, it doesn’t have to be impossible. Technology has developed to the stage where you can carry out several management functions from your phone or tablet.
Whether you are at home, at the airport, or on a job site, you can keep track of virtually every area of your business. If you aren’t already using mobile apps for management, begin looking at how you can incorporate them sooner rather than later.
Guest post courtesy of Marie Erhart, Field Pulse