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There's an App for That

10/31/2014 - By Molly Murphy

-This excerpt is from our Summer 2014 Dimensions newsletter-

Smart phones and tablets are everywhere, including on the jobsite. Mobile software applications have long passed the phase when they were primarily used for playing Solitaire in the doctor’s waiting room.

In 2013, Sage Software, a leading supplier of business software, surveyed several hundred construction industry executives about their companies’ use of mobile devices. Almost nine out of 10 (89 percent) said the use of smart phones for remote access to workrelated information had increased during the previous year. Nearly as many (79 percent) said tablet usage had increased.

General business applications like contact management, calendar and planning apps are widely used by contractors, just as they are in other businesses. Beyond these almost universal workhorses, however, there are thousands of specialized apps designed specifically to meet the needs of construction industry professionals. One construction industry website estimates there are already 13,000 construction, development and designrelated apps for mobile devices.

These include popular apps for estimating, onsite calculations and organizing plans such as ConstructionHelper, Architect’s Formulator, BuildCalc and iBlueprint. Not surprisingly, building information modeling (BIM), a 3D model- based project planning process, is especially popular with app developers. Programs such as BIMx, GoBIM and PlanGrid are gaining prominence.

Many specialized apps deal with subcontractor specialties like HVAC, roofing, concrete, electrical, drywall and plumbing. Most manufacturers also offer specialized applications for estimating, specifying and ordering their products.

Other, more general applications such as iBooks let you replace bulky, hardbound reference manuals and charts. This puts the equivalent of an entire reference shelf in your pocket. With thousands of apps and the number growing every day, the challenge is not finding an app you can use. It’s keeping up with the array of choices now available.

Please feel free to contact us about technology solutions that are suitable for you and your team

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