Executive ReportS

Why Mobile Capabilities Should Be Your #1 Priority

Mobile devices have fundamentally changed how we live, work and communicate, setting new expectations—and creating important new opportunities—for the construction industry. When you consider that 81% of U.S. adults now own smart phones,* and that many of them use those devices to conduct some form of business, it’s clear that mobile communication is the shape of things to come—and well worth the attention of business decision-makers.

As a whole, the construction industry hasn’t often led the charge in adopting emerging technology platforms, and strategic, company-wide mobile access is no exception. Yet, few other business sectors have as much to gain from the benefits of this purpose-driven “on-the-go” technology. Remote work sites, multiple teams and projects in constant flux define our work environment, which makes internet-connected mobile devices a natural fit for every construction professional—from field personnel to back office business specialists.

Estimating and project management is a case in point. Preparing and submitting a bid, then managing the many complex processes that follow once a job is awarded, requires the coordinated efforts of multiple employees in various locations. The more connected and collaborative those people can be—accessing and sharing the same information throughout the life of the project—the better the business outcome.

Today’s mobile devices are remarkable tools, offering the kind of advanced capabilities that can—and should—be leveraged for competitive advantage. In this Executive Insight report, we’ll take a closer look at how smartphones, tablets and other wireless communication devices are delivering important business benefits to construction companies of all sizes, and why it’s essential to make mobile capabilities your #1 business priority.

I hope you find it of value.

Jeff Gerardi

Jeff Gerardi

President & CEO

Mobile Capabilities Can Increase Employment Engagement


Employees who are actively engaged in and committed to their work are crucial to any company’s success, and people who work in the construction profession are no exception. Engaged employees feel a fundamental connection to their companies, and are more likely to excel at assigned tasks and meet the expectations of the business. Not surprisingly, a robust mobile platform can be a powerful means to foster that connection and enhance engagement, especially in the case of team members who are routinely on the road or work remotely.

Employee engagement and responsiveness improve when remote work is enabled by a mobile platform

It’s important to note the difference between “availability” and “engagement.” The responsiveness of employees who work outside of the office is increased when they have the means to communicate. They are more available to answer emails, make decisions and complete tasks without being tied to a specific location or time of day—which means productivity can be maintained. But research shows that real engagement comes from another source: collaboration. A recent study found that just the idea of working collectively can enhance commitment and overall performance. A mobile platform that provides “always on” access for project stakeholders can make real-time collaboration among individuals and teams a daily reality, increasing employee engagement, motivation, enjoyment and ownership of outcomes.

HOW PROEST CAN HELP

Our web-based estimating platform is available to users 24/7/365 from any mobile device with an internet connection, encouraging employee collaboration and contributions even outside of the office.

Mobile Capabilities Can Improve Team Collaboration


Now more than ever, it’s essential that employees work as “one team,” from the outset of a project until the very last numbers come in. That means having a level of connectivity and collaboration among stakeholders that only a mobile-enabled platform can provide. A web-based construction estimating solution accessible by mobile devices breaks down the barriers and facilitates stakeholder communication, giving teams a new ability to share information and coordinate tasks in real-time—the foundation for effective collaboration.

An increasingly mobile workforce needs a reliable way to connect, communicate, collaborate and contribute

Why is that important? It’s clear that when people are collaborating effectively, openly sharing information and able to communicate seamlessly, individual performance levels can rise dramatically, and outcomes can improve. Because cloud construction estimating and management systems are accessible from mobile devices anytime and anywhere, a workforce that’s increasingly mobile has a new ability to connect, communicate, collaborate and contribute.

HOW PROEST CAN HELP

Our estimating software is designed to facilitate collaboration with a cloud-based platform that gives mobilized field teams real-time access to a central source of project data.

Mobile Capabilities Can Maintain Efficient Workflow


A project that flows seamlessly from one phase to the next—without bottlenecks or unexpected delays—is the best-case scenario for any construction company, helping to ensure that projects stay on time and on budget. Many of them run multiple jobs in different locations far from the home office; all of them count on disparate teams, working on a variety of tasks, to work as a collaborative whole. But as challenging as those scenarios may be, mobile technology that lets teams and individuals stay informed and connected minimizes communication issues and allows projects to stay on track.

Mobile technology delivers unlimited access to data, supporting collaboration and streamlining key processes

The key is a web-based project estimating and management platform that serves as a centralized hub of information, available 24/7/365 and accessible by any mobile device with an internet connection. By leveraging “always on” cloud technology, not only can teams communicate with each other whenever and wherever they need to, they have greater visibility into projects as a whole. Having an overarching, big-picture understanding of project goals, processes and expectations is the best way for employees to work efficiently and facilitate workflow.

HOW PROEST CAN HELP
Our estimating solution was designed to integrate with web-based accounting and project management solutions, offering end-to-end visibility and control for remote users.

Mobile Capabilities Can Reduce Infrastructure Costs


Most contractors know from experience that the construction industry demands that companies do “more with less”—achieving greater productivity, better results and higher profits with ever-leaner capital and human resources. And while construction companies are still very much rooted in a brick-and-mortar world, reducing a reliance on expensive infrastructure can have positive impacts on the bottom line. That’s where the value of a mobile estimating platform comes in. Augmenting traditional fixed phone lines and other traditional business equipment with portable mobile devices that connect in the cloud can make a substantial difference in monthly overhead and equipment costs. Less infrastructure means lower upfront capital investment; coupled with fewer demands on IT for maintenance, repairs and upgrades, the savings can be significant. With a web-based solution, estimating efficiency increases while equipment costs go down.

The widespread use of mobile devices for business purposes is an effective way to reduce capital costs

In fact, many companies embrace a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scenario for their employees, pointing to a minimal investment in equipment and a decrease in ongoing service costs as important business benefits. With a BYOD program on an enterprise wireless network, construction companies can transfer some or all of the equipment and operating costs and other associated expenses to employees, who willingly take on the responsibility of maintenance and upkeep in exchange for familiarity and convenience. In addition, when mobile devices connect to a cloud-based estimating and construction management system, onsite infrastructure requirements and IT intervention are reduced even further.

HOW PROEST CAN HELP

Our hosted off-site estimating solution significantly reduces costly equipment and infrastructure requirements, all while offering unlimited on-demand access for mobile users.

Mobile Capabilities Can minimize Disruption


Recent global events have shown us that the potential for business disruption is very real, and most of us have firsthand experience with the power of mobile devices to keep us connected and productive under even the most challenging conditions. Increasingly, Business Continuity (BC) plans rely on the ability to communicate via voice, text, video chat, IM and email from remote and widespread locations; mobile devices and internet connectivity, not traditional landlines, make minimal disruption possible.

Business continuity measures depend on a company’s ability to communicate via mobile devices

Construction companies with a mobile estimating platform in place have made it possible for many key employees to work remotely, enabling individuals and teams to perform estimating, takeoffs and other preconstruction management tasks, collaborate on key decisions and maintain essential workflows without interruption. Because mobile phones and devices have ready access to the Internet, users can retrieve and share vital information that would otherwise be unavailable. Web-based access to a centralized source of data via mobile devices enables key processes and business productivity to be ongoing—a clear competitive advantage over those companies that must rely exclusively on onsite work and interaction.

HOW PROEST CAN HELP

Our centralized estimating platform supports remote work by an unlimited number of users, minimizing the disruption of failed on-site systems or environmental hazards.

Mobile Capabilities Can Attract The Best Talent


Millennials are well-known for their willingness to adopt and use technology, but in the case of mobile devices, they’re not alone. Even older generations—particularly Gen Xers and Baby Boomers—own and use smart phones on a daily basis, considering them an indispensable part of a contemporary workstyle. As companies compete to procure the best available talent, they must be in a position to offer candidates the most appealing professional environment possible—and mobility is increasingly part of the equation.

Offering job prospects a mobilized work environment can help secure the best available talent

First and foremost, a mobilized work environment offers the kind of flexibility and freedom that many prospective employees value most—all without compromising the ability to be efficient, productive and profitable. That’s a win all around: job candidates can see that their wants and expectations as employees will be met, while employers get the people they need to move the business forward. Immediacy and on-demand access via mobility are concepts that work for employers and employees alike.

Companies that are looking to hire may also find that the most desirable talent isn’t necessarily local, and therefore unavailable to work onsite on a regular basis. With inter net-enabled estimating and project management tools, construction companies can take ad vantage of the best available skills no matter where the employees are located. In a very real way, mobile technology helps companies expand their reach by bringing the work to the workers, an idea that sets the most forward-thinking construction companies apart.

HOW PROEST CAN HELP

Our web-based estimating platform gives construction companies an edge in their efforts to attract tech-savvy talent that values the flexibility of a mobile workstyle.

Mobile Capabilities Can Create A Human-Centric Culture


For employees of all ages, the ability to work independently—and often remotely—is an important part of working in a human-centric business culture. The most progressive construction companies have begun to recognize that mobile workers are often happier and more productive than those who are strapped to a desk, especially when there is no clear reason to do so. Evidence suggests that the freedom and flexibility of mobile work translates into employees who are more efficient, a workspace that’s more dynamic, and ultimately, a better bottom line.

Mobility gives workers a new opportunity to function independently and perform at a higher level

We’ve already seen that mobile capabilities can help your company attract and hire the best talent; creating an authentically human-centric business culture will help you keep them. That’s important for a number of reasons. First, as noted, happy employees are productive employees, more likely to go the extra mile and perform at the highest possible level. Equally true is the fact that employees who are loyal to your company and committed to their jobs are a far better long-term investment than workers who come and go, taking their accumulated experience, knowledge and skill sets with them.

Companies that create an authentically human-centric business environment recognize that everyone on the payroll has demands on their time outside of the office. When employees are able to work from home or other off-site locations via mobile devices connected to the internet, they can better balance their lives and manage their time—taking care of family members and other obligations while meeting the needs of the business.

HOW PROEST CAN HELP

Our mobile-friendly estimating platform can help construction companies retain and reward valuable employees who are seeking a life/work balance.

Mobile Capabilities Can Prepare You For The Future Of Work


As we’ve seen, the ownership and use of mobile devices in the United States and around the world has grown exponentially in the last few years—eclipsing other influential technology developments many times over. Even more important for decision-makers is the fact that mobile technology as a business and lifestyle choice is here to stay, defining the current business environment and maintaining a powerful growth trajectory far into the future.
Embracing a robust mobile platform today is crucial for competitive success in the future

What does that mean for construction companies specifically? For those that have begun the transition to mobile estimating and project management solutions, the news is good: you will be well-positioned to attract talent, streamline processes, minimize business disruption and control infrastructure costs. Moreover, your commitment to enhanced mobile capabilities over time will continue to increase your competitive advantage and improve bottom line business results. For companies with limited mobile capabilities, on the other hand, the need to make a substantive shift is more urgent. There is little question that the future of work in the construction field will be fundamentally technology-driven, and that mobile platforms will be an essential part of every business environment.

Last, but certainly not least, mobile capabilities and remote access to estimating and management systems support even the most aggressive growth goals, offering construction companies a new ability to scale the business without the cost and complexities of adding infrastructure.

HOW PROEST CAN HELP

Our scalable cloud-based estimating software was designed to meet the needs of construc tion professionals today and tomorrow, supporting unlimited future growth and expansion.

Conclusion

To say that mobility has created a new business reality for contractors, their partners and their employees is no exaggeration. Increasingly, the construction industry will rely on wireless, on-demand devices—connected to a powerful cloud platform—to meet client expectations and accomplish business goals, both on remote job sites and in the office. Construction companies with robust mobile capabilities that connect people, data and projects seamlessly will win the day; those that fail to embrace mobility as a core business idea will almost certainly fall behind. That’s reason enough to enhance your company’s mobile capabilities, or create a robust and scalable mobile platform from the ground up.

ProEst was a pioneer of web-based estimating and preconstruction management, introducing the ProEst cloud platform in 2015. Accessible from mobile devices anytime and anywhere, our cloud estimating platform gives today’s mobile workforce an unprecedented ability to complete tasks, communicate effectively and share information in real-time. Today, ProEst provides advanced construction estimating capabilities for leading companies and public sector clients in the United States, Canada and Australia. Our cloud-based platform combines cost estimating, digital takeoffs and bid day analysis in a single powerful solution—a proven way to reduce costs, ensure accuracy and streamline pre-construction workflow.

About ProEst

ProEst provides advanced construction estimating capabilities for leading companies and public sector clients in the United States, Canada and Australia. Our cloud-based platform combines cost estimating, digital takeoffs and bid day analysis in a single powerful solution— a proven way to reduce costs, ensure accuracy and streamline pre-construction workflow.
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