6 Ways Construction Companies Can Benefit From Custom Applications

The construction industry has always been mobile with field employees in transit at job sites or set up in trailers. Keeping the field and office teams in real-time collaboration is invaluable, especially if it means major cost savings to the company and client.

As construction companies look for ways to create efficiencies, many are favoring using mobile devices and using custom applications as a strategic move to embrace technology. According to the latest JBKnowledge Construction Technology Report, more than 80 percent of construction executives view mobile is “important” or “very important” to their operations.

Let’s take a closer look at six ways construction companies can benefit from using a custom application: 

1. Time and money savings. 

Keeping the entire team connected with the same information and using a common application means projects are more likely to be completed on time and on budget. When paper-based processes are digitized, the workflow is more efficient. Some of the processes that can be digitized include employee timesheets, purchase orders and job-related forms such as incident reports, pre- and post-job safety protocol, emergency action plans, and others.

2. A custom system built for your business.

Currently, many construction companies use off-the-shelf software products to help meet their various needs. Off-the-shelf mobile apps have the benefits of quick deployment and lower development costs. But it’s rare to find an off-the-shelf app that suits the exact needs of your company. When multiple needs are consolidated into one handy app that is customized for the business, it replaces the need for additional software products and training sessions. 

3. Real-time communications on the jobsite.

When information is stored in a centralized place, it allows for quicker response times. For example, a project manager can report construction errors immediately while building a system, which will then send automatic notifications to the person responsible for fixing the error. 

With purchase orders, if a change in the order is needed, the timing of the information being delivered can mean the difference between finishing a project or potentially losing a job. Verbal communication in change orders can be misinterpreted or incomplete, or details may be missed during communications. An app that can log and track purchase orders, get orders authorized, and push them to the appropriate departments is invaluable, especially when time is of the essence.

4. Comprehensive business data.

Gathering and sorting essential business data is easier than ever with an efficient application. For example, employers can track the materials purchased, equipment rented and mileage used on each job site. When all data is stored, it can be organized, analyzed and presented more effortlessly. 

5. Management can make calculated business decisions.

Automating the paper process allows executives to get a better insight into the workflow. From tracking employees’ locations in the field to time spent at a job site, adjustments in business rules can be made in a more calculated and strategic way. Executives can then use the collected data from connected devices to make faster and smarter strategic decisions.

6. Minimal training needed.

A good application should be engaging and easy to use. A software interface closely mirrors the current paper process is easier to adapt so there is minimal disruption in the workflow and a shorter learning curve for employees. That being said, before any new software is developed, it’s important to understand how tech-savvy are those who will be using the app, as the goal for having the app is to not disrupt the workflow or get in the way of an individual’s performance. 

Laser Etching Your Company Devices

Laser technology has been around since the 1900s. Used in industries from healthcare to manufacturing, it is among the most versatile inventions of modern times because of its precision. 

While we are not experts in all things laser, we do know a thing or two about laser etching on mobile devices. By blending the technical process of laser etching with a creative eye, we have transformed countless mobile devices from something out of the box to extraordinary. 

What is Laser Etching?

Laser etching is a laser-guided method that creates a detailed and precise imprint onto a hard material. It works best on coated metals, anodized aluminum and hard plastics. The strength and heat of the laser are determined based on the material it is cutting.

Why Businesses Opt for Laser Etching on Company Devices

  • Security and Tracking Businesses use laser etching to secure company devices by imprinting an ID number or company logo to deter theft. Particularly for enterprises with a large number of remote employees, marking company devices allows for easier identification and tracking. 
  • Brand Recognition – Putting your company logo and name on customer-facing products is the best way to build brand recognition. Using a branded device for a business function or as a business gift, are easy ways to keep your brand visible in the marketplace.

Laser Etching vs. Laser Engraving

Laser engraving is a different technique from laser etching. The main difference between the two is the depth of the marking. While both offer a permanent solution, laser engraving is not suitable to use on mobile devices. Here’s why:

During the laser etching process, the top layer of your material is vaporized, producing little to no depth but rather, a high-contrast marking. The depth of the mark doesn’t go any deeper than 0.001 inches, which is why it’s ideal for thinner materials.

Laser engraving, on the other hand, vaporizes some of the base material with cone shape indentation. Engraving works well for harder materials like wood, rubber, and acrylic. If laser engraving is done on a fragile material, like the back of a mobile phone or tablet, it can disfigure the device, or worse, ruin it entirely.

The Results

Laser etch is a great way to outfit your devices with a detailed and permanent impression of your brand. Here are some examples:

Secure your company devices by adding your company logo or a custom design using laser etch.
Secure your company devices by adding your company logo or a custom design using laser etch.
Laser etch is the process of using a laser beam to precisely cut an image or pattern into a hard material.
Laser etch is the process of using a laser beam to precisely cut an image or pattern into a hard material.
Custom laser etch on Otterbox Elevation 20 tumbler
Custom laser etch on Otterbox Elevation 20 tumbler

5 Myths About Custom Mobile Applications

Many businesses are enjoying the benefits of using a custom software solution, which can save the company time, money and resources. Good business software can effectively manage the day-to-day activities of a business. It can also collect data to provide analytical insight so management can make smarter business decisions.

Yet, there are still common misconceptions around custom applications that can deter businesses from going custom. Let’s debunk them:

Myth #1: Custom apps come with a high price tag.
Myth #2: Custom apps are only useful in niche markets.
Myth #3: Custom apps take too long to build.
Myth #4: Off-the-shelf apps are more convenient and easier to use.
Myth #5: Custom software does not integrate well with existing IT systems.

  • Myth #1: Custom apps come with a high price tag. 

Custom applications will cost more than off-the-shelf applications, but the same is true for any product or solution that is customized. The cost of a custom app depends largely on the desired features, the complexity of the design, back end complexity, and platform compatibility, among other factors.

For a custom option at a lower price point, FUSION OF IDEAS offers a Dynamic Content System, in which the app design is templated, but allows for custom fonts, colors, designs, and logo to fit your brand. 

FUSION OF IDEAS' Dynamic Content System is a simplified content application that can be customized to fit your business.
FUSION OF IDEAS’ Dynamic Content System is a simplified content application that can be customized to fit your business.

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  • Myth #2: Custom apps are only useful in niche markets.

Businesses in any industry can benefit from custom applications. Fortune 500 companies have seen an increase in revenue with custom software. This can also be the case for smaller, local businesses, and even startups. According to studies, business mobile apps have a higher conversion rate when compared to desktop or mobile websites. 

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  • Myth #3: Custom apps take too long to build.

The reality is, the amount of time required to build a business app depends on the requirements of the company. There are a variety of factors involved in building a great mobile app. Some companies need multiple functionalities to serve different business units, which adds to the development time. Understanding the steps to develop a custom app can ease any apprehension about the time it takes to build your custom software.

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  • Myth #4: Off-the-shelf apps are more convenient and easier to use. 

Off-the-shelf apps do not offer the two main benefits of a custom application: security and scalability. Let’s look at both.

First, custom software offers security for your business. Because a custom app is used by only one company and there is no public documentation to shed light on possible attack vectors, it’s more difficult for hackers to crack into your system. 

The second benefit is scalability. Off-the-shelf applications may be easier to use and faster to set up at first. But when your business grows in size, these apps may not be able to handle the load. When you build a custom application built solely for your business, updates can be made and the app can expand with your operations as it grows. 

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  • Myth #5: Custom software does not integrate well with existing IT systems.

The reality is actually the opposite. Rather than needing your system to fit a pre-developed software product, custom software is built to fit your existing IT ecosystem. A good app developer will provide a solution for app integration, which includes a private, secure and dedicated cloud or internal server. For seamless integration, have your API (application programming interface) accessible for the developer. 

Understanding Our App Development Process

Mobile applications are fundamentally transforming the way businesses are run. An effective mobile app can improve productivity and create efficiencies in your current operations. If you are thinking about building an app and figuring out how to get started is slowing down your decision, here’s some insight into our development process that might help.

With more than 300 applications under our belt, we work with businesses to develop custom mobile software solutions that are tailored to their specific needs. From simple systems to fully integrated software, our expertise lies in creating software customized for your business needs. All of our development is done in-house at the FUSION OF IDEAS headquarters in Orange County, Calif.

Check out this short video on the rigorous process we follow to ensure we deliver a build that meets your business and end users’ needs.

Ready, Set, MegaRun!

Known as the pinnacle driving lifestyle adventure, MEGARUN is an eight-day exclusive road rally adventure along the West Coast.

For the third year, FUSION OF IDEAS has developed the event’s exclusive app that is used by the event drivers. The app allows drivers to get real-time updates, view the daily schedule with route information and checkpoints, and see the locations of other drivers through an interactive map.

Targa Trophies first partnered with the FUSION OF IDEAS in 2014 with the goal to move away from paper road maps and schedules to a fully digital experience. This ultimately changed the way participants interacted with the event.

Each year, the app is updated with a new look and new features that are tailored to the event.

MEGARUN’s nine-city tour kicks off Friday, May 31, in Las Vegas and finishes on Saturday, June 8, in Seattle. The MEGARUN formula circles around bringing together the best cars, people, driving roads and adventure destinations into an event experience.

Get a sneak peek of this year’s exclusive app in the video below, and follow along on the tour through Instagram.