Managing the construction process is no easy feat. Using a construction communication software can help you save time and money. Here's how!
Managing the construction process is no easy feat and often times, communication is often one of the most challenging pieces of the entire project. Just taking a look at some of the statistics that come along with ineffective construction communication software can prove that fact:
Since each of these numbers can be improved with effective communication, many companies use conversation tools to get their teams working as efficiently as possible. Some of the most common communication tools in the construction industry include:
- Huddles — Construction huddles are meetings that take place on the job site before work begins. They're often used as a time to share details, updates, and more about the work day’s tasks. One downside is they’re time-consuming, causing them to take away from actual task completion.
- Whiteboards — This is a simple but surprisingly effective communication tool. It involves placing a whiteboard where everyone can see it, and writing important information on it from time to time. Unfortunately, there’s no way to guarantee employees and subcontractor teams will actually read the words you write.
- Sync meetings — These include daily, weekly, or monthly meetings with pre-made lists of topics to cover. You’ll want to make sure all the core project stakeholders are available, and each session will take a bit of prep beforehand.
- Text messaging — Text messages reach anyone, anywhere. Plus, almost everyone has a smartphone, making it a super simple way to communicate with your workers. It can feel too personal to some, though, and it can be challenging to store information that’s sent in this fashion.
One tool that is often more beneficial than the options listed above is construction communication software. You might wonder what that is...and you are not alone. Essentially, construction communication software provides a place for project communication and collaboration—an organized space for you and your team to centralize communications happening in silos, over personal text with subs, vendors, and other project participants. A good “workplace” app also provides tools that help you follow up on, distribute, and create a record of important things sent over various communication channels today. This technology is designed specifically for workplace communication, and some options are even tailor directly to the building industry.
Some main benefits of communication software include:
- Unified records
- Decision making
- And more
This list is just the beginning of the benefits that can come from construction communication software. We’ll break down the details and further improvements in the post below:
Communication Software 101
Communication software is exactly what it sounds like — a type of technology that allows people to converse electronically. It may seem like another version for text message or email at first, but it’s actually designed to do much more.
To start, communication software typically comes in the form of a smartphone or tablet app. In the building field, it can be found in the form of construction apps. It’s also specifically made for workplace communication.
To enhance this feature, many communication softwares will come with the ability to save message chains, as well as a place to store important documentation like photos, contracts, invoices, and more.
Communication software organizes talk at work. It takes all of the conversations that were previously happening in various places, and pulls them into one shared space.
For example, on the average day at work, you might:
- Email a supplier to check on your next project’s delivery date and status
- Text your subcontractor team lead to make sure they’ll be there the next morning
- Text your employee who is currently performing a bathroom remodel, just to check in on how the job is going
- Receive before and after pictures from your super — and then download and store these photos after sending them onto the home owner to show progress
- Respond to a prospective customer’s text to coordinate a meeting to talk through their upcoming project
This exhausting list is just a few of the conversations you might have each day at work. And each of these conversations may produce tasks, may need to be passed onto others, or may need response at a later time. And without a place to bring them all together, and tools to keep all the balls in the air while also moving forward, you’re likely spending a ton of time searching for these communications later, or even worse, dropping balls along the way. This is where communication software comes in, bringing each of these talks to a common, easy to find, easy to use space where your team and other project members can participate.
One of the most essential pieces of communication software is the ability to go directly to smartphones. This is most important with your project participants. The technology allows for project participants and employees to be reached anytime, anywhere, without having to use personal text message chains.
The lack of texts helps create an expectation for professional communication. Some apps still provide the opportunity to pull text messages into the system. This is to ensure they can still function fully if a few subcontractors or other project participants don’t agree with downloading a new work app on their phone — or if they belong the small percentage of the population who don’t own smartphones.
How Can Communication Software Support the Construction Industry?
Communication software in the construction industry is very versatile, so it supports projects in many different ways. It can be used in work with employees, subcontractor teams, clients, and suppliers, just to name a few.
We’ll look into the details of how they can support each of these relationships and the conversations within below:
Construction Communication Apps with Clients
With clients, these apps can be helpful as many clients want and expect to be able to communicate with you via text message. Whether they download the app or not, they will be able to ask for updates, requests, and see progress in their preferred medium–chat, and you’ll be able to have those conversations recorded, organized, and in a place where you can provide easy access for anyone on your team. This can be extremely helpful for many reasons:
First, you’ll have a record of those conversations if disputes arise.
Second, you can add others from your team to the channel on Rivet so even if they’re not responding to the homeowner, they can see what they’re asking for and help make sure it gets done.
Finally, workplace communication apps should allow you to make messages actionable, so you don’t have to take the time to create a task in another app. You can simply turn it into something trackable, and assignable.
Construction Communication Software with Suppliers
Using apps for supplier communication can work the same way — as a space to store important details throughout each project you complete. You might want to save:
- Material delivery dates for your convenience
- Quotes for customer pricing
- Invoices and receipts for tax time
- And more
Construction communication apps ensure each detail is kept secure in a single space that is easy to use.
Construction Communication Apps with Workers
Construction project participant communication is where the biggest benefits of construction communication software come in. And if you’re ready to introduce an employee communication app to your company, there’s a good chance your employees have been anticipating this change. This is shown through real-life data in the table below:
Why are employees interested in construction communication software? Because it makes their day-to-day tasks simpler, just as smartphones have made other parts of their lives easier than before. Here are some of the best employee communication app benefits project participants can look forward to with the introduction of this supportive technology:
- Construction communication software can host several conversations at once — In the construction field, there are tons of conversations happening each day. Every one of these talks is essential to job success. Construction communication softwares allow you to hold all these conversations in the same place, so you don’t have to go back and forth between office phone, cell phone calls, emails, and texts all day. You will no longer wonder which platform each of your clients, subcontractor team, and supplier belongs to, because they’ll all be accessed in one simple space.
- It can organize conversations by client or other groups — Along with bringing conversations together, these apps often keep them organized. You may use features that group talks by person or project, making your information easier to find yet again.
- It builds a team-like atmosphere — When everyone is connected, it’s easier to form relationships and boost morale. Group threads may give opportunities to share motivational messages, and the ability to speak electronically to any project participant can keep the workplace healthy for all involved.
- It connects office to job site with ease — There is a lot of important information in construction projects, both at the office and on the job site. Construction communication software ensures these two places can communicate quickly and efficiently, so no important information gets left behind.
These benefits are easy to take advantage of, because almost every person on your projects already brings a smartphone to work each day. The following statistics on mobile devices at work make that clear:
- 87% of businesses already require workers to have work-related apps on their personal devices — this shows the change won’t be a shock to your project participants. It's a common practice and is where the technology of our world is taking us.
- 97% of American people own a cell phone, and 85% own a smartphone — there’s a good chance your workers already have the technology they need to work these softwares.
- 90% of time spent on smartphones is within apps — asking your team to learn a new software is no big deal, as they already put multiple other programs in the same exact format to use each day.
- 75% of people say their most common smartphone activity is checking their email — they’re already used to using their phones for work-related purposes.
These statistics show workers already own smartphones, and they already bring them to work each day. They know how to download and use apps, and they don’t mind using their phones for work-related tasks.
Even though change can feel difficult at first, implementing a construction communication software is as simple as it is beneficial.
Features to Look For in Construction Communication Software
Many communication tools exist on the market today, and it’s important to find the one that is the best fit for your specific business. Below are a few features and characteristics you probably won’t want to miss:
- Easy to use — The number one most essential feature to find in your construction communication app is simplicity. You want to make the process easy, not difficult, for your project participants. If they see the change is simple at first glance, they’re much more likely to be motivated to learn its features and put it to use every work day to come.
- Accessible to all employees — Communication tools are meaningless if they can’t include every member of your team. Be sure to choose an inclusive app, such as one designed for use at all company levels, or even one that offers translation abilities, so everyone working on your project can access the system with ease.
- Well-organized — Communication softwares are great for talking, but the best ones can organize and store that information after it’s shared. Choosing an app well organized gives you more value for the money you spend, and saves you time in each work day, as you won’t be left searching threads for missing details daily.
- Meaningful features — Your construction communication software doesn’t have to do everything, but it should offer much more than texting or emailing. It should include a few helpful features for your team's benefit. Some common features include schedule sharing, workplace check-ins, and more.
- Designed specifically for the construction space — All communication softwares can be used in the construction industry, but the ones specifically designed for the field tend to stand out. They know the pieces of each project you complete, the people involved in every step, and more. They make things easier, which is likely why you started looking for this type of technology in the first place.
At Rivet, our mission is to help improve communication and coordinate with project participants, so everyone can save time and get home earlier. Here are some features you can leverage for success, both on and off the job site:
- Simply constructed — We understand the complexity of your construction projects. We designed Rivet so it's easy to use and so that your project participants aren’t left with another complex, detail-filled software to learn in their time at home.
- Inclusive and accessible — Rivet is designed for every member of the construction field — one of the most diverse industries of work in our world today. Our app offers the ability to translate incoming messages to any language, as well as the ability to send outgoing messages in Spanish or English. Soon, it’ll be able to translate outgoing messages to other languages, ensuring every member of your team can communicate in the language that feels best for them.
- Organized — Rivet offers the ability to organize communications by client or project, making every message easy to find. It pulls text messages into the system, so you can save talks from employees who haven’t yet installed the app on their device. It also has a space to store important documents, like invoices, and before and after photos, leaving everyone accessible in one simple space.
- Supportive features — Rivet also has features to support your entire team. For example, it has the ability to show you who is on site at all times, so you can ensure work is done without disrupting the flow of the work day. This can also be helpful if a client has a question about the work occurring in their home. For other features, Rivet includes scheduling features, an option to add tasks to be completed, and more — with each feature seamlessly blending into the app-based conversations you create.
- Designed for the construction space — Our users have been using Rivet in their construction projects to communicate effectively with all their project participants. And we’re looking to continue helping you organize information all in one place.
If you’re ready to give Rivet a try, feel free to contact us or download our app today. We can work alongside your construction management software, too. Our FAQ page is filled with commonly asked questions, and we have a number of videos to support you as you learn the software, too:
- Organize convos by project
- Create project hub
- Schedule people, events, and more
- Manage daily to-do’s (Construction daily report apps)
- Jobsite check-ins
- Shared directory
Rivet has been used by countless companies, making a difference in teams of all types. Past software users even state they were able to build a strong team with strong communication, thanks to the features the app provides.
And at Rivet, we’re here to make your work days simpler with smooth, well-organized, and accessible communication. We’d be more than happy to help you get this construction communication software up and running for your team today.