Simple and effective tools on the construction site
It is natural that in the hustle and bustle of work, tasks, and information overload, we tend to choose the simplest solutions we know that won’t require excessive effort. That’s how our brain operates, as it dislikes being overworked and seeks shortcuts. How can we translate this natural thinking model into effective action on the construction site?
An application like a Swiss Army knife?
We most often reach for solutions we know, which don’t surprise us with their operation and are simply predictable. Portability and handiness also matter. The right tool should be adapted to the shape of the hand (i.e., comfortable to use) and be within reach. If these two aspects are fulfilled, we can easily overlook other imperfections and flaws.
The above-mentioned features characterize a multitool, which has gained popularity as an essential tool. It’s worth having a multitool in the car, at home, or during camping. The functionality of this simple tool determines its usefulness in almost any conditions.
The concept of a multitool accompanied us during the design of the mobile application Hustro. Why? We were convinced that engineers and construction managers need a simple yet reliable tool that works without internet access, operates quickly on older, budget-friendly phones.
What functions do we have at our fingertips?
PLet’s look at the basic function, which is recording discrepancies. To effectively describe a discrepancy, three pieces of information are sufficient:
- Description of the discrepancy
- Photo or video documenting the state of the discrepancy at the time of detection
- Determination of the location – a point on the drawing
This activity takes about 30-60 seconds, and the discrepancy report is ready. Using these three incredibly simple but valuable functions significantly influences communication between the general contractor’s team and subcontractors.
And what if we wanted to add discrepancies that were recorded earlier? No problem. Just choose the ‘Add from Gallery’ function and select the appropriate photos. What about small elements that are hard to notice in a photo? In such a situation, it’s worth using the highlighting function, which allows us to draw attention to important details..
How to convey information?
Reporting a non-conformity is one thing, but how to effectively communicate and later enforce it? Simply use filters to select from the list the reports that interest us. These can be discrepancies related to a specific type of work, subcontractor, or registered in a particular location on the construction site. The selected reports can be sent by email in the form of a concise PDF report, including to users who do not have access to the Hustro system.
Such a report can serve as a list of issues for verification, documentation for the subcontractor, or an internal document for the general contractor’s team.
How to measure the effectiveness/efficiency of these tools?
I’ll use an example of one of Hustro’s clients, a general contractor specializing in volume construction, working on a housing estate project. In the pilot implementation of the application over a period of 6 months, the team recorded 2658 quality discrepancies. It’s worth noting that the application is used during construction and installation works, as well as during the acceptance of individual premises/apartments.
|Inspection Costs||The ‘traditional’ way||With Hustro|
|Number of Issues||2658||2658|
|Time of Report Registration||20 min.||1 min.|
|Total||892 h||45 h|
|Hourly Rate of Engineer||€ 15||€ 15|
|Engineer Labor Cost||€ 13,240.15||€ 667.87|
Based on the above calculation, it can be concluded that there is an opportunity for significant savings in the process of registering discrepancies alone. For the sake of simplicity and focusing on the most important functions, I omitted reporting, which also significantly increases efficiency. The example described shows that simple tools can have a really significant impact.
less time spent on registering the report
lower costs of engineering staff labor
Let’s talk about implementing the application in your company!
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