The construction industry is facing a growing number of pressures. Tight deadlines and budgets and the need for better collaboration are just a few. Team members need the right technology to keep up to meet the scale of work and cooperation required.
Rugged tablets are proving to be the answer. Tablets streamline processes and communication, simplify approvals, and help construction industry professionals stay on top of high-stakes responsibilities in dangerous environments.
The Need for a Construction Tablet
In many ways, today’s construction industry pressures are not necessarily new. Team members have always had to communicate almost every day to meet tight deadlines and complete large-scale projects. They have had to undergo constant oversight and follow strict safety protocols while delivering thorough, error-free work to keep planned schedules moving.
But new factors are changing the construction industry and making the neat for fast-paced, everywhere collaboration an even more growing necessity. These factors include:
The construction industry is battling a worker shortage in many countries. According to the Home Builders Institute, in the United States, for example, the sector will need to employ 2.2 million more workers until at least 2024 to meet growing demand. A shortage of labor means those who do the work have to do more with less and improve productivity. New talent and workers will need new tools such as mobile devices instead of forcing them to use old methods of communication.
The increasing role of contract workers
Construction has involved tradespeople working in and out of projects according to a fixed sequence and schedule. To this mix, the industry recruits contract workers who might not always be trained on the latest safety protocols or other matters that are relevant to the specific project. Onsite training through a mobile tablet is essential to comply with worker safety laws and keep new workers updated.
To ensure smooth payroll management, management needs to accurately log workers’ hours and feed in timesheets at the right time. Those on the road need to access these systems instead of being forced to use a desktop machine. Rugged tablets help construction industry managers and workers attend to onsite administrative tasks.
Collaboration from everywhere
Construction management and workers need not always be on the same site, even if they are all working on the same project. Even if they are not onsite together, all stakeholders for a project need to collaborate and sign off on the same tasks and project deadlines. As a result, everyone on a project needs mobile access to reliable information in real-time.
How construction happens today is changing. 3D printing of homes is gaining some traction. Kit of parts construction, where parts of a unit are built offsite and assembled on-site, is also becoming a popular way of saving on labor costs and increasing efficiencies through modular design. In addition, the materials used for construction are themselves changing as the industry faces increasing pressures to move toward sustainability.
Processes like building information modeling (BIM) are becoming an integral part of the construction industry. They allow all project stakeholders to work together with the same plans and information from design to construction to government inspection and approvals. Accessing these data points on the job site is becoming increasingly necessary for construction teams.
What to Look for in a Construction Tablet
The industry needs rugged tablets for improved worker productivity on construction sites. The minimum requirements for these devices are that they need to be durable, fast, and reliable always. Here are additional features to find the best tablet for construction.
Some construction operations run around the clock, so the last thing a team needs is a low or dead battery. The best rugged tablets will be able to keep up with 24/7 projects with long-lasting battery life and other technical solutions to prevent interruptions on the job.
Tablet screens must also be easy to read and use all day, without harsh glare. Construction requires workers to be outside in all weather conditions, including bright and sunny days and stormy, overcast days. Screens need to be made from quality materials to clear the images without draining much-needed battery life.
Tablet sizes vary, but for onsite construction, a larger screen is often best so that workers can view details, get the complete picture, and discuss on-screen elements with others. Sometimes a smaller screen is sufficient, but It’s best to find the right balance between portability and visibility, which often falls under a 9×13 inch screen.
A rugged tablet alone isn’t the only item necessary for onsite work. Finding the safest and easiest ways to implement tablets into a construction environment is critical for any job. That’s where rugged accessories come in. Rugged tablet accessories like straps, styluses, stands, and others separate a construction tablet from consumer-grade off-the-shelf devices.
Tablets must withstand harsh weather, dusty environments, and extreme temperatures. If a worker drops a device while on a construction site or the wind stirs up dust regularly, well-designed hardware on a tablet can protect both the tablet and the data.
Other essential functions and features of a construction tablet might include:
- Connectivity capabilities that can use various ways of accessing the cloud
- Intuitive software and interface that plug and play well with existing legacy equipment
- A large amount of storage
- Enough RAM to process requests quickly and at scale and that can accommodate proprietary apps for easy access to necessary data while on the road
- A high-functioning operating system
Rugged Tech for Construction Businesses
Rugged tablets and devices can enable greater efficiency for any construction company, saving time and money. Beyond primary benefits, rugged tech is becoming an industry standard, making them more and more essential onsite. Using rugged tablets and other tech upgrades to increase your bottom line is the future of rugged businesses.