The construction industry — long known as slow adapters of technology — is catching up at 5G speeds. And with that has come a slew of companies providing new ways to propel the industry forward.
Here’s our annual list of the best of the best for 2019:
This estimating and invoicing app allows users to draw up quotes and invoices in minutes, saving you time and money. It supports multiple users and produces professional-looking invoices while cutting down on paperwork.
Timesheet Mobile makes the annual list once again because the app stays ahead of the curve. The time-clock app suits construction firms that employ a highly mobile workforce. The app is constantly being improved. The changes for 2018 include group messaging, a punch-out checklist, geofencing, job-costing reports, multiple pay rates and task-time reports.
The 2018 startup company has hit the market with a mixed-reality app that brings the power of BIM onto the jobsite. The app lets users see how a model fits with real-world conditions. VisualLive allows users to visualize and work with your designs live and in real time.
OK, so Concept 3D isn’t an app per se, but it’s too useful to not make this list. With a desktop version that also can be used on a phone or tablet, the 3D mapping software allows users to make interactive virtual experiences that feel as real as being there. In the real construction world, it gives workers in the field the ability to show off projects through virtual tours and even virtual reality.
DroneDeploy made the top-apps list last year for the first time and makes another appearance this year because of its popularity and usefulness. Imagine showing up for work on Monday and your drone is waiting for you, having already completed its automated site-safety check flight, gathered data on your project’s progress and assessed the work you need to do to stay on track.
Autodesk is a mainstay on this list and offers a full line of powerful apps and software for architects, engineers and basically anyone in the construction industry. Autodesk offers integrated BIM tools for building design, civil infrastructure and construction. One of its most popular toolsets — AutoCAD — has been around for 20 years and helps its users build and design things faster and smarter.
Remember the days when blueprints were often scattered across desks or blowing away in the field? Those days are long gone thanks to PlanGrid, which allows users to carry their blueprints in their pocket on a phone or tablet. PlanGrid, which was recently purchased by fellow top app producer Autodesk, has made the top-apps list every year and 2019 is no different. The app delivers productivity and allows GCs, subs and owners to collaborate from anywhere on project plans, specs and photos.
Consisting of bid-management systems, the preconstruction app simplifies bidding for prime, commercial and residential GCs. With SmartBid, users can access a secure web-based and mobile platform to streamline their bid project data, documents and subcontractor communications.
Contractor Foreman, which starts at $16 a month, makes the list again with an app that offers features such as estimating, daily logs, punch lists, timecards, safety-meeting topics, payment and expense tracking and invoicing. The app was recently named a Top New Product by Construutech.com and was the App of the Week on ForConstructionPros.com. New for 2019 is the addition of QuickBooks online integration and a scheduling system.
Fieldwire is used on 300,000 jobsites around the world and continues to grow with its simple interface for plan views, task management, punch-list compilation, instant messaging and performance tracking. The transparent pricing starting at $29 a month per user is also a welcomed feature.
ProjectManager makes the list for the second year in a row on the strength of an easy-to-use interface for task management, project plans and timesheets, all of which can be updated remotely. It also contains an easy-to-read dashboard that keeps project updates at your fingertips.
With worker safety more important than ever, the next three apps are good to have in your pocket. WorkerSafety Pro is available for iPhones and Apple Watches and includes some excellent features. It, for instance, will notify emergency contacts when a fall is detected and includes a safety dashboard with centralized monitoring and daily start-up reminders to ensure worker protection.
This app is designed for all construction trades and puts hundreds of safety-meeting topics at your fingertips. It can document required OSHA safety meetings and store current and past meetings electronically. It also offers an incident-report checklist and, best of all, meets OSHA’s required meeting laws.
This app allows users to conduct workplace-safety inspections and create inspections on their own mobile device. It also allows users to inspect workplaces, add photos, access saved inspections and upload completed inspections to the cloud.
This app was designed by a general contractor for general contractors. From connecting with clients to ensuring employees know exactly what they’re working on, the app will streamline your processes and keep you from spending hours on paperwork.
DeWalt, the maker of power tools, has also built a powerful construction calculator. Mobile Pro is an all-in-one calculator system with templates for area, length, volume, stud estimations, concrete tabs and more. It also offers add-ons for trades such as carpentry, finish work, electrical work and much more.
Procore offers a range of software for project management, safety, productivity and financials. Its products are designed to streamline processes and it has around 2 million users.
Fieldlens touts itself as allowing you to ditch the notepad, but it’s more than that. The handy app allows users to communicate in real time on projects and collaborate through photos to find and deal with problems quicker. It also integrates directly with your project management or ERP system.
BIMx bridges the gap between the design studio and the construction site. The app offers a Hyper-model feature that gives users direct access to drawings and 3D building models. It allows you to take your designs everywhere while also keeping your team in constant communication.