Beyond Messaging Apps: Securing Payments with a Construction Site Diary App for Subcontractors
It’s hard to make yourself heard over the roar of an excavator, and even harder across the kilometres between the sites where your teams are working. Many businesses try to use messaging apps to keep everyone in touch, but there are big limitations in what these apps can do. A lot of information needs to be exchanged while doing the work, and then even more when reporting to clients on the work done in order to be paid.
Subcontractors in construction need a communication system that is up to the job of maintaining records for compliance and keeping everyone in the loop. In this blog, we will explore what your business is missing out on if it is relying on messaging apps, and how a purpose-built construction site diary app, as part of a fit-for-purpose construction software, can improve your team’s productivity, and ensure that your invoices get paid.
Details matter on a construction site. From the timing of a delivery to the location of a hole, it is important to record every step of the working day.
Some businesses use messaging apps and text messages to share on-site information, but the limitations of messaging apps mean that messages can become confused, or lose context between processes and projects. Using messaging apps means juggling multiple projects in different messaging groups, the risk of details on project A becoming mixed up with what is happening on projects B and C. Using messenger apps makes it hard to keep track of precious information or find it when needed.
On-site, walkie-talkies give the immediacy of verbal communication and are great for sharing messages between those who are holding the ‘talkies’ at the time. However with no record of what was said, or when, the information now relies upon the memory of the people involved.
Organising project information into a digital site diary, in an app where site diary entries can added to by either a supervisor or fieldworker, means that information is filed in context. And the information is available for the whole team and is recorded for future reference.
Different types of information
‘A picture tells a thousand words’ is the saying, and a photo of an excavation or installation communicates the situation in ways that a text message could never hope to achieve.
A digital construction site diary app can collect information in a number of formats including photos, annotated PDFs, and text.
All digital site diary entries are logged within the project so that the right information is ready on hand for project management, reporting, and customer invoicing. Everyone who needs to know what is happening can see the information, so there are no missing links in the communication chain.
Easy access to the facts, when you need them
Having easy access to information for a project can be vital for its success, and for you to get paid on time. Having a disparate record of facts spread over a stream of posts in Whatsapp chats can increase the risk of mistakes and omissions and not being able to quickly access what you need to get paid when a payment dispute comes up.
Using a construction site diary app that is part of a construction software specifically for subcontractors helps build your business's solid foundation for growth. A construction digital site diary app will collect and collate project information in context to the project, automatically date and time stamp the entry, and be visible by the whole team in real-time which makes it so easy to know what happened on site.
Show me the work, I’ll show you the money
Creating a report on work done is time-consuming and hard to achieve when information is sprinkled across emails, texts, and messaging apps. When the team uses a construction site diary app on their phone or tablet to record information as it happens – from photos of each stage to PDFs of delivery notes confirming receipt of delivery of materials – all the information is stored in the company system, ready for management to reference in reporting and invoicing.
The introduction of the Security of Payments Act helps subcontractor businesses to get paid for their work. However, the Act still requires proof of work to support a payment claim. Collecting evidence of completion and compliance is made easier when the whole team uses a digital construction site diary to record project information.
Part of the bigger picture
A construction site diary app is an important tool of work but it's only part of the business system. Information collected in the construction site diary is needed in payroll, inventory, bookkeeping, WHS, and other information systems.
The best construction site diary management software is one that is part of a bigger construction software and can also integrate with the other business systems; is easy to use and easy to get started – by the admin team, the supervisor team, and the field worker team.
Getting started with the new construction site diary system needs to be quick and easy. The new system needs to support the familiar business workflow, but make it more time and cost-efficient. The savings it creates in money, time, risk, and headaches will be many multiples of the cost to implement. Where messenger apps can make it easy to share a meme or a bad joke, a construction site management app makes it easy to share, collect, and use business information with the team, and find it again when needed.
Explore the Neo Intelligence construction site diary to test the differences between it and a messenger app, for day-to-day work and for reporting. Contact our team today to book a demonstration.