How to use a Digital Site Diary in a Subcontracting Business
There is a lot happening on a work site, and one way to keep the facts separate from the fiction is to use a construction site diary. More than just an app to record a few details, effective and easy-to-use site diary software used throughout the day can save a subcontracting business time and money.
A construction site diary via a mobile app to capture relevant information throughout the day on site keeps a consistent log of what has happened, by whom, to be used for a range of purposes. No more worries about a paper, handwritten diary being lost, left in the wrong truck so no notes are kept for that day. No more trawling through emails or Whatsapp messages looking for the info you need on a job. A digital site diary means all the information is kept in the one place, filed against the right job - ready for when you need it.
A digital site diary has multimedia capabilities to capture images, and handwritten updates to project plans all in the one place. Take a photo of that glorious reo before the concrete pour starts, or snap a pic of the delivery as it was made to show the supplier the split boxes. Capturing the ins and outs of site life as they happen means that nothing slips through the cracks and evidence of the working day is ready when you need it.
- Communication with the client – easily share information to the client about the day’s or week’s progress so keep them up to date.
- Compliance - have photographic and other evidence that your team has met all compliance requirements, ready to show the relevant authority
- Managing staff – know who on your team was responsible for what, and how it went, with photos of their work, ready to either teach them how to improve or to shower them with compliments for excellent work done
Risky business of not using a mobile site diary
Projects that don’t use an effective site diary are missing information. At the end of the long busy working day, any construction manager is going to forget the little things to record into a manual diary. How many boxes were delivered to site this morning? “I reckon it was six or seven” is not the same information as a specific record of the seven and a half boxes delivered at 9.32am to the east gate, and the half box was open and 13 tiles are cracked – with a photo of the broken gear recorded and ready to email to the supplier to get more stock from the same batch STAT.
With reporting requirements only going to increase, having a construction site diary app in a pocket that is quick and easy to use makes simple work of having the evidence that you need on hand, ready to share with clients, certifiers and other stakeholders.
When times get tricky, such as in disputes or when compliance questions are being raised, the more evidence of work done the better. Having the images, signatures to change orders or other details recorded means that one business can easily defend its work, versus having to negotiate the crafty re-telling of the truth by another business. Exporting information from the site diary into a PDF makes it easy to share with clients and certifiers alike, leaving no doubt over who did what on-site.
A digital site diary saves the information in the cloud where it is safe from being lost, damaged or thrown away with the lunch wrappings. An effective site diary is accessible from multiple devices – for example, collecting information using the site diary app via a mobile phone or tablet on site, then creating the report at the desktop computer where a full size keyboard and mouse makes document creation quick and easy. It's even better when the site diary app is part of a wider digital construction operations management system.
How to use a site diary app effectively
Getting started with a digital construction site diary should be simple, with easy to use tools that are intuitive and just make sense. If it's taking a lot of time to train and make staff familiar with using the site diary, then the software is not the right one. Busy subbies need to get on with the job, and an effective site diary is one that slides right into the usual workflow on site but just makes it easier to record activity and keep full records.
Build using a site diary into the standard way of doing work. Treat it like the cool kids on Insta, wanting to snap pics of every meal to share with their ‘followers’. A digital site diary is an additional member of the team that has photographic memory and no bad habits to bear on site, so include it in every activity to collect a full record of the day’s happenings.
The costs of using a digital site diary app
Subcontractors need a shorter list of functions for their management software than a big head contractor, and certainly don’t need to overpay for a huge construction management system with features they won’t use. A construction management operations system purpose built for subcontractors will include a digital site diary and other tools such as drag-and-drop project calendars to schedule and manage your team, digital timesheets, integrated payroll engines, and plant and document registers to provide subbies with what they need to improve their productivity and profitability.
Want to find out more? You can explore the success stories of fellow subcontractors that use Neo Intelligence for their digital site diary by reading our Client Success Stories here.
Or you can Request a demo with our team today to discover how Neo Intelligence can streamline your project scheduling process.