6 Contractor Apps You Need to Optimize Workflow

Apps have become a multi-industry window to innovation in the workplace, consolidating multiple processes into a single resource, all accessible by a single touch on our smartphone screens. Apps have made marketing through social media a targeted success. However, they also enhance individual business with applications to maximize productivity, purchase resources, document and file, and effectively communicate to clients or between teams. Apps like Zoom, Teams, and Evernote became the backbone of at-home work life during the pandemic lockdowns of 2020, and we can their use continue to trend upwards, even as normality returns to the workweek. The versatile features of professionally-focused apps benefit modern business: streamline your daily grind or impress clients with easy-to-use and visually attractive interactive pages. Today, apps have become a tool of all industries— even construction. Contractors can take advantage of these six apps geared towards improving the job site.

  • ShareMyToolbox
  • PlanGrid
  • Fieldwire
  • Joist
  • Pro-Core
  • SmartBid

While ideal for contractors managing multiple warehouses or worksites, the simple design, and intuitive interface makes the ShareMyToolbox app a go-to for companies of any size range. Avoid carelessly losing tools on the job with this handy app. The ShareMyToolbox app allows contractors to create a cloud database of tools searchable by location, brand, and use status to keep track of which tool is where and with whom. No additional hardware is needed beyond the employee's smartphone: your phone becomes a hand-held library of lendable items. When an item goes missing, quickly locate the employee or work zone it was designated to last; or, if you need a tool, say a Roust-A-Bout, on-site, you can check your app to find the nearest available Roust-A-Bout in your system. The tool you need may be close by at a second site, eliminating time wasted returning to the warehouse. Use the additional barcode scanning feature to make check-ins and checkouts faster and more accurate. ShareMyToolbox will allow contractors to prevent tool loss, misuse and more effectively manage their equipment inventory for disposal and repair throughout the project.

PlanGrid makes this list for its connection to AutoDesk Build, part of AutoDesk's high-performance design software suite. PlanGrid works as a bridge between the complex and comprehensive functions of AutoDesk Built and the necessary portable convenience needed for on-site workers. Take advantage of built-in project management, field collaboration, and cost control features built into the app. Seamlessly access data stored on your AutoDesk software to the PlanGrid App installed on your phone or tablet, including RFIs, change orders, and cost workflows.

The aim of PlanGrid is to reduce working errors, real-time and projected risks, as well as potential time wastes. Use the app to open and edit 3-Models for architectural builds, plumbing maps, and electrical schematics. Wherever you are on-site, use wi-fi to access cloud storage and instantly share data. Working in an area with a low signal? Download your documents through PlanGrid straight to your device without worrying about downtime. The app follows your project with benefits from start to finish. Your data will automatically be organized into reports and a predictive dashboard to assist your team in identifying ongoing errors and project summarization.

Looking for a Task Management app explicitly geared towards the construction industry? Fieldwire was developed around the needs of the modern construction site, redesigning commonly found features on standard productivity apps to meet the specific requirements of a high-paced and complex build. When it comes to construction, management isn't just about efficiency. It's about safety. Fieldwire has been lauded for its ease of use and common sense formatting— which may have something to do with its chorus of board members from international construction and tool companies: Formation 8, Brick & Mortar, Menlo Ventures, and Hilti.

Fieldwire focuses on immediate communication, incorporating push notifications and categorized conversations to address issues as they happen. Employees and supervisors can send real-time photos and videos. Send your team tasks with the touch of a button; go further and organize those tasks by priority to make sure what needs to be addressed is in a timely fashion. Notate tasks, document results, and see tasks to completion with the Fieldwire App.

The Joist App makes project invoices instantaneous, using preset values you input for your services and synchronizing your project data to a letterhead template. Your quotations and receipts can all be managed through your phone. Take a leg up on your competitors with on-the-spot digital or printable invoices for customers: walk the worksite and set your initial price without leaving the lot. Joist takes the guesswork out of estimates and brings the confidence factor to your business. Contractors' first communication with potential clients looks professional and easy for the layman to understand with categorized receipts and itemized accounts.

Attach your business card, insurance credentials, and insurance to your invoices. One consolidated resource is a benefit to the contractor and the customer. Give your clients a business guarantee with an invoice covering all the bases. Communicating changes to orders via Joist is simple and eliminates miscommunication between parties. Even link your social media to your digital invoice to allow customers quick access to your completed work portfolios and yelp reviews. Founded in Toronto, Joist has since spread across the United States and Canada as a versatile and helpful partner to Quickbooks— sync your Quickbooks accounts with Joist to consolidate your invoices, payments, and annual reports in one convenient app.

What makes Pro-Core unique from other construction management platforms is its timeclock feature. Pro-Core manages the overall task, but each employee's hour and daily tasks are all from the palm of your hand. Follow the complete timeline with Pro-Core's full range of features, including scheduling, documentation, blueprint manipulation, and communication. Unlike its competitors, Pro-Core organizes content by umbrella categories, not by project, making it easier for the user to pull material for multiple projects— ideal for contractors managing sites simultaneously.

All data through Pro-Core is uploaded to the cloud via wi-fi. When not in wi-fi, edits, changes, and additions are saved to the device until autoloading when access becomes available. Unique to Pro-Core: view all edited versions of blueprints from your phone. Keep track of who edited each version. Similarly, all RFI's include the administrator, annotations, and other attachments. Pro-Core offers a more in-depth option for project management. Go beyond the basics with this app as your base for any construction project.

For many large-scale projects, subcontracting is necessary to hire specialists or supplement your workforce. Contractors often spend years creating a go-to list of trusted subcontractors, but there are often drawbacks to traditional recruitment methods. Makers of the SmartBid App report that contractors often waste up to 8-hours, an entire workday, per project in subcontracting recruitment bids. Newer contractors struggle to connect with outside groups, and less experienced subcontractors have more difficulty advertising their skill sets towards profitable bids. SmartBid saves search time and gives you access to an extensive list of qualified subcontractors.

Use the SmartBid Integrated Consensus Docs 721 form or send a custom-built form to prequalify contractors by the project. SmartBid allows all negotiations to take place across one platform. This same platform can be used to communicate between the contractor and subcontractors, hosting a free-to-share document drive, messaging, and convenient integration with popular apps and software like Pro-Core, Autodesk, DropBox, and linking your business email, website, and fax. Best of all, SmartBid features monitored security to protect your assets. Have concerns? Unlike other Apps that operate autonomously, SmartBid includes 24-hour app and software support during regular working hours. Take advantage of SmartBid's online training sessions and webinars to get the most from this app for your construction business.

Get the latest in-app innovation to give your business the boost it needs to stay competitive in this modern era. Apps consolidate complex tasks into a single platform, like Joist and Fieldwire. From start to finish, an app can help your team see your project through. Manage Tasks on multiple construction sites, share blueprints seamlessly, draft invoices and secure documents in real-time, or quickly turn RFI's into priorities with the touch of a button. These six versatile apps are designed around the needs of today's contractors. While the construction industry rapidly expands, the technology we use to build continues to develop. Let your hand-held devices make intelligent software portable around the worksite. Use our list to choose the app that adds the most productivity to your projects.

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