As technology advances, switching to digital solutions across all industries becomes easier. And the truth is that we can no longer afford the time or resources that paper saps from our businesses. The excuses for clinging onto paper processes are running out, so it’s about time you took a serious step towards reducing paperwork in your construction company.
Getting rid of paper will free up way more time and resources than you probably realize right now.
So, in this blog post, we’ll take a look at how to reduce paperwork both on and off-site, and we’ll tackle all of the common excuses (and why they don’t work).
Why Reduce Paperwork In Construction?
You may want to reduce paperwork to save costs – or simply to keep up with technology. Either way, the money you’ll save is just a small part of the actual benefits of reducing paperwork.
Increased visibility, accurate compliance documents, time savings, etc. – these are the benefits that’ll boost your business. But the biggest by far is an uptick in efficiency and increased production and profit – a great way to ensure sustainability in these challenging times.
The bottom line? Your staff will spend less time filling out paperwork and have more time to actually do their jobs.
The question here isn’t why, but why not – and to that, there is no good answer, only flimsy excuses. Let’s take a quick look at the how and then bust some of those excuses.
Here’s How To Reduce Paperwork
To replace paper in your business, you need a robust digital solution. Mobile app builders are one great way to take charge of your digital strategy. They give you the freedom to create your paper forms as they are – but in a digital format.
For example, if you have any machines that require maintenance, check out our post on building a custom maintenance report form.
You can also use project management software, digital accounting systems, safety management software, etc. There are many options, but here’s our advice.
Find your core paper-based woe and focus on that. It’ll be something within your current workflow that simply isn’t working. Here’s an example. A while back, a drilling contractor found us. Their process was particularly rigorous, and getting the paperwork from inception to completion could take upwards of two weeks.
What’s more, sometimes this critical paperwork would go missing, as paper does, and they’d be unable to bill their clients or finish the job on time.
They re-created this system in Appenate, and with the new process, they could run through the paperwork in just four hours! The job itself might still take longer, but the process was no longer held up by the administrative nightmare that paper documents caused.
All work documents were captured digitally, and manual data capture back at the office became a thing of the past. The client could sign off on-site without even touching the contractor’s device (contactless signature capture) as well, which was a huge plus at the time.
Now, how about those common excuses for keeping paperwork around…
Excuse # 1: But Digital Solutions Don’t Cater To My Needs
We understand that some solutions promise the world, then force you to adhere to their irritating limitations. There’s a gap between programmers in a cozy office and what’s really going on at the work site.
This is why we offer a platform where you are the architect (and you don’t need to write a line of code). You get to decide which of your forms need to go digital. You get to leverage your experience on the ground and design your apps the way they’re supposed to look. All with a simple drag-and-drop app-building interface.
This way, you decide on your needs, and you fulfil them – no adhering to someone else’s idea of an efficient workflow. You create your own, and you get to test and tweak it to perfection.
Excuse # 2: But We Don’t Have Programmers
Appenate is not exactly “easy to use”, but it’s quick to learn and extremely powerful once you know how to harness it. The magic is that you don’t need a programmer to learn Appenate for you – you can do it yourself.
We offer free training and support for life. From the day your trial starts to the day you decide to part ways with us (touch wood), we’ll always be there to help you out.
Thousands of customers with no prior knowledge have become pros in Appenate. Tech-minded folks generally have a head start – but even the technophobe can learn in just a few weeks.
You may need someone to invest a bit of time into setting everything up, but the time savings that result pay for your initial time investment by magnitudes down the line.
Excuse # 3: But Digital Solutions Are Expensive
Sure, they can be, especially when they have a board of directors who care more about profit than actually making a difference in the world.
We are entirely bootstrapped, which means we can put you first. A few minutes of research will prove that we’re one of the most affordable digital solutions of our kind. You’ll save far more on printing costs than you ever spend on Appenate. In a way, it’s like we’re paying you to use our platform.
That said, there could be an up-front investment in devices if your employees aren’t willing to use theirs for work. Appenate doesn’t take much processing power to run; however, so cheap smartphones could do the trick.
Most companies utilize the devices employees already own.
On a side note, if you are interested in rugged, powerful devices made for hard-working individuals, we highly recommend taking a look at the Zebra range of devices. We are a Zebra-certified partner, and our apps go great with their products.
Excuse # 4: But Safety Meetings Need Paperwork
It can be hard to imagine an alternative to the daily (or weekly) safety register, and leaving gaps here can obviously result in some issues come audit time.
The thing is, with our Table Fields and repeatable pages, this is possible. You could create a digital form that allows multiple participants to sign off on their attendance. They’re passing around paper already, so why not pass around a device that instantly captures and stores the information on the cloud?
If you want to take it a step further, you could even have your employees sign digitally on their own devices with our contactless signature capture feature. This would be more tricky to set up, but our training team has your back. 😉
Excuse # 5: But My Worksite Depends On The Paper Process
This is precisely why solutions like Appenate exist. It’s so that you can shift from paper to digital without losing anything. The purpose of our platform is to make the transition as seamless as possible.
This is also why we recommend tackling one issue at a time. This way, you get to be sure that Appenate works for you – before you recycle all your printers.
Digital transformation is a journey, not a simple on/off switch. We’ve laid the groundwork for you with an innovative mobile app creator. From here, it’s all yours to ensure your business needs are met with each new form you create.
Excuse # 6: But I Don’t Have An Available Internet Connection At My Worksite
Appenate started life as a potential disaster management platform. This means that, by our very DNA, the platform was created to work when the connection drops. What resulted from that is a hardy platform that works seamlessly even in the remotest of locations.
That doesn’t mean the information will magically be uploaded without an internet connection, of course, but as soon as a connection is established, Appenate will automatically upload your pending form entries to the safety of the cloud.
Excuse # 7: But My Employees Don’t Want To Switch
We get this all the time! Most employees are naturally resistant to change. Most of us are terrified of learning new systems at times, or we worry that tech will interfere with our ability to do the job at hand.
We’ve found that once employees are shown the solution and exactly how it works (as opposed to what they’re currently using), they realize just how easy it is. Once they’ve filled out a few forms, they can’t even imagine returning to the clunkiness of paper documents.
So don’t worry; this resistance is temporary. Be gentle, listen and show genuine care, and your employees will hop on board in due time. 😉
Let’s Say I Do Want To Switch… How?
The trick is to find your core paper problem. Whichever process lags the most within your business is a good place to start. Once you’ve identified your focus, make use of our free trial to learn and our 90 days for $90 special offer to get everything off the ground.
You’ll enjoy free training right away, and you can book additional sessions whenever you need them.
You’ll also have free support to deal with any issues that arise, so you can look forward to smooth processes and massive cost savings with Appenate, while we help you on your way.
Sounds Easy Enough. Where Do I Sign Up?
You can sign up here (completely free and no credit card details needed). We’ll send you a few emails to help you get started and also remind you of our current special offer – so sit back and learn at your own pace. Don’t worry about anything – we’ve got it all covered for you.
You could also schedule a training session right after signing up. You’ll receive a calendar link in your welcome email – simply hop on there and pick a time that suits you.
See you in the digital age. 😉