A recent business survey by MYOB linked low use of digital platforms to lower business resilience throughout the pandemic – especially for those in the construction sector. Now, as the industry looks to rebound, one of the biggest challenges facing businesses accelerating their digital adoption is choosing the right tools and the right places to start.
There is no doubt. Digital transformation is a big step for any construction business, and if you're keen to reduce risk, maximize efficiency and boost profits, it simply must be done. It needn't be overwhelming though.
One process that can be managed easily online is contractor inductions. Over 90% of construction workers use their smartphones for work, and with many using over three work-related apps each day, it is fair to assume that the sector is well on its way to overcoming its low-tech reputation. On the flip side, when you consider how time-consuming and repetitive inductions are, and the resulting paper trail, data entry, and delays to actually starting work onsite, then moving to digital inductions is a no-brainer.
After talking to more than 50 construction businesses in the last 12 months, we've created a summary of the key results business can achieve by moving from paper-based to online inductions. And the good news with this? Companies realize these benefits immediately. From day one.
1. Greater compliance
When you have the checks and balances in place, it is less likely that things will fall through the cracks. The same applies to digital inductions. When everyone onsite must complete an induction before site entry, you know precisely your compliance rates and where there may be gaps. Flags like these allow site managers to find the worker and either induct them manually or ask them to leave the site until they meet the requirements.
Digital inductions with high customisation ability will allow you to include things as varied as evacuation procedures, how to report incidents, control measures, and site-specific rules.
And when online inductions and site sign-in software are linked, you have an added layer of security in the process. If someone signs in to your site but has not completed the induction, then the Site Manager and others are alerted and have an opportunity to remedy this immediately. This scenario often plays out on sites where the main contractors have completed inductions, and they have sub-contracted the activity to another company or trader without letting the Project or Site Manager know.
(If you're interested in seeing how inductions tie in with site sign-in software, sign up to an EVA Check-in demo here).
2. Save time
Construction contractors are a highly mobile workforce. And when you've got a different group of contractors on site every day, the first hour or so of a Site Manager's day is often taken up with inducting workers in person. If you could have all the paperwork and compliance tasks completed independently (and before arrival), this frees site managers to focus on getting contractors on the tools faster. Efficiencies like these are additive and result in a more profitable project. (And we've had reports of Site Managers being happier to have fewer repetitive tasks on their daily to-do list too).
3. Time stamped and auditable data
Increasingly projects are required to have an auditable trail of who was on site when, whether they had been inducted fully, and what was verified during the induction process. When you have data to hand digitally and can easily report on it, you're able to meet any auditing requirements without hassle.
4. No paper chaos
Collecting paper inductions results in paperwork – all of which must be filed and stored safely back at the office. And if you are collating this information in an excel spreadsheet for management reporting, for example, someone will be entering this data manually. And this increases the risk of errors and potentially causes a delay in reporting – not to mention the tedious work involved.
5. Reducing misunderstandings
Construction sites are typically multilingual workplaces. So when digital inductions are accompanied by clear diagrams and images you know that you're reducing the likelihood of a contractor mistakenly agreeing to something that they may not have fully understood. Afterall an image is worth a thousand words!
If you're on the look out for site induction software that records contractor sign-ins (and can save you and your contractors a stash of time), it's time to see for yourself what EVA Check-in can do. Get in touch for either a demo or trial today.