Constructor - March/April 2014 - (Page 43)

TECHNOLOGY TOOLBOX Forms on Phones PRONTOFORMS BOOSTS PRODUCTIVITY, FACILITATES COMMUNICATION BY DEBRA WOOD PRONTOFORMS OFFERS COMMON AND CUSTOM FORMS for contractors who can access them on mobile devices in the field and send information to leadership to improve management of projects in real time. "It allows us to show customers time and materials and daily reports, what the conditions were like, and the details of people and materials on-site," says Anne-Marie Kelley, controller of Murray Brothers Construction in Leominster, Mass., a member of AGC of Massachusetts. Those reports include photos of the job's progress. ProntoForms combines three components: the ability to work in the field on various smartphones and tablet platforms; a Webmanagement portal, accessible by accounting or management from a desktop computer; and connectivity to QuickBooks and sophisticated databases, explains Mark Scott, vice president of marketing for ProntoForms in Ontario, Canada. From the portal, users can import and edit forms, and determine which employees receive accesses to which forms. Time cards and minor injury incident reports are universal, but specialty contractors may need other forms, such as plumbers a proof of delivery or plumbing inspection forms. All forms are customizable. "The information is sent across a wireless network to the web portal," Scott explains. "It is then sent to the accounting team and/or other departments, as preferences are set." The person in the field need not figure out who needs to receive the forms. At Murray Brothers, crews enter payroll and delivery data and photos on their smartphones. The information is sent to a supervisor and on to the accounting software system. "It allows the guys to do it at the end of their day, from their phone, which they always have with them," Kelley adds. "It's easier to communicate with the main office." Smartphones and tablets are permeating people's lives, Scott says, yet the adoption for construction has lagged behind consumer use of devices for personal uses. However, now contractors are catching up, he indicates, creating a boom in the app world. ProntoForms allows contractors to send work orders to all of its workers' smartphones or tablets. The work orders arrive in the inbox with all details. The worker completes the form, adding information about materials consumed, time spent and other data as required by the firm, perhaps taking photos or scanning a barcode on the unit being installed, inspected or serviced. The worker can determine if a needed part is in inventory or if it needs ordering, and how much time it will take to replace the broken part. If the part number is not available, the worker can take a photo and circle digitally what part is needed. "You can capture a lot of information and dynamic content," Scott says. "When people use our product, it becomes a crucial part of how they run their business." ProntoForms can improve response time and billing while reducing the time it takes to process paperwork, Scott says. It works on any carrier network and Android and Apple devices. The company charges $19.95 per month per user. Customers can get one month free with a year contract or four months free with a two-year contract. There are no startup fees. "Information is power for people today," Scott concludes. "ProntoForms is a productivity boost and a great way to make information available in the field and to get the information back to the office without errors or delays." ◆ ProntoForms Corp. 800-535 Legget Drive Ottawa, Ontario K2K 3B8 Canada 888.282.4184 MA R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 4 | 43

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Constructor - March/April 2014

Editor’s Note
President’s Message
CEO’s Letter
Wise Investment
Simonson Says
Water Resources Development Act Addresses Critical Infrastructure Needs
Legislative and Regulatory News
Can-Do Attitude Meets a Job Well Done
Technology Toolbox
The Mobile Gold Rush
Index to Advertisers
Final Inspection

Constructor - March/April 2014