PlanGrid Construction Productivity Blog
The High Cost of Bad Tech: How to Calculate ROI from Mobile Construction Apps [Ebook]

The High Cost of Bad Tech: How to Calculate ROI from Mobile Construction Apps [Ebook]

5 Easy Steps to Measuring ROI from Construction Technology

We’ve all fallen victim to an app that promises the world–”hundreds of hours saved,” “all in just one tap” or “so easy, your grandpa could use it!” Yes, that too good to be true hook manages to get all of our attention on occasion. Nonetheless, once you start using the app and getting into the weeds, a key function or the whole app for that matter, fails to live up to expectations. In the end, what’s left is an unused app icon on our tablet or smartphone screens collecting virtual dust. Similarly, in the building industry, to truly gain all the promised benefits of mobile construction apps, there’s a big secret; your workers need to be using it.

While some field or project management apps might look nice at first glance, it could be a completely different story in terms of usability. If employees are finding that the tech is just too hard to use, inconvenient or isn’t relevant to their job roles, they won’t waste their time. Instead, this means you could be wasting your time as well as tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in license and implementation costs.

To avoid throwing money down the drain, we’re certainly not advocating forcing your employees to use an app they don’t like. Chances are, that won’t work, and it could create increased tension and frustration as well as decreased productivity over time. On the contrary, we’re encouraging companies to invest in apps that employees love to use. And how to know for sure that the software you’re using makes your employees’ love list? By measuring your ROI from mobile apps.

Simply, if your mobile tech is being used in the field, you can translate that activity into time and money savings. In fact, you can tie a real dollar amount to just how much time your labor is saving, and in turn, how much productivity has increased and rework has decreased with the use of construction software.

Measuring ROI from your mobile construction app isn’t complicated. In our newest ebook, “How to Calculate the ROI from Mobile Construction Apps: 5 Steps to Tangible Benefits,” we’ll show you just how and provide you with an easy to implement 5-step process to help you calculate the return on your investment in mobile construction technology.

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Below, to give you a better idea about which technology you should be adopting, we’ll explain how to separate good from great technology. We’ll also give you a peak of what’s inside our latest guide to help you start calculating your ROI from mobile tech.

What Separates Good from Great Technology

The distinguishing factor of good versus great technology is usability. Just take a minute to think about all the apps that you use on a regular basis in your personal life. Chances are, the core technology contributes to why you started using the app, but the user experience is the reason why you keep using it. Good apps have great technology. Great apps pair the best technology with the easy to use interfaces and intuitive user experiences, making the technology accessible to the masses.

On your average construction job, you’re working with a team of professionals with a variety of roles and backgrounds from your boots on the ground, technical project engineers, design team, strategic project managers and more. In addition to just connecting your whole team, mobile construction apps should be easy enough for any of your team members to pick up, share information and get what they need within minutes. When choosing or switching to a new field app, look for an app that’s easy to use, prioritizes a mobile platform (the one that’s going to be used the most) and truly understands the complexities of the building industry. While there is a slew of other considerations when choosing a construction app, the ability to standardize you workflows as well as integrates with other technology you use on projects should also be priorities.

Nevertheless, looking at the lowest cost option is never a sound strategy for choosing a mobile construction app. To get the most return on investment, you’ll need to truly consider how much time your staff would save and how much productivity would improve. Although some apps might be a larger upfront cost, the long-term cost savings far outweigh the initial investment. Below, here’s a look inside our new ebook, “How to Calculate the ROI from Mobile Construction Apps: 5 Steps to Tangible Benefits.”

What’s Inside

In our guide, we provide you with easy to implement strategies and formulas to calculate your true ROI from your mobile tech. Overall, we’ll explain the five following steps you can take to start measuring your profits today:

Step 1: Establish Benchmarks

To start measuring your return on investment from your mobile construction apps, establish benchmarks– or how you define success. You’ll need to set both qualitative (subjective) and quantifiable (objective) benchmarks to determine what exactly you type of return you’ll be measuring.

Step 2: Determine Total Implementation Costs Determine Your Direct Costs

With your benchmarks set, next, knowing your total implementation costs is critical to determining your total cost of mobile construction apps. First, consider your direct costs such as one-time license costs and recurring purchases. Next, calculate your indirect costs such as set up costs and training. Although some apps might cost less at the start, the implementation costs could add up if a great deal of training is needed. Together, your indirect and direct costs will be your total market cost–a key figure you’ll need to measure ROI.

Step 3: Determine Benefits

Determining the benefits of your construction mobile app involves comparing the before and after. Since adopting new technology, what exactly has changed? How much has labor efficiency increased? Has your construction schedules been accelerated? How much has rework been reduced? In our guide, we’ll walk you through the most important questions you should be asking to establish your benefits.

Step 4: Translate Construction App Benefits into Real Dollars

Now that you know what your benefits are, in this section of our ebook, we’ll help you put a real dollar amount behind them. Using a practical model, we’ll show you how to calculate the true value of the benefits.

Step 5: Calculate the Return on Investment

In the final step, we’ll provide you with several easy to use formulas to calculate your ROI from using construction apps. Once you see the final number, you can determine if the mobile technology is actually worth the investment for your company or if it’s time to switch to another solution.

Increase ROI from the Right Construction Mobile Apps

If your employees are embracing mobile technology, you know they’re saving time and money on the job, but it may be more of a guess at this point than a true estimation. Construction companies are more price conscious than ever. Thus, to continue to make a case for new technology investment, owners and project executives need to visualize just how much they are benefiting. Nonetheless, now you can put a real dollar amount for ROI from using construction software. Download our ebook today and start calculating just how much you are (or could be) saving with the right technology today.

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Grace Ellis

As a Content Marketing Manager at PlanGrid, Grace is the managing editor for the PlanGrid Construction Productivity Blog. With over eight years of experience in marketing, communications and PR for technology companies, she is specialized in high-quality content creation across both traditional and digital media platforms.

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