Spectrum Construction Software by Dexter + Chaney, www.dexterchaney.com, is a cloud-based enterprise construction software solution that handles accounting and operations, service management, business management, equipment management and project management. It also offers several mobile apps that, integrating and synchronizing with the software suite, address work order management, payroll time entry and document sharing in the field.
Spectrum features a dashboard, customizable by each user, which acts as a launchpad that includes summary information on service work orders, job cost graphs, industry newsfeeds, and other capabilities that enable open data access and entry by employees and subcontractors. The browser-based interface opens a tab for every new task. The user clicks on the dashboard element of interest to drill for details.
Popular options include general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable, job costing, payroll, work order, inventory, and time + material billing, as well as the mobile apps that extend access to much of the data to anyone with access in the field.
For example, the Field Tech application allows technicians and field operations staff using a mobile device to access the app on Spectrum’s dashboard, log in, and see work orders or jobs to which they have been assigned. They can also create and update work orders. All the functionality is integrated and synchronized with Spectrum applications, eliminating double entry and streamlining the flow of information.
Field Tech’s customizable Info Bar allows users to quickly view work orders assigned to them, enter labor hours, manage materials and site equipment, and create and manage purchase orders. Users can also create and update charges and billings and view complete service history. Field Tech is also synchronized with Spectrum’s document imaging capability, allowing technicians access to important documents in the field.
The Payroll Time Entry app captures each employee’s time worked on each job daily and charges the appropriate phase. It can also record the hours of operation for field equipment. All data is synched with Spectrum to update payroll and job cost records.
The Equipment Field Entry app enables tracking of the use and maintenance of each piece of equipment in the field, with data on location, time spent in use, and when preventive maintenance was last performed. Once synched, the app’s information is integrated with Spectrum Equipment Management applications.
The Project Plan Room app gives field personnel the ability to quickly download versions of documents onto a mobile computing device and keeps these documents constantly updated with the latest data so all project team members are working from the same information.
Safety-Reports, www.safety-reports.com, is a web-based safety inspection management system optimized in various versions for use on desktops, tablets, iPad, iPhone and Android mobile computing devices.
Users select from more than 30 pre-loaded construction and general industry safety categories or can add custom categories. Each category comes with multiple inspection items including those most commonly cited by OSHA. The system includes a points-based system to objectively evaluate each inspection. Safety scores are registered as a “percent positive” response.
Safety recommendations are pre-loaded and generated automatically whenever a negative observation is recorded. Each recommendation references the applicable OSHA standard and includes a hyperlink directing the recipient to OSHA’s website, where the program user can read the actual standard.
The software offers four standard report templates and contractors can add a custom cover letter with a personal signature and company logo. Users can take photos with any camera enabled mobile device, upload them directly to the reports, and add captions. Inspection reports completed in the field can be e-mailed directly to pre-selected e-mail contacts. When cellular or Wi-Fi connections are not available, the system can be switched to “offline” mode.
Safety Reports is offered as a Professional Package, for single-user accounts and as an Enterprise Package for multiple users that includes administrator control, automated e-mail reminders to sub-users, and electronic “corrective action tracking” to ensure all open items get closed out.
The Enterprise Package allows users to generate performance reports to trend and analyze the inspection data. Examples of report outputs include: monthly trending, safety observation summary, top 10 positive and negative observations, and inspector activity reports.
FotoIN by FotoIN Mobile Corporation, www.fotoin.com, is a mobile solution that enables contractors to snap, tag and annotate as-built, progress, defect, delay and other jobsite photos in the field and have FotoIN automatically organize and file them into the correct folders in the existing storage (contractor’s choice of in-house or third-party cloud storage provider), where they are accessible immediately or later by authorized team members. The solution connects the field with most major cloud storage providers, including Box, Citrix ShareFile and Egnyte. For the office, the solution’s web portal is a single management and configuration portal that gives the user an overview and control of all the team’s FotoIN documenting activities as well as options to configure their own tags, filing hierarchy, standardized capture forms, and project geo-fence. Users can search photos and reports based on any captured keyword, including those tagged or annotated in the field.
Bill and Patti Feldman write articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products. They can be reached at [email protected].