Five Tools to Supercharge Your Construction Business
April 19, 2012 by Ryan
5 Tech tools your competitors don’t know about that will supercharge your construction business
One of the great things about founding a Silicon Valley startup is that you get exposed to so many amazing new products that are on the cutting edge of innovation. Back when I was in construction, I was constantly trying to find new tools to get my job done, so I thought I’d share some the best of what I’ve found during my time in the valley.
Mailchimp is an awesome email newsletter web tool that is perfect for sending out bid invitations and RFPs. Mailchimp makes it easy to import all your contacts (it accepts excel files, csvs, and many, many other formats), has great tools to create a great looking email, and makes it effortless to send it to thousands of people.
The best part is about Mailchimp is that it has all sorts of data analysis tools. Mailchimp allows you to see who opened your email, when they opened it, who clicked links you put in that email, etc. This way you can know which subs are actually interested in bidding, and which are just shining you on.
Anyone who has ever had to collect information from people in your company over email or paper surveys knows it can be a huge pain. With Wufoo, you can easily setup an online form, point people to it, and it will do all the collecting and organizing for you. Getting people to sign up for training sessions, creating customer/bidder surveys, collecting information from jobsites, or even getting people to vote on what to serve at the annual Christmas party is super easy with Wufoo.
Email is awesome for sending out mass communications to people in the office, but how do you quickly reach all the people in the field?
With SendHub, you can add everyone’s cell phone numbers to a contact list, and then send all of them text messages in just a few clicks. Emergency on jobsite? An official visitor coming by? Type in a message in SendHub and you can let everyone know right away.
Everyone who is familiar with tools like GoToMeeting and WebEx knows that screen sharing is great way to communicate and get things done over long distances. Everyone also knows that it's also a pain to get everything setup: getting people to install software, managing accounts, etc. can make it a headache to get a meeting off the ground. With Screenleap however, you just head to screenleap.com, click share, and then email a join code. No one needs to signup or install anything, and you can get right to screen sharing! It's also completely free!
I couldn't write this list without including the tool my team and I have custom built just for the construction industry: PlanGrid.
PlanGrid is a combination cloud-service and iPad app that allows you to bring and communicate with all your project information including: Drawings, specs, submittals, and progress photos. We've written our own super-fast rendering engine that makes viewing even the most complex drawings instant, and our powerful publishing and version control tools make it so that you'll never build off outdated information ever again.