How can a construction company remain aggressive in today’s highly competitive building environment? A good way might be avoiding cost overruns and project delays. However, in an industry like construction, this can be easier said than done without the proper tools.

One way to avoid project slowdowns is to eliminate paper-based delays and increase collaboration between the office and the field—which are top priorities for most construction companies today. This can be done with rugged mobile devices and project-management software.

To help the industry avoid cost overruns and project delays, FACS (Field Automated Communication Systems), www.facsware.com, San Francisco, Calif., and Group Mobile, www.groupmobile.com, Chandler, Ariz., recently announced a new alliance.

The partnership between FACS and Group Mobile will give the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry a solution to enable collaboration, communication, and project management in the field.

FACS Project Controller is project-management software that allows the construction team to access project, document, and contract data in the field. Group Mobile is a reseller of rugged laptop, tablet, handheld, UMPC (ultra-mobile PC), and fixed mount computers including the Panasonic Toughbook and other devices from companies such as Motion Computing, www.motioncomputing.com, Austin, Texas, and Trimble, www.trimble.com, Sunnyvale, Calif.

Through the partnership, Group Mobile’s staff will assist construction customers in selecting the best rugged computer for their business. The devices selected will then run FACS Project Controller, which will enable the construction industry to improve collaboration, communication, and project management from the office to the field.

This partnership is just one of many that are helping bring technology to the jobsite. Another recent example is the BIM to Field Alliance, www.bimtofield.com, which is a group of technology organizations within the construction industry that are promoting the benefits of extending BIM data to the field.

This might be one of the most common themes resonating in the construction industry thus far in 2011—bringing IT to the field—and it is exciting to see more technology companies come to market with solutions for construction.