It is hard to question the value of a good construction daily report. What can be called into question, however, is the way in which some contractors go about compiling such reports. Too often, notes from those on site are arriving inaccurate, not on time, and illegible, to say the least.
This can go for other reports too, including safety observations and QA/QC (quality assurance/quality control), to name a few. Technology is stepping in to provide a bit of assistance in helping project teams assemble notes, create more accurate and timely reports, and analyze the data.
For example, many contractors have found value in using a system like NoteVault, www.notevault.com, San Diego, Calif., that allows users to record notes via voice record with the option to have that recording transcribed by the vendor.
The company has added Dashboard and Project Notes pages to its latest release. Such functions as “add comments” and “assign to issues” have been added to both the Dashboard and Project Notes page, which allows users to assign issues and post comments to a note without needing to “drill down” to the note detail page.
Using the NoteVault system, comments can be added by any user on the project who has at least guest access to the project. As comments are posted, the system will generate an email that will be sent to the originator of the note, as well as to all others that have posted a comment to the original note.
Another new option is the “AlertMe!” enhancement which sends out an instant audio note to designated recipients when a note is posted into that project. Such a feature can be a critical part of issuing time-sensitive and important notifications such as safety incidents. Here is where setting up multiple folders can be useful, so that certain parties receive only the message relative to them; such as safety observations, daily reports, QA/QC and incident reporting, among others.
Other companies like Vela Systems, www.velasystems.com, Burlington, Mass., are providing tools that help users access and analyze construction field information for projects. Through a Web-based product, contractors can conduct project-based reporting and cross-project analytical reporting.
Data is constantly being created in the field. Contractors need technology that can help capture that data at the point of creation in order to produce more accurate and timely reports. Technology is providing some timely assistance in more ways than one.