Construction has at least one thing in common with many other industries in the world: The importance of communication. When collaborating with so many colleagues and using so much complex equipment, effective communication and problem-solving become vital. Connected technology can potentially make these processes more efficient, and thus increase productivity on a project.

One organization striving to improve communication and efficiency in the construction industry is LATISTA, www.latista.com, Reston, Va. The company recently released its new version 2.1 app for the iPhone. The program will allow general contractors and subcontractors to manage quality, safety, punch lists, and commissioning issues via smartphone.

Specifically, the app allows users to:

  • Synchronize project documents to iPhone, and create mark-ups to resolve issues.
  • Accurately record defects or document progress with photo capabilities.
  • Text message details directly to subcontractors, whether they are using LATISTA for the iPhone or not.
  • Communicate with contacts via LATISTA’s contact list feature.
  • Synchronize custom workflows and permissions from the LATISTA cloud solutions.

Chris Ramsey, CEO of LATISTA, says the company is excited to put the app in the hands of more users in the field, and thus shorten issue-resolution time. He added the app offers “complete issue management and provides greater access to documents in the field.”

It’s certainly difficult to argue the relevance of smartphones in the modern era, as evidenced by a new report from ABI Research, www.abiresearch.com, Oyster Bay, N.Y. The report projects smartphones with a wholesale price below $200 will grow to 758 million shipments by 2018. This is a considerable increase from 238 million in 2013. ABI attributes the increase to the low penetration of smartphones, and the large subscriber bases found in Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

Whether it’s with smartphones, tablets, or a different form of technology, jobsite communication seems to be in a state of evolution, thanks to the efficiency provided by connected devices.