Perhaps one of the most critical pieces to any project, the punchlist process can also be one of the most painstaking. Without the right means for which to capture and manage the information during this process, contractors are often left with error-prone processes that can end up costing them greatly after all is said and done.

Technology providers are coming strong as of late with new applications and services that help address the punchlist process in construction. Contractors are taking notice of this fact.

For example, on a recent healthcare project in Florida Brasfield & Gorrie, www.brasfieldgorrie.com, Birmingham, Ala., used technology from Latista, www.latista.com, Reston, Va., to manage the punchlist process. Using the technology to track thousands of issues over the course of five months, Brasfield experienced ROI in the form of cutting the time usually spent by project managers sorting through paper-based documents by around 75%.

The company has since committed to using the full suite of mobile and Web-based solutions from Latista for up to 1,000 users. The technology will be used at Brasfield & Gorrie in the form of QA/QC (quality assurance/quality control), commissioning, production tracking, and safety, along with punchlist.

For Brasfield & Gorrie, the proof was in the pudding, so to speak. The company decided to standardize on the technology only after spending more than two years testing it on various projects. For James Purcell, chief technology officer, Brasfield & Gorrie, the true results center on improved turnaround time and communication the technology has allowed for with owners and subcontractors.

Technology to manage the punchlist process is really heating up in the market. Newforma, www.newforma.com, Manchester, N.H., announced the upcoming release of Newforma Punch List. This tablet app is aimed at general contractors, among others, allowing them to capture, assign, manage, and verify punchlists right from the field.

The company will debut the app this month for the Android framework and will make it a part of its Newforma Contract Management, which is an optional module of Newforma Project Center. According to Newforma, the reason it will launch first with Android is due to customer request; particularly the fact that Android devices allow for better quality images to be captured. The company says plans for an Apple iPad version of the app will follow.

Additional features to the app include the ability to attach pictures, videos, and audio files to punchlist items, and even mark-up images. A discussion log will allow users to review audit trails and the status of individual items.

The caveat with using a mobile app for the punchlist process is the fact the wireless connection on a jobsite is not always present. Newforma’s app will feature the ability to capture the data and the automatically sync to Newforma Project Center once wireless connectivity has been found and/or restored.

If you haven’t addressed the punchlist in a while, perhaps now is the time to take a fresh look. New applications are hitting the market that could help make a difference in your ability to empower your field workers.