Have you ever thought about putting mobile job management technology in your field supervisors' hands but worried they wouldn't be able to learn to use it?
Mike Williams, Granite Construction Senior Project Controls Engineer and HCSS Advisory Board member, set out to prove to himself that HCSS Field, HeavyJob's mobile application for smartphones and tablets, would be easy for his field employees to use.
So he handed his iPad to his 10-year-old grandson and asked him to enter a time card.
"I just turned him loose," Williams said. "I said, 'You've got to figure it out. Push the buttons, dig your way around, and figure out how to do a time card.' It took him about 20 minutes."
To be fair, Williams' grandson was relatively familiar with an iPad, having played on one before. But he had no concept of construction ideas in general, let alone what a time card is.
Nevertheless, Williams said he almost immediately began to pick up on what to do.
"He found the time card button, and he said, ''I probably push one of these plus buttons,'" Williams said. "He picked some people and put them on the time card."
When the boy asked what to do next, Williams didn't tell him. Instead, he guessed that he needed to click on another "plus" button, where he added cost codes to the time card.
Williams then instructed him to pay out for the job. His grandson didn't quite understand.
"I told him, 'You've got to put hours under the cost codes,' and he figured out how to put hours in there," Williams said. "He gave everybody, like, 258 hours because he had no concept of what a time card was. But the whole point was that he paid them."
While Granite hasn't implemented the mobile application fully in the field yet, Williams said he has tested it in some scenarios.
And Williams said he expects his employees to pick it up even more quickly than his grandson.
"The guys we'll have using the tablets have used HeavyJob -- they know what a cost code is, and they know they get eight hours a day, not 200," Williams said. "So if my 10-year-old grandson can do this, they can do this. I suspected that it was so simple a child could do it. That turned out to be the case."
HCSS Field allows companies to streamline their project management by entering time cards and recording production values in the field and sending them directly to the office, right from a smartphone or tablet. Foremen can take photos and record diary entries immediately, making processes more efficient and effective.
Want to know how to get your employees using technology in the field?