Thursday, March 12, 2015

Top Three Communication Issues for Road Construction Companies

Three Reasons to use Outlook Contact Management for Road Construction

by Paul Brunemeier

Good Outlook Contact management
Good contact management helps road builders do their job

According to the IT manager for a large road construction firm, continuously updated iPhone contacts is a must-have for efficient, safe road building.

In my conversation with Joe the IT manager, he described three communications challenges faced by almost anyone in his business.

High Employee Turnover

Last month, 10 miles of roadbed turned into 10 miles of paved highway, and to make it happen, 50 new workers went through onboarding for the project.  Each of them had contact data that needed to be available to project managers and foremen, as well as to each other.

Before Joe joined the company, contact management was every man for himself.  Each person was responsible for updating their own contact list.  Joe’s solution is to personally take each smartphone and load it with a fresh contact list.  Ideally this would happen at least once per week.  Because of the challenges of getting the phones back to the Joe’s desk, this happens about once in a blue moon.

While Joe’s efforts have saved employee time overall, his job is made more complex because different groups of employees require different sets of contacts.  The four ladies in the safety department need a flawless list of emergency contacts in an immediately available form.  Foremen need the numbers for their crews and managers.  HR keeps all employee names and numbers in spreadsheets...from which the manager must pick and choose to populate the address book of a new smartphone.  To make matters worse, Joe also needed to transfer contact information for vendors, consultants, subcontractors, and inspectors.

Media Mix Up

Joe went on to state that contact management methods at his company have not yet caught up with the 21st century.  Although roving crew chiefs all carry contact-storing smartphones, some still use printed paper phone lists.  The headache for everyone is that the paper lists get lost, get rained on, or go under a grader (and become difficult to read after that).  When the guys are operating heavy equipment or roaming between job sites, the best place to keep important contact information is definitely not on paper.  Put the information on their iPhone--problem solved.

Team Safety

Lastly, Joe tells us that team safety is a company mandate.  Response at an accident site requires:
  • An immediate response
  • Following incident procedures
  • Notifying appropriate emergency services
  • Informing the chain of command.

To address these, the conventional method is to use a hardcopy list of instructions and contact information.  A field worker can easily misplace this information, making it unavailable when it is needed the most.

A better approach is an automated solution to wirelessly sync procedures and contacts directly to the smartphone which every team members carries.  The instructions and contacts are on the phone and can be accessed in seconds.

Good contact management helps builders do their job

When you need to keep smartphone information synced for workers, equipment operators, and foremen, consider using itrezzo Unified Contact Management software.

Provide new employees and new smart phones with accurate contact lists by maintaining an up-to-date GAL and push-syncing the GAL contacts to phones.

Eliminate errors and complexity by syncing emergency procedures and contacts to smartphones.

If your organization would benefit from automated contact management, request a call back from itrezzo.

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