The construction industry is among the slowest to adapt process and technological advancement. Many key markets have seen a decline in productivity from the 1990s, and according to research by McKinsey, large projects “typically take 20 percent longer to finish than scheduled and are up to 80 percent over budget.” APE Mobile is a paperless site app that automates paperwork by integrating all form templates, checklists and drawings into a low cost paperless app, allowing businesses to use their existing forms and processes while greatly improving efficiency. According to Matt Edwards, CEO and Founder of APE Mobile, the approach to going paperless was the creation of a “solution better than paper forms for the user, but also a way for businesses to improve efficiency without risking major change.”
Since 2014, APE Mobile has assisted industry leaders in heavy civil, road building and commercial construction “go paperless” and improve efficiency. The company now boasts customers in USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
The innovation of APE Mobile comes from the ability of customers to use the very same forms, processes and systems that they currently use. Instead of imposing a completely new platform that is costly and time consuming to implement, APE Mobile adapts to the requirements of each customer. The MS Word engine prints onto existing documents, fitting right in with company’s Integrated Management Systems. The system is also fully auditable, keeping a full audit trail of all activity onsite and in the office. In a highly regulated industry such as construction, this means that companies can retain their compliance standards or ISO, AS/NZS or ANS Accreditations without overhauling their current processes.
The feature-rich app was built from the ground up to support the construction industry. According to Edwards, “if it takes longer to use technology, it rightfully gets rejected from site.” In the easy-to-learn app, data forms can be submitted within minutes even when the user is offline. Being fully automated allows data to be synced across all users and devices, and with the click of a button the app will convert a user’s word template into a fully filled out PDF.
While the system is easy to use, it has also been designed to support the complexity of the industry. The app is project oriented, organizes documents with sequence numbers and meta data, supports complex formulas within forms and has built in workflows that can automate the creation of corrective actions. In a recent example, the features of APE helped a leading civil contractor solve an ongoing issue of data integrity in their ERP system, which was forcing people to manually import data that had been collected in the field. After deploying the system, supervisors could complete their daily reports faster “allowing them to complete the data process within a few minutes, that earlier took about 10 days,” noted Edwards.
APE Mobile was created to sit within the “cloud-connected world” for construction. As well as having built in integrations with a number of systems, the app also has a robust API to allow seamless export and integration with other systems. APE has enabled this access of data, by both partnering with major SaaS providers but by also joining the Construction Open Standards Alliance. APE recently completed integration with the top three construction ERP systems in the United States and also boasts more than 800 app integrations via Zapier.
According to Edwards, “Successful construction companies of the future will have to be data driven to win…digital revolution is happening out there on construction sites, and we’re starting to see the the impact on those business not taking advantage of what’s readily available today.”