Having a detailed daily site diary is essential for any construction project in case there is a claim/dispute down the road. Paper diaries often take too much time to complete and are sometimes not accurate; a better option is using an app to record the day’s activities and observations on the go
A few years ago, British technology-based construction and engineering firm Costain and COMIT (Construction Opportunities for Mobile IT) were involved in an EU-funded project to develop a cloud-based mobile solution to improve the speed and accuracy of recording real-time data.
As a main contractor employing high volumes of engineers, Costain knew there had to be a more efficient and agile way of recording information on site other than handwritten notes which are prone to errors.
Using Costain’s industry scenarios, the Mobicloud project developed a mobile application called Site Diary, and then in 2016 Script&Go acquired the application and made improvements to its functionality and usability.
Reasons to go paperless
An important part of a site engineer’s job is keeping track of progress and issues on site. Traditionally, this is recorded on paper in a daily diary then transferred to an electronic format at the end of the day.
Most site engineers work notoriously long hours, so if records aren’t inputted instantly and are then left for days afterwards, mistakes and inaccuracies can often occur. It’s also time-consuming, and using paper in wet or cold conditions is highly impractical.
If a dispute arises, site engineer records may have to be provided as evidence in court. An engineer’s site diary in legal terms is regarded as a contemporaneous record, that is a record that was made at or close to the time the events occurred.
Finding an electronic solution
While a large part of the MobiCloud project concentrated on technical issues, Costain was involved in developing the Site Diary application.
The aim was to allow engineers to record most of what they needed on-site electronically in real-time via a tablet or mobile phone, and store it securely via the cloud.
The benefit of delivering a clear electronic audit trail and having access to other information from online sources like GPS improved productivity and reduced risk.
In 2016, Script&Go took the Site Diary application and developed it further, changing the web app interface, improving the reports and other things to improve use experience.
Although accessible via a web app on a PC, most engineers prefer to work directly from a tablet or mobile device in a controlled environment.
The benefits Costain obtained from the digital Site Diary
Between 1-2 hours are saved per day.
Records are more accurate and detailed.
Time and location is recorded automatically.
Photographs are permanently linked with relevant diary entries.
Diary entries are available almost instantly.
All data is stored securely in the cloud.
Accessing and sharing information is quicker.
Sourcing is more efficient.
Less risk for debate in court as more evidence.
Scope for improvement
There are still enhancements that can be made to better address the needs of the engineers. For now, Script&Go is working on a new platform for the diary app to include, task management, daily briefing and timesheet, all integrated with the site diary.
Read the full case study at: http://www.comit.org.uk/case-studies
Tel: +44 7538 999242