Power Apps for Pavement Contractors

Paving and pavement maintenance contractors face significant daily challenges that are critical to the business and can impact productivity, costs and speed.

These challenges include quickly informing various team members of issues, progress and reports supporting projects, unavailability of underground utility records and change orders. In addition, it is essential to coordinate the work and communications between contractors and sub-contractors with management regarding work delays, safety and security compliance, audit and compliance follow-up, deviations between the budgeted costs and expenses and the estimated time spent on a job.

To help ease the burden of excessive labor demand and associated costs for pavement contractors, some are now using technology and software applications to overcome these challenges. Some subcontractors have set up technical infrastructure to support their organizations and some also identify and train someone (or in some cases contract with external technical consultants) to develop and maintain the infrastructure, software and applications.

Stand-alone applications (apps) have had a profound impact on solving specific problems and speeding up workflow, but sharing and communicating this information within an enterprise has been difficult, making the information collected less valuable to decision makers. This happened because to be effectively shared, data must be brought together and transformed into a single, central format. Having decentralized data can lead to erroneous decision-making due to various views on performance status and inconsistent reporting.

To help alleviate this problem, pavement contractors need a set of solutions that connects all the related operations in progress that distill and present information in an easy to understand format.

Enterprise application platforms and applications such as cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform solutions can be used on a desktop or mobile device. These technologies offer solutions to help you meet the modern challenges that pavement contractors face today.

Additionally, there are several other services, tools, and platforms that you can consider integrating and combining in Power Apps. These can be implemented as individual applications or as part of a larger product suite. For example, applications can be used to help you calculate labor costs, provide quotes, or assign tasks to new projects. Let’s take a look at some of the most common.

Microsoft Power Apps: Business apps created using Power Apps come with a visual designer for you to build these apps for your desktop, mobile, or tablets. Applications can be easily shared across your organization. Power Apps are designed for non-technical people to use and integrate into an organization.

Applications are easily accessible from phones, tabs or systems. Applications can be used when approvals need to be speeded up, tasks need to be simplified, and workflow needs to be automated. For example, it allows pavement engineers and shift supervisors to use the applications to create reports. Supervisors can submit design updates from the jobsite, report job progress, report safety issues and more.

Microsoft Power Automate: Once you get started with an app, you may very well find out how beneficial it is and choose to take it a step further by adding more apps across your business. In this scenario, you will want to sign in and synchronize your apps, services, notifications, and information. This can be done with Power Automate.

For example, any jobsite report can be connected to relevant staff members in your business by designing correct person-to-person flows. You can also provide timely notifications to shift foremen or the construction manager regarding progress, safety issues, change orders, or complete necessary transactions.

Microsoft Power Virtual Agents: Power Virtual Agents allow you to create a graphical interface on your computer or other device to control your computing needs and minimize the need for in-depth technical expertise. This can be used when urgent assistance is needed, such as issues related to the condition of pavement materials. Virtual agents can even be used to create an online customer service representative who meets customer needs.

Microsoft Common Data Service (CDS): With CDS, you can have data storage and management of all data used in your applications and with security and a set of standard and custom capabilities. Using CDS for storing your data extends your business application data model across Microsoft Office 365 as well as modern business applications. CDS also helps by synchronizing all components so that they run on the same platform for smooth interconnectivity. With this configuration, CDS can also become the data model for reporting.

Microsoft Power BI: Power BI gives contractors the ability to directly access business data and convert that data into tables, charts, and other visuals for easier analysis.

The use of this technology allows entrepreneurs to align and connect their work team with supervisors, managers, sales staff and the office. It can improve daily progress reports, immediate nonconformities, and design updates including change orders, making it easier for contractors to track project details without investing too much in technology. data consolidation. In addition, the information needed to operate faster and smarter is available to users with just a few clicks, enabling an entire organization to make faster, more informed decisions.

Additionally, any remaining technical complexities can be removed from the platform, and your business users are allowed to focus more on business applications, business processes, data analysis, visualization, reporting, communication. and collaboration. These platforms can be used by any pavement entrepreneur to help them run their business better.

Depending on the needs and goals, paving and pavement maintenance contractors can choose to transform and renew their businesses and operations with these applications by outsourcing these initiatives to in-house staff, or you can choose to work with a company. external technique. But in either case, this is where the future of pavement contractors is headed. And in some cases, especially with large and medium-sized businesses, the future is already here.

Rosemary C. Kearney