The Shoestring project brings together university experts and construction companies. The aim of these two entities is to develop digital solutions that meet the needs of SMEs.
Unlike large companies, many SMEs in the construction sector do not have IT departments. As a result, the transition to digitalization can be difficult. The Shoestring approach provides digital tools and solutions for these small companies.
According to Professor Duncan McFarlane, professor of industrial computer engineering at the University of Cambridge, the Shoestring project is a real asset for small businesses embarking on the process of exploring digital solutions. This approach has several priorities:
The Shoestring project has three phases, the first of which is the organization of workshops to establish the list of the first ten beneficiary companies. The second phase includes capturing requirements for site construction, identifying demonstrators and planning the work.
In the third phase, solutions will be gathered to formalize the approach, design and creation of a prototype software. This will be useful for the semi-automatic design of digital solutions proposed to SMEs in the construction sector. To increase the productivity of your company simply click here.
The Shoestring Foundation aims to facilitate access to digital tools to support construction companies. Workshops are organized to share knowledge, experiences and resources.
In this pandemic era, the growing company offers low-cost solutions to ensure employee health and safety and better manage teleworking
Lévis (Quebec), February 16, 2021 – Mobile-Punch, an application intended for SMEs in all sectors of activity, particularly in the construction sector and related sectors, celebrates its 5th anniversary by offering an enhanced version that further simplifies remote employee time management and maximizes savings of all kinds. In addition to its features to calculate working hours in real time, clocking in, geolocation of employees, project and schedule management, distribution and issuance of work orders, Mobile-Punch has recently innovated by integrating a health questionnaire for employees based on the requirements of the CNESST and the INSPQ. The company has recently experienced significant growth with an increase of over 500 new customers since January 2020.
Mobile-Punch is the ideal tool for SMEs to start a digital shift at a reasonable cost. This easy-to-use application helps increase business productivity and prevent costly mistakes. Everything is managed in the cloud, without the risk of network overload during peak periods, and the application can be accessed without Wi-Fi, which can be very useful in remote areas.
To date, more than 1,200 SMBs and 26,000 users/day use Mobile-Punch across Canada, and more recently abroad. The application is also compatible with most accounting software (Acomba, Acceo, Avantage, Maestro, CTRL, SAGE) and payroll services such as EmployeurD (Desjardins payroll service), Nethris and others.
In order to ensure compliance with the standards put in place by the CNESST with regard to occupational health and safety, Mobile-Punch has integrated a COVID questionnaire into its mobile application. This form can be completed daily by each employee from any mobile device to ensure all workers are free of any COVD related symptoms. In addition, the client dashboard allows managers to archive all these forms and organize them by date and by employee. Real-time alerts are also sent as soon as an employee reports having symptoms. Since its implementation last April, more than 950,000 forms have been completed.
“Employers are required to put in place measures to identify workers who may have symptoms of COVID-19 before they arrive at the workplace. Our form meets the requirements of the CNESST and the INSPQ with regard to the Act respecting occupational health and safety in the context of COVID-19. It aims to support small and medium-sized businesses, particularly in the construction sector and related trades in the protection of employees and customers,” explains Jérôme Guay, President and co-founder of Mobile-Punch.
The pandemic has certainly accelerated the technological shift in certain companies, which must now manage the new reality of teleworking. In this context, Mobile-Punch represents a strong ally that helps entrepreneurs increase productivity, minimize errors, save time, eliminate paperwork, optimize resources and, consequently, save money.
“Since I was a construction contractor for many years, I know that administrative tasks take a lot of time and energy. To reduce the headache of managing timesheets and other office tasks, I created the Mobile-Punch application with a programmer friend in 2016, “says Jérôme Guay.
In addition to being accessible from any mobile device or computer, the Mobile-Punch app can be used without any access to cellular networks. It is updated frequently and provides its customers with a fast and efficient technical support team.
Expanding rapidly – the company has grown from 2 to 15 employees in the last 4 years.
Mobile-Punch continues to invest in technological development and wishes to conquer the North American and international market. Moreover, Mobile-Punch was recently granted financing from Desjardins Capital. This significant funding will allow it to accelerate the time to market, as well as the development of new features. The company is also actively looking for new skilled workers, particularly in the field of programming and data analysis.
Founded in Lévis, Quebec, in 2016 by Jérôme Guay and Bryan Porter, Mobile Punch is a mobile application intended for SMEs in all sectors of activity who wish to simplify the management of timesheets, work schedules and projects. Mobile-Punch is available in French and English and works on all Android and iPhone mobile devices. It brings together more than 26,000 users worldwide every day in businesses in various fields, such as construction, security, cleaning and repair services, to name a few. Since the launch of the company, more than 10,500,000 punches have been registered without paper for the benefit of all customers.
For more information, or for an interview with the President of Mobile-Punch, please contact:
T. 514 949-1446
Jerome Guay and Bryan Porter
Mobile Punch is a mobile application intended for SMEs in all fields who wish to maximize the management of working hours and their projects.
The application is compatible with most accounting software (Acomba, Acceo, Avantage, Maestro, CTRL, SAGE) and payroll services (EmployeurD from Desjardins), Nethris and others.
Some Key Facts About Mobile Punch
Despite the fact that the construction sector seemed to be one of the most reluctant to technological change, the transformation of consumer needs forced the sector to reinvent itself by introducing digital technology in construction.
Technology has made construction sites safer for workers and helped increase productivity, improve communication and tackle more complex projects. In this article we highlight the most noteworthy technological trends impacting the construction industry.
Construction technologies are used during the different phases of a construction project and help the evolution and improvement of field construction methods, including automated and semi-automated construction equipment. Construction technology refers to a collection of innovative tools, modifications, machinery and software. This technology can be used in all kinds of construction projects, ranging from small residential houses to massive industrial plants.
Construction technologies are a set of engineering techniques that are applied to structural construction processes. They are also used in the design of transport systems, in industry and in energy-related projects.
What seemed futuristic and unreachable 20 years ago such as robots, drones, 3D printing, augmented and virtual reality, and connected equipment is now already being used on job sites across the world. The construction industry has long been hindered by outdated workflows, making projects inefficient in some cases. This is where technology comes in handy to increase quality and drive productivity.
With many parties on a job site, from contractors to project managers, communication can easily get lost. Innovative technology helps teams in the construction industry become more collaborative, productive and efficient. Here’s a list of technological trends that are revolutionizing the industry.
Mobile apps and software make it possible to manage every aspect of a construction project and reduce risk. Before this, project managers had to rely on on-site servers to use the construction software needed to plan and track the progress of a project. Thankfully, nowadays project managers have access to management software that simplify everything from scheduling to project management and reporting to managing their back office. Tools like this help increase team productivity significantly.
Most of this software is cloud-based, which allows everyone to access real time data. This way, both office and remote employees, get the same visibility into project status and can easily update tasks using a mobile device. Mobile Punch’s app helps thousands of companies in Canada improve productivity, better manage project costs, and reduce time spent managing timesheets.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is an intelligent 3D model-based process used to create a digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a facility. BIM gives architecture, engineering and construction professionals the insights and tools needed to plan, design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure in the most efficient way.
All the changes in the model are done in real time and constructors working on the project can easily access this information. BIM is shaping the future of the construction industry by transforming the way in which construction projects are carried out.
Virtual Reality (VR) in construction is the next 3D modeling. It involves a detailed virtual model of the project and allows the user to fully immerse himself/herself into the virtual space. The possibility of visiting unbuilt spaces with virtual glasses allows clients to understand the vision of general contractors and fully grasp what is going to be built. It eliminates barriers and reduces conflict between construction professionals, designers and clients. It also makes it easier for team members to collaborate in real time, communicate about details and issues and immediately make decisions about changes.
Augmented Reality (AR) in construction is used to place a 3D model of a proposed design onto an existing space using mobile devices and 3D models. Virtual Reality replaces the real world with a simulated one, whereas Augmented Reality takes the real world and adds to it the 3D model in question. AR has plenty of design and construction uses beyond visualization. It allows teams to virtually walk through the completed model and collaborate about changes that have to happen between design and construction.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning solutions can help the construction process in many ways. It can help improve safety, productivity, quality and vital measures. This technology doesn’t take humans out of the equation, it simply helps them do their jobs more efficiently. Machine learning can automate routine tasks and help with design and planning. This way humans can spend their time focusing on key strategic issues and let their creativity flow.
Construction companies are in the midst of a technological revolution that has far-reaching implications for site safety, risk management and insurance. AI and machine learning are a game changer for the construction industry as well as the insurance industry seeing as they provide high-tech ways to increase workers’ safety.
The construction industry, being one of the least automated industries that features manual-intensive labour as a primary source of productivity, is in need of robots and drones for its development. Drones are already heavily used in many construction sites. They are very beneficial in that they save a lot of time and money. They can be used to survey an entire site in just a few minutes instead of taking several weeks or even months. They can also be used to deliver materials on site, especially in the case of high-rise buildings.
As for robotics, the insurance companies are already investing a lot of money in them. As they grow even more precise and accurate, increasing safety and efficacy, they are becoming a commanding force in the construction industry.
With the technology advancements we’re witnessing today, it should come as no surprise to see wearable technology becoming an emerging trend on job sites. We’re talking here about Fitbit, 3D glasses, Google Glass and armbands. These hands free devices allow the wearer to teleconference with remote colleagues while in the field, give them access to building plans and to even make modifications while on-site. Additionally, it can help track where contractors are if there’s an accident. Considering the help this technology can provide, it’s going to become mandatory at some point in the future.
3D printing has come a long way in such a short period of time. It makes it possible to print out an entire house 3D model faster and cheaper than the traditional method. This technology pushes the boundaries beyond the designer’s table by printing a three-dimensional house model and building it up layer by layer. 3D printing reduces material waste and saves time and energy. It also allows fast delivery of materials and reduction of additional useless steps during the construction process.
In the construction industry, analytics help contractors reduce the margin of error by analysing material costs, timelines and more. Data is extremely useful to improve productivity and efficiency. It provides insights into potential problems, which help contractors adjust projects to prevent them from happening. It can be used to generate more accurate orders for future projects, prevent expensive surpluses or determine optimal timing for construction phases.
Recently, I was part of the Jury for the Galons APCHQ-Québec. First of all, I would like to congratulate all the companies who applied. All of those companies have in common the undertaking of the digital transformation to improve their bottom line. And above all, I’m very happy that the majority of them use Mobile-Punch 😁.
It is evident that with the help of new technologies, such as Mobile-Punch, today’s businesses, which do not hesitate to change the behaviors of their employees by introducing new technological practices, increase their productivity and efficiency, reducing errors and costs. All with a greatly reduced environmental footprint. Do like them and take the advantage of the new technologie offered today.
Nowadays, geolocation is experiencing exponential growth in the personal, social and professional spheres. Sharing geographic information with surprising ease opens up a world of possibilities for browsers (integrations, real-time data, etc.) in addition to offering many benefits for businesses.
The importance and versatility of geolocation services are such that they have now become an essential element for companies, in particular for the management of human resources in several industries such as the construction sector.
The use of geolocation aims to monetize time and improve business efficiency. This is a particularly useful function for the construction sector where companies have multiple mobile workers scattered across different construction sites, but also in different sectors such as cleaning company, security company, service company and many others.
Geolocation allows you to locate your workers and assign tasks to workers closest to where a certain action needs to be performed. By taking advantage of this technology, you can significantly reduce the distance and travel time needed. This saves you time and improves the efficiency of your team members.
This function allows you to check the trips made by the staff, by recording the visits, the duration and the kilometers traveled. This allows you to improve worker safety and reduce the workload. It is 4:00 p.m. and your employees are supposed to have finished their shift, do you really know? Well, with geolocation you will have the peace of mind to know that they left their last client!
In addition, with this technology, companies can configure their systems to receive notifications and record the entry and exit of their employees. This greatly simplifies the calculation and accuracy of the hours worked for payroll reports.
A geolocation system greatly simplifies administrative work for companies. An application, such as Mobile Punch, allows your employees to digitally punch in and out of the workplace. This way, you no longer have to write this information in paper documents and store it in an office space.
This function also allows you to validate the hours worked precisely in order to prepare your payroll reports. The automatic generation of reports saves you a lot of time and money. All your information is centralized and accessible in real time from everywhere.
Geolocation saves businesses time and money, and improves employee and customer satisfaction through optimal resource management. No more paperwork and endless hours of work, with geolocation and process automation, you can focus on key aspects of your business. The set of tools offered by systems such as Mobile Punch has a positive and direct impact on productivity and revenues.
Geolocation allows you to follow the movements and the presence of your teams in real time on construction sites. This allows you to assign the right resources to the required locations. In addition, with Mobile Punch, you can send notifications to your employees, (such as plans, photos, work orders) routes, instructions and much more.
Mobile Punch is the best application on the market to optimize time management. In addition to being an economical solution, our system allows you to save money and manage your projects in real time. Exporting hours to your accounting software or payroll is also possible. Discover all the functions and advantages of our platform here.
Some companies are slowly returning to work with the gradual deconfinement plan in Canada. Now more than ever, employers must take into account and incorporate a series of measures and precautions to ensure the safety of their employees and prevent the spread of COVID-19
Before implementing preventive measures, the employer must carry out an assessment of the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace. To do this, a visit to the workplace is recommended to identify possible dangers and tasks that could increase the risk of workers being exposed to the virus.
Once the risks have been identified, if the employer is able to ensure the safety of his employees and control the risk of exposure to the virus, he will have to put in place the necessary preventive measures.
The decisions made by the employer must comply with governmental recommendations regarding public health as well as the company’s policies on health and safety at work.
A minimum distance of 2 meters must be established between employees in the workplace. Social distancing must be respected at all times, on arrival, during breaks as well as when leaving the office. Physical contact (handshakes, etc.) should be avoided.
Companies must put in place several adaptive measures in order to reduce the risk of transmission as much as possible if the minimum social distance cannot be respected. Here are some examples of adaptive measures:
In order to ensure safety at work in the context of COVID-19, employees with symptoms should not come to work. As an employer, you need to make sure you have measures in place to identify workers who may have COVID-19 symptoms before they start work.
To help you, Mobile Punch has created a mandatory health questionnaire to be completed each morning by your workers. This function is available in our application and allows employees to complete the questionnaire directly on their mobile devices. With this function, our company helps the CNESST to collect data on the state of the health of thousands of employees throughout the territory in real time.
If a worker begins to experience symptoms in the workplace, be sure to call 1 877 644-4545.
Since COVID-19 can survive on work surfaces and tools, the implementation of strict hygiene measures is essential. In order to ensure the health of workers and reduce the risk of the virus spreading, CNESST recommends that companies:
For more information on these measures, please consult the CNESST guide
You need to make sure your employees wash their hands frequently. To do this, regularly check to see if you have enough hand soap or disinfectant. It is important to make hygiene products available to your employees.
You can also put up posters in the bathroom and in the office to share essential information. Workers should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds and do it especially:
If you are unable to telecommute, you will need to adapt and reorganize work. To do this, here are some recommendations:
Companies must put in place adequate policies and practices to:
The Mobile Punch app is an essential tool for hundreds of companies to track the health of their workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, it allows companies to optimize time management, calculate working hours precisely, geolocate staff in real time and much more.
In order to protect the construction sector and its workers from the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the CNESST committee for COVID-19 construction sites was created. The committee was created with the help and involvement of the public health department as well as union and employer organizations in the construction sector.
This committee was set up for the following reasons:
The creation of this committee is linked to the resumption of activities in the construction sector. The CNESST will follow the evolution of COVID-19 in Quebec and publish regular updates to keep companies in the sector informed about best practices and solutions.
If you are a construction worker or if you have a construction company, you can consult the daily checklist that the commission has developed in order to ensure the application of appropriate measures on site.
Employers in the construction industry are responsible for taking the necessary preventive measures to protect workers and ensure their safety and health. As for workers, they must also take good measures to protect their health and safety and that of those around them.
If a company does not comply with government standards and advice regarding the COVID-19 context, a CNESST inspector could order the temporary closure of the workplace until the necessary modifications are made.
Hygiene measures to be implemented on construction sites >>
Every day, the employer must make sure to check the health of all his workers. To do this, he must ask each employee a few questions when he arrives at the workplace:
If the worker answers yes to any of these three questions or if he experiences symptoms, he should return home. The answers to these questions are confidential and must be protected by the employer.
The public health department authorizes return to work if the following 3 conditions are met:
Employers are responsible for implementing the necessary measures to maintain a social distance of 2 meters between each worker at all times. To do this, it is important to control the presence of workers in the workplace to ensure that there aren’t too many workers at the same time in the same place.
During a short period of time, it is possible that the minimum social distance can’t be respected. If this is the case, the worker must make sure to cough in his elbow and refrain from touching his face. As for transportation to work, the vehicle occupancy rate should be reduced to 50%. The CNESST also recommends avoiding face-to-face meetings and encouraging virtual meetings.
If emergency work (electricity, plumbing, etc.) must be carried out, you must respect the minimum social distance of 2 meters. Also, make sure to wash your hands frequently and clean your tools when you leave the premises.
No, PPE (mask, gloves, etc.) is not necessary, except in the case of a specific situation. However, workers should wash their hands frequently and refrain from touching their faces.
Mobile Punch makes life easier for business managers and employees by simplifying the management of timesheets, payroll, project tracking and by creating detailed reports.
Knowing how to properly lead a work team, whether big or small, is not an easy task. Each person in a team is a unique individual with a personality and temperament that sets them apart from others. This is why, when we group together different individuals on the same team, it can sometimes lead to communication problems or confrontations in the workplace. Unfortunately, these situations often end up affecting the productivity of your employees.
However, if you proactively manage these situations and take your role seriously, your team will succeed in achieving its professional goals. You will not necessarily get everyone on the team to love one another, but your employees will be able to work together to achieve a common goal.
No matter how productive your team is, there are always useful strategies to maximize your productivity. Before analyzing these different strategies, it is important to understand the difference between productivity and efficiency:
Productivity and efficiency are absolutely essential to create a good work ethic. Balancing productivity and efficiency may seem problematic at first, but once you do, some tasks will stop being a burden to you and your business will flourish.
Here are some practical tips to increase the productivity of your employees:
As a leader, knowing how to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each member on your team is paramount to unleashing the potential of each of your employees. Each individual is talented and knowing how to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each member of your team will help you allocate tasks more efficiently and improve your team’s productivity and commitment.
In order to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your team, it is important to listen carefully and observe your employees. The goal is to train employees who know what they are good at and what they need to work on. In this way, you will create an environment that invites people to share their mistakes, so you can learn collectively and gain in productivity.
h2 Improve communication
Good communication is a key factor in a team because it allows companies to be productive and work more efficiently. If your employees feel comfortable raising their hands when they have doubts and you clearly communicate the objectives of the company, there will be less confusion within the team and your employees will be more productive.
As a manager, it is your responsibility to maintain good communication within the team and to ensure that everyone understands their professional duties and responsibilities.
Time management and organizational culture are essential to improving the productivity of your team. It is equally important to ensure that your team has the right technology to work with. Creating digital workspaces will help your employees collaborate more effectively. This is extremely important if your workers are spread across multiple sites. Take a look at our application, Mobile Punch. By using the software on their mobile phone, each member of the team can exchange data, information, and assign tasks in real-time in a simple and effective way. In addition, the leader of the group is able to create new projects, enter cost details and calculate the sum of labor expenditures.
Make sure your company has effective video conferencing technology as well so they can meet and share their ideas easily. Invest in quality mobile technology – smartphones, tablets and laptops – to help your teams be productive no matter where they work.
Finally, you also have to make sure to train your team to use these different technologies. Remember, technology is an investment.
The motivation and productivity of your team will vary depending on the synergy that exists within the team. If your team gets along well with each other, it will strengthen team spirit and make the work environment more dynamic. There will be better cohesion between your team members, which will translate into higher productivity.
When different people work together in the same team, there is a good chance that some people will not get along. In order to promote harmony within your team, you can organize team-building activities. This will allow your employees to get to know each other better and to ease interpersonal conflicts at work.
h2 Offer incentives to your employees
Employees tend to be more productive when they have incentives and feel that their efforts are rewarded. Several companies choose to put in place an incentive program to motivate their teams. There are many different types of incentives such as monetary incentives, paid vacations, flexible hours, restaurant dinners, extra holidays, and so on.
It is not easy to find a balance between work and personal life. Most of the time, stress and work pressure can affect the mental health of your employees. That’s why creating a healthy environment to work in is essential to your team’s success.
Happy employees are loyal employees, and loyal employees can accomplish great things in your company. In addition, a healthy work environment improves productivity and reduces costs related to absenteeism, staff turnover, etc.
Different things will motivate your team members, but most of the time it’s enough to acknowledge their efforts and congratulate them when they do their job well. Positive reinforcements can be given individually or collectively.
Congratulating an employee for a good job in front of the entire team is a good way to motivate and inspire others to excel. It also promotes a healthy work culture in the organization, which will help increase team productivity.
Performance evaluations and constructive feedback are essential to increase the productivity of your team. If your employees do not know that they are inefficient, it is unlikely that your team’s effectiveness will increase.
It’s important to be open with your employees and tell them about the different opportunities within the company to motivate them to change the way they work. Once you have shared your feedback with them, encourage dialogue and ask them how you can help them in return.
Direct communication is essential to increase the productivity of your teams. All members need to understand what the priorities are – in the short, medium and long term. Team members also need to understand the hierarchy of goals to be achieved and the efforts that need to be made.
In addition to direct communication, communication must also be open and transparent in both directions. As a manager, you must foster an honest culture of communication. It is important to create an environment where everyone feels free to express themselves and share their fears and ideas.
Once again here, mobilepunch.ca can help you. Indeed, thanks to the application, all the members of the team will be able to transfer information via the application (description of projects … Photos, plan, etc.) in order to increase the quality and the speed of the communication, this will have a very beneficial effect on productivity.
If you want to improve your productivity, be sure to empower your employees and let them make their own decisions from time to time. They will soon realize that their work can have a direct impact on the team’s performance so they will adjust the way they work.
In addition, by doing this, your team members will feel that you trust their judgment skills and they will develop higher self-esteem, this will positively affect their productivity.
In conclusion, there is no single solution to improve a team’s productivity. You have to create your own recipe and mix some strategies to see what works best for your team. What is certain is that if you offer your employees constant support, good listening, encouragement, and constructive feedback, you will see a considerable increase in your productivity.