An award-winning app developed by a Victorian construction veteran could dramatically reduce the needless expenses incurred by the industry due to cost miscalculations.
Shane Dodd of Ballarat has grabbed a top award at this year's Australian Mobile & App Design Awards for a new cost calculations app which caters to the specific needs of the civil construction industry.
The app, called CivilWorks, is designed specifically for the performance of on-site calculations, providing a set of formulas for sewer mains and drainage calculations, civil engineering calculations, and road and civil construction calculations.
In addition to providing construction professionals with a handy set of formulas for on-site calculations, the app can also be used for calculating, converting and adjusting grades, as well as for the calculation of materials volumes in order to shore up the efficiency of orders.
Dodd developed CivilWorks in response to the manifold calculation errors he had witnessed during more than 25 years spent working in the civil construction industry. According to Dodd, these mistakes cost Australian businesses more than $177 million in needless expenses each year.
The app was developed by Dodd in collaboration with Ballarat-based RU Advertising, and was one of two apps by the company which took out honours at this year's Australian Mobile & App Design Awards.
CivilWorks took out the top honour for In Field Services Apps, referring to those apps which help businesses and organisations to operate in a mobile context outside of the office. The app was commended for its ability to help contractors avoid costly reworks and delays, enabling them to finish their work swiftly and on budget.
In addition to its broad and flexible range of calculating functions, another key advantage of the app is its ability to save time, resources and costs by facilitating communication between on-site tasks and off-site management roles.
The app can be used as a tool by project managers to better supervise front line staff and construction tasks remotely. Calculation results obtained by on-site workers can be dispatched to off-site managers via email or other means, which managers can then examine and check for mistakes before giving the final go-ahead for work to commence.
The developers of the app expect their main customers to be civil engineering groups, civil construction companies, local councils engaged in urban infrastructure and public works construction, as well as water and sewerage utilities.
Dodd believes the app should enjoy rapid uptake as on-site workers make increasing use of smart phones and iPads as ancillary construction tools, particularly given the positive feedback that the program has enjoyed already.
"Everyone who has used it has said it was fantastic and will continue to use it and recommend it," said Dodd.