Novus Property Solutions has developed two new mobile applications for site surveying and site defects, which will benefit councils and housing associations working on construction projects.
The apps, ‘Approbo’ and ‘CapturePoint’, were developed in-house by Novus to streamline the process of dealing with snags on project completion and pre-work site surveying.
Following a national training road show this summer, both apps have been rolled out to half of the contractor’s 30 offices. As a result, staff who regularly use both apps have noticed a reduction in paperwork duplication and increased client satisfaction scores.
Lee Hollins, Systems Manager at Novus, said: “There were existing applications available which met some of our requirements, but these lacked the exact functionality needed to integrate fully into the business. The apps have been deliberately designed to be user-friendly as we were mindful we didn’t want to add to the workload of our staff, but make things easier and more efficient for them.
“We’re now getting staff approaching us with ideas for new apps for other areas of the business as a result.”
Approbo is a tablet-based site defects management application. It enables contract managers to log snags quickly and easily, with the option to take and annotate photos. It also features a back-office portal, allowing managers to monitor a project more closely. For urgent issues, the system will automatically notify project managers, to ensure an immediate response is guaranteed.
As well as aiding the current snag process and making it more streamlined, Novus plans to use data captured by Approbo to develop its service. Data provided would allow Novus to identify frequently occurring issues or snags, in order to deliver targeted training for site operatives and ultimately reduce the number of snags.
Novus’ CapturePoint app, which also benefits from a back-office and tablet interface, has been developed to speed up the site surveying aspect of any large planned refurbishment project. Surveyors can automatically enter details of all works to be carried out on each area of a building and attribute costs using a preloaded schedule of rates. There’s also the option to take and attach photos.
By developing both apps in-house, Novus has the flexibility to adapt and update them to meet new requirements. Since Approbo was initially launched, Novus has created an add-on specifically for Fire Prevention works. This is designed to ensure that all works completed, materials used, and other contractors involved, are recorded to provide clients with complete accountability and traceability.
Following the successful implementation of both apps, the team is examining other areas of the business which could benefit from adopting a bespoke online or mobile app based system.