Construction companies need to navigate a broad spectrum of compliance requirements related to worker safety, work quality, environmental protection, regulatory and contractual obligations, and industry standards.
Since non-compliance with any of the above can have devastating consequences on a company’s financial health and reputation, construction teams need efficient tools to proactively manage and streamline their adherence to these critical standards.
One such tool is equipment management software.
In this article, we’ll cover five ways in which this software helps construction company owners and managers ensure compliance, enhance efficiency, and safeguard the company’s overall success.
In this article...
Helps with Scheduling Equipment Maintenance
Of course, keeping your construction equipment in good working condition through regular maintenance is not only necessary to meet safety standards and compliance requirements but also to ensure your projects are completed on time and within budget.
To accomplish this, equipment managers need to handle various maintenance management tasks, including scheduling regular maintenance and tracking all servicing and repair activities, whether planned or not.
If these and other equipment management tasks were managed manually, performing them efficiently would be challenging for a team of managers, let alone one person.
And that’s where equipment management software can help by providing the following maintenance-related features:
All these features play a role in ensuring compliance, so we’ll revisit them throughout this article.
By leveraging the scheduling, tracking, and task assignment features, managers can ensure that their preventive maintenance plan is aligned with manufacturer recommendations, safety regulations, and industry standards.
For example, manufacturers typically provide guidelines (instruction manuals) for construction equipment with recommended regular maintenance periods and tasks.
When equipment management software is used instead of spreadsheets, it’s much easier to ensure that the maintenance schedule accounts for these guidelines and that service technicians will follow them.
That’s because specific maintenance requirements and intervals for each piece of equipment, as well as other relevant info, are stored in the software’s central database (as opposed to being scattered across multiple spreadsheets and documents).
Moreover, when the software is cloud-based, all this data can be accessed at any time by the equipment manager, service technicians, and all other employees on any internet-connected device.
Among other things, this means that the manager can:
- access an individual equipment’s info page
- define its regular maintenance schedule (e.g. every six months)
- list specific activities that need to be performed (e.g., oil change)
- assign the task to a specific technician
All these actions are highlighted below.
By doing so, the manager can ensure that technicians will adhere to the schedule and service the equipment according to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance intervals and other guidelines.
This is not only essential for the prolonged life and smooth performance of construction equipment but also a compliance requirement to maintain warranty coverage.
To recap, equipment management software helps managers schedule and implement preventive maintenance plans in compliance with manufacturer guidelines, safety regulations, and industry standards.
As mentioned, equipment management software allows for the centralized storage of important documents such as inspection reports, maintenance records, and compliance certificates.
This simplifies record-keeping, providing construction companies with the most powerful tool to ensure compliance across different areas.
For instance, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates that heavy equipment must pass inspection before use to ensure the safety of operators and other workers on the construction site.
More specifically, OSHA’s regulations (1960 Subpart D Inspection and Abatement) require that its inspectors should be given all available relevant information, including inspection reports.
This compliance requirement is easily met with the help of equipment management software.
As explained, the software (i.e., its cloud database) maintains a comprehensive record of all maintenance activities, including inspection dates, performed tasks, and any identified issues.
This documentation serves as evidence of compliance during OSHA inspections.
Moreover, the software provides operators with easy access to digital equipment inspection checklists that can be viewed, filled out, and submitted directly on-site using a smartphone or tablet.
This involves other components of most equipment management software solutions we haven’t mentioned so far—QR code tags and an in-app scanner.
Put simply, an operator can use their phone (with the software and in-app scanner installed) to quickly scan the QR code affixed to a specific piece of equipment.
This instantly takes them to that equipment’s online info page where they can access the relevant inspection checklist.
Here’s how this works.
In addition to saving time and increasing efficiency, this minimizes errors arising from the manual entry of data into paper inspection forms and their subsequent digitalization.
This helps ensure compliance with OSHA’s regulations and the company’s internal safety standards.
In summary, equipment management software simplifies record-keeping and helps prove compliance across many areas, ranging from warranty conditions and safety inspections to financial and legal obligations.
Sends Automated Notifications
Equipment management software can be used to set up automated alerts and notifications to remind users of upcoming inspections, maintenance tasks, or certification renewals.
This proactive approach helps prevent lapses in compliance.
For example, the software can be instructed to automatically send email reminders to service technicians about upcoming maintenance.
Such notifications, received in the early morning hours (or other time you specify) of the scheduled service date, ensure that all involved parties are informed of upcoming maintenance and can access the software to view other relevant details.
This includes the assigned service technicians, whether they’re company employees or external service providers, and responsible managers, ensuring that maintenance tasks are timely performed and reported.
Of course, this not only helps prevent equipment breakdowns but also contributes to meeting compliance requirements related to regular maintenance intervals.
Therefore, these email alerts serve as a crucial tool in ensuring compliance with the prescribed regular maintenance plan and schedule (aligned with manufacturer guidelines, safety regulations, and industry standards) we covered in the first section.
The same applies to notifying relevant personnel about equipment inspections scheduled internally or when (and if) announced in advance by external regulatory authorities.
Even automated low-inventory alerts play a role in ensuring compliance by helping prevent stockouts of critical spare parts and supplies.
As you can see, those same QR codes used for accessing online equipment info can also be leveraged to track consumable inventory levels, which enables low-quantity alerts.
- you can set the minimum number of specific spare parts and supplies you want to have in stock for operational and compliance purposes
- workers scan the QR code and record how many items they used (or replenished)
- the software notifies you (and other relevant staff) when that minimum number is reached
By receiving timely alerts, staff can restock necessary items promptly, which prevents stockouts of essential components and supplies.
In turn, this helps avoid project delays (and potential violation of contractual obligations) and unsafe working practices stemming from using incorrect or non-compliant spare parts.
Overall, automated alerts and notifications assist in ensuring compliance by timely reminding users of upcoming equipment maintenance, inspections, and certification renewals.
In addition, low-inventory alerts ensure that an adequate stock of critical inventory items is maintained, reducing the risk of regulatory and contractual non-compliance.
Monitors Equipment Usage
By tracking equipment usage, the software helps companies ensure that equipment is being operated within the specified guidelines, which allows them to meet diverse compliance requirements.
For example, equipment management software can be used to track usage hours for each piece of equipment.
This can be achieved by recording operating hours in the software app after each equipment use.
Alternatively, when the software is coupled with active GPS trackers connected to engine sensors, operating hours can be captured automatically.
Here’s a simplified view of how fully automated usage tracking via GPS works.
Regardless of how usage is tracked, it ensures that equipment is regularly serviced in compliance with manufacturer recommendations (when maintenance intervals are based on the number of operating hours).
Additionally, managers can accurately track equipment usage for project billing purposes when clients are billed daily (or otherwise) for the hours specific equipment has been used on their project.
This minimizes inaccurate billing issues that can lead to non-compliance with internal accounting rules or even violation of contractual or regulatory obligations.
Another good example of how equipment monitoring helps with safety, security, and environmental compliance refers to tracking the location of equipment and utilizing geofencing features.
For this purpose, active GPS trackers or Bluetooth beacons (shown below) can be used to establish virtual boundaries between specific zones on the construction site.
This is particularly critical for projects that must comply with designated environmental zones to protect sensitive areas such as water bodies or wildlife habitats.
Additionally, geofencing can be used to ensure compliance with strict safety protocols or zoning regulations.
In such cases, if a piece of equipment ventures beyond approved boundaries, the software will trigger alerts, enabling swift corrective action to maintain compliance.
To sum up, by monitoring equipment usage and locations, companies can improve their adherence to various safety, security, and environmental standards and regulations.
Enables Regulatory Reporting
The reporting features offered by most equipment management solutions enable companies to compile and generate detailed reports, ensuring compliance with regulatory and financial obligations.
As covered, the software allows users to effortlessly gather data related to equipment maintenance, usage, inspections, and other relevant equipment-related activities.
Using the software’s data analysis and reporting features, users (managers, accountants, etc.) can generate compliance reports.
These reports can be customized to meet specific regulatory and financial reporting requirements, making it easier for companies to demonstrate adherence during inspections and audits by regulatory authorities.
As illustrated, these features provide users with an easy way to view and analyze relevant data on equipment usage, maintenance costs, depreciation, and other parameters, which is crucial for accurate regulatory and financial reporting.
For instance, when preparing end-year financial statements, accountants can use the software to easily generate IRS-compliant asset depreciation reports, thus ensuring compliance with tax regulations.
This is a good time to highlight that our software management solution, GoCodes, is a perfect tool for achieving all the compliance-enhancing advantages we covered, including depreciation calculations and reporting.
As we explained, QR code tags, an in-app scanner, and cloud software create a powerful combination for tracking and managing construction equipment and tools.
GoCodes uses these components to establish an easy-to-use and affordable equipment management system that companies can leverage to ensure compliance with various regulatory and financial obligations.
This is enhanced by the software’s ability to maintain a comprehensive history of equipment management activities, which simplifies the process of collecting equipment documentation required for compliance with environmental regulations and safety protocols.
Overall, the regulatory reporting feature of equipment management software stands as a valuable tool that simplifies the process of compiling, analyzing, and reporting data essential for compliance in both regulatory and financial realms.
Even if you only skimmed through this article, it should be clear that equipment management software aids construction companies in navigating the complex landscape of safety, regulatory, and financial regulations, and industry standards with confidence.
As the construction industry evolves, selecting and adopting the right software becomes not only a strategic choice but a necessity for those aiming to meet diverse compliance requirements and elevate their operational standards.
Considering all the above, we invite you to take advantage of compliance-enhancing opportunities offered by such, preferably simple and cost-efficient, solutions.