This seems to be the buzz word in most of the construction forums lately. Does anybody know a good iPad app for punch lists? Is there an app for RFI’s? Or how about this one, Is there an app for viewing construction plans? Huh?

I thought that maybe these sort of questions were just being asked by those who didn’t understand technology or were new to the construction arena, but unbelievably I am seeing real contractors talking about various “apps” at the technology venues very seriously. I mean, I get it, some apps are cool for spotting locations on a plan to reference an RFI or a punch list item, or taking job site pictures and tagging them but, I was thinking they were maybe a buck or 1.99 a month or something.

I decided to look into one of these out of curiosity and found myself quite amazed (I fell off my chair) at what the charge is for some of these “apps”. If you were doing a couple of medium sized jobs and had a few team members you wanted to communicate with let’s say for a punch list, it may cost you a fortune. One of the popular “apps” is 99 dollars per month, per user!!! So if you are punching out a job with only 10 trades it’s a mere 1,000 per month or in excess of 12 grand per year. For what? To view a plan on an iPad and attach a note? Come on man.

In today’s world, with cloud-based Project Management tools that have maybe 40 or 50 times more functionality than that, you can pay less than that for an entire Project Management suite, than what you would pay for one “app”. You do not need “apps” when a system is designed to have mobile functionality built in such as on a PC, iPad or a cell phone. Is marketing that powerful that someone would actually pay for that? I can’t imagine one of my Project Managers coming into the office and saying “Hey boss check out this new “app” I just signed up for, it’s only 12k a year and it lets us look at plans on an iPad and attach a punch list note!”

As the Donald would say, “You’re fired!”

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