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The Fulcrum Focus

Stay in the know with thought leadership, product updates, and latest news on field inspection and data collection topics.

3 reasons to adopt no-code apps for your construction company

New technologies have changed the way many organizations work, empowering them to reduce time spent on administrative tasks and increase the efficiency of their operations. Construction firms are beginning to benefit from these advances, too, with productivity-boosting mobile apps popping up on more and more job sites. No-code development platforms are enabling construction companies to […]

It’s time to eliminate the lowest-bidder requirement

You get what you pay for: It’s true when it comes to clothes, food, and especially when it comes to multimillion-dollar construction projects.  For too long, the lowest-bidder jobs that have been required by municipalities around the world meant that whoever could do the job for the least amount of money won the contract, which […]

Making our place in the Esri ecosystem

Today marks the first phase of a new, easier way to integrate Fulcrum and Esri™. Joint customers can now get more value from their existing Esri investments by extending their location intelligence capabilities beyond the specialized geographic information systems (GIS) user. I’d like you to picture the people on one of your teams performing tasks […]

After 2020, you can’t afford to do bad business

The Coronavirus pandemic caught almost everyone off guard in 2020. While some organizations were quick to adopt new technology that empowered their workforce to quickly ease into working from home, others struggled to acclimate to the new reality while maintaining a healthy cash flow.  Millions of people in the United States lost their jobs as […]

Want to hire the best talent? Equip them with the best tech

When talking about the construction industry, the tight labor market and shortage of skilled workers available to successfully fill roles mean that companies are often left scrambling to fill roles with workers who don’t fit the ideal employee profile, simply out of desperation to get their jobs done on time and on budget. Many Millennials […]

Three ways to improve mobile workforce management

A manager is only as effective as the team they’ve built, and ensuring they have the right tools to get the job done is part of being successful. That’s even more critical when those teams are out in the field and responsible for day-to-day tasks without a manager being physically present. If your team members […]

Is 2021 the year of the mobile workforce?

Everything about 2020 was strange. The way we worked, shopped, socialized, and learned was upended seemingly overnight. Most of us have since adapted (out of necessity). Tools like Zoom and Google have helped us work and learn from home. There is, however, a large subset of workers who don’t have the same luxury and were […]

Maps save lives: The importance of location-based data

Between the election and the pandemic, every American is probably well versed in U.S. geography. We’ve spent most of the year pouring over data that has analyzed where the virus is the most deadly, which states submitted their election results, and now, where the coronavirus vaccine is being deployed.  Having insight into location-based data has […]

10 Reasons to Try No-Code Apps for Your Mobile Workforce

It’s the end of the fourth quarter, which means business leaders everywhere are planning their goals for the new year. For some, it might be improving their safety record. For others, reducing costs and increasing efficiency and customer satisfaction. Whatever your 2021 business goals are, adopting no-code apps can bring you one step closer (many […]

Improving process improvement: Achieving maximum impact with minimal disruption

Organizations that continually increase efficiency, safety, and customer satisfaction all have this in common: They embrace process improvement. Sometimes called business process management (BPM), business process improvement (BPI), continual improvement process (CIP) or business process re-engineering, process improvement is a business methodology aimed at minimizing errors and waste and increasing efficiency and productivity. ‍ Actually, […]

5 checklists every construction site should have on hand

Construction is one of the most heavily regulated industries because of its inherent risks. According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), one of every 5 workplace fatalities occurs on construction developments. Because they’re often working at height or with heavy machinery, construction workers must be diligent about following strict safety protocols to avoid […]

No-code development: confidence through collaboration

Businesses are embracing no-code development for its many benefits: It costs less than traditional software development, it increases their agility and productivity, and it takes strain off of their IT departments by enabling non-developers to create and quickly modify custom apps. But one of the most underrated benefits of using a no-code platform is the […]

Behind every technical problem is a human problem

Few things are more frustrating than being held up by technical problems. The laptop freezes. The vending machine breaks. The car doesn’t start. Knowing that your immediate future is now dependent on someone else — the IT guy, the repair tech, the auto mechanic — is such a helpless feeling. Like being stuck in limbo. […]

In praise of the checklist: an essential tool for safety and health

When was the last time you went grocery shopping without a checklist? How soon after did you have to go back for something you forgot? Checklists play an important role in our lives, not just by reminding us to buy milk — they also help us stay safe and healthy as we move about the world. […]

The value of location-based data for field organizations

When you call 911, what’s the first question they ask you?  What is your location?‍ Knowing where you are — and being able to share that information quickly — is crucial to getting the help you need in a timely manner.  Location matters. Not just in emergency situations, but in nearly all aspects of our […]

No-code app development: Helping ordinary people do extraordinary things

No code app development platforms are exploding in popularity, and with good reason. Mobile technology is enabling companies to improve the productivity, quality, and safety of their operations, and make more data-driven decisions than ever. The problem, however, is that the demand for software solutions is far outpacing the supply of software developers. Fortunately, most […]

Protecting the environment — and public health — with mobile technology

Keeping up with ever-changing environmental regulations can be a challenge, but for environmental engineering firms, it’s paramount for serving their clients as well as preserving the environment. In fiscal year 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency required companies to invest more than $4.4 billion to control pollution (called injunctive relief) and pay more than $360 million […]

Obstacles to safety and health in field organizations

Field organizations face a unique set of challenges: From inclement weather to communication lag, all kinds of obstacles can delay your teams from getting the job done.  But more importantly, those obstacles can also pose a threat to their safety and health. Your mobile teams encounter many issues in their day-to-day lives — some predictable, […]

3 steps to establishing a quality culture in your mobile workforce

Establishing a quality culture within your mobile workforce is more important than ever. Employees who ranked their company culture low in terms of quality reported 46% more mistakes than those at companies that were ranked highly, and estimated that it takes an average of two hours to fix an error. 1 At a salary of […]

The problem with spreadsheets for field inspections

When you think about field inspections, what comes to mind?  Probably something like this: The issue with conducting field inspections with pen and paper is that it’s impractical. It creates a long list of problems and potential problems:  Illegible handwriting leads to data inaccuracies Paper is easily damaged or lost, necessitating rework Transcription takes time […]

Level up with Fulcrum: automating workflows, part IV

In part I of this series, we talked about the importance of productivity and speed. That puts a lot of pressure on the inspector to be quick — there’s no faster way to have people resent the time you spend “checking boxes” than to take a long time doing it. Yuck. There are few things […]

Improving efficiency, compliance, and quality with no-code property management apps

As a property manager, it’s your job to not only help your clients preserve the value of their property, but to ensure it stays in compliance with local ordinances. In many states, a code violation multiplies every day it goes unresolved. So a $1,000 violation, left unattended for a week, becomes an $8,000 violation, and so […]

Level up with Fulcrum: automating workflows, part III

In part I, we talked about increasing productivity in safety, quality, and other inspections. In part II, we talked about increasing rigor and speed without sacrificing quality. In this post, we’ll talk about speeding up your organization’s reaction time to events that happen in the field. Better situational awareness Imagine that a field worker gave […]

How field inspection management software helps demonstrate the benefits of your Quality Assurance and Quality Control programs

When it comes to quality, people tend to notice when things go wrong rather than when they’re going right. Whether you’re monitoring construction-site compliance or inspecting engine parts, as quality professionals, you and your team are responsible for protecting your company’s reputation. But to be able to do your jobs effectively, people at every level […]

Level up with Fulcrum: automating workflows, part II

In our last post, we talked about how workflow automation can increase productivity in safety, quality, and other inspections. But inspections don’t just need to be fast. They also need to be rigorous. How do we achieve that balance? Increasing inspection speed and rigor without sacrificing flexibility To get speed and flexibility, we need to […]

How digitized mobile processes streamline HSE inspections

Your health, safety, and environment (HSE) inspections require you to collect a lot of data. But if you’re using paper-based checklists, you’re only getting a fraction of the benefits you could receive, without the kind of productivity that you need. Paper gets in the way Paper-based checklists can help you collect some of the data […]

Level up with Fulcrum: automating workflows, part I

Fulcrum workflows automate the process of taking the data you collect and pushing into new processes — without any additional effort from data collectors or their supervisors. We’re excited about it because it’s the first step to helping you: Increase productivity in safety, quality, and other inspections Increase rigor and speed without sacrificing flexibility Speed […]

Get to know Fulcrum Workflows

New Fulcrum Workflow Capability The Fulcrum team was super excited to introduce the Workflows capability this week, and we can’t wait to hear about the different ways our customers use it! With this new capability, you can create dynamic workflows within your apps that trigger automated actions based on the data that is collected in […]

New website. New workflows. New Fulcrum.

Some people will say we’ve changed. You’ve probably noticed that fulcrumapp.com looks a little different today. We like it, and we hope you do, too. We think it looks fresh and clean, but — as you know — looks aren’t everything. OLD (left)        NEW (right)   Beyond the obvious cosmetic changes, we have completely overhauled the Fulcrum […]

A Primer on Spreadsheets and Visualization

This is part 1 in a series about spreadsheets, data, and visualization. In this part, we’ll cover the basics of spreadsheet applications and an introduction to selecting dataviz methods. Be sure to also check out part 2, part 3, part 4, and part 5 of the series. I’ve yet to run into a business that […]

The Power of Google Sheets

This is part 2 in our series on spreadsheets and data visualization. In this part we’ll cover the powerful Google Sheets application and why it’s one of the best. Be sure to also check out part 1, part 3, part 4, and part 5 of the series. In part 1 of our series, we talked […]

OpenStreetMap Mapathon at Geo2050

Next week we’ll be in New York City for the Geography2050 conference, a fantastic event that looks forward to what the future holds for the science of geography across disciplines. As part of the event, TeachOSM & the American Geographical Society are hosting an OpenStreetMap “mapathon” on the first day, working with a group of […]

Navigation and Mapping with Locus Map

One of our favorite mobile mapping apps is Locus Map, a “utility belt” mapping app for Android that’s feature-packed and robust for all sorts of outdoor and recreational mapping needs. It lets you load offline trail maps, record GPS tracks, drop waypoints, and more. For navigation and general data GPS data capture, Locus Map has […]

Store Audits and Marketing Surveys with Fulcrum

Using Fulcrum digital inspection software to optimize your retail operations Retail store audits can be extremely valuable market research tools for understanding the sales environment for products in brick-and-mortar sales environments. Understanding patterns of customer service, product placement within store footprints, standards for stocking procedures, and competitive product analysis. This can help better understand several […]

Origins of Fulcrum

How did you come up with the idea for Fulcrum? I get asked this, or a version of this question a lot, and we typically include an abbreviated version of the story when we do corporate capability briefings for new prospective customers. I’ve been asked enough times recently that I realized I should probably put […]

Paper Is Great, but ….

Paper is an amazing tool. Think about it. Anyone can use it, it’s consistent, it requires zero training, and it’s inexpensive. In the technology age, the truly wise will not forget the lessons in simplicity from the great days of the pen and pencil. But we can do better. In field data collection, paper should […]

Asset Management with SpatialVideo

Since the release of SpatialVideo back in June, which allows you to collect GPS-tracked video from Fulcrum on iOS and Android, we’ve heard dozens of different ways that users are recording video for various projects. For covering large work areas quickly, video is great as it saves time, and allows field staff to capture large […]

Fulcrum Data Collection App Adds Status Tracking

I would like to start off by thanking the countless users that have been emailing us their feature requests. While we have always planned on adding a lot of the features that users have requested, there have been a lot of feature requests that we have not thought of. It is really interesting to hear […]

New and Improved App Gallery

Recently, the Fulcrum website has been completely redesigned. In addition to loads of new content, new plans, and a totally new look, we have also made some changes to the new and improved app gallery. If you haven’t heard about our app gallery before, it is a library of pre-made Fulcrum apps that can be […]

True Offline Maps for Android

No network – no problem! Using maps when offline in Fulcrum Today we added a much anticipated feature to our Android client that now allows users to save time and bandwidth. Previously in order to utilize true offline maps on Android, each map would have to be uploaded to your account, and then downloaded back […]

Environmental Data Collection With Fulcrum

GIS is a newly cherished friend to the environment. Only GIS is multi-faceted enough to create predictive models able to incorporate the multiple relationships and compound effects that are involved in environmental impact decisions. In order to gather the data to create these essential models, many man-hours must be spent in the field. GIS then […]

Auto-Populating Address Fields

Auto-populate your address fields As you may or may not know, one of the best features of Fulcrum is the drag and drop form builder. Recently, we added support for a new type of field that many users have asked for: address fields. As with most other field types you can specify a label, description, […]

Using Leaflet for Interactive Web Mapping

Before I started working for Spatial Networks, the only experience I had with maps on the web was with Google Maps. The only time I used it was for looking up an address and displaying a small map centered on that address. Since then, online maps have come a long way. There are several javascript […]

Importing Your Fulcrum Data Into Microsoft Excel

Using Excel in Fulcrum – a Quick Walkthrough Microsoft Excel can be a powerful tool in manipulating and analyzing your data that you collect with Fulcrum. We here at Fulcrum use open and well known data formats. UTF-8 is the standard for the web. Unfortunately, Microsoft Excel has its own preference for data encodings. You […]

Simplifying Data Collection With Choice Lists

Choice lists in Fulcrum Simplifying data collection is easier than ever with choice lists. Choice lists in Fulcrum allow you to create and save custom single- or multiple-choice fields so that you can reuse them across as many apps as you need. Using your choice list saves you a lot of the time while in […]

Using Classification Sets in Fulcrum

Classify to Simplify Classification sets let you predefine hierarchies and schemas for classifying data into a standard format from the field. A classification set is very useful when you have a huge list of items to select from. Sorting them into a classification set allows for better organization and an ultimately more fluid way of […]

Tips To Help You Get the Most Out of Mobile Device

So here you are trying to keep up with the ever-changing technology and you recently started to collect your data digitally though your smart phone or tablet device. Beside all of the great advantages that this change has, you will probably quickly realize a few not so great things. The battery can drain quickly when […]

Creating a Culture of Safety in Construction: Building a Data-Driven Safety Program

Despite enormous industry investment in safety, construction work continues to be one of the most dangerous jobs in America. Everyone knows this, yet institutional complacency and persistent it-will-never-happen-to-me attitudes cause hundreds of thousands of injuries in the industry each year. These injuries cost construction companies millions of dollars in fines, legal fees, work stoppages, and […]

Another New Feature: Shared Views

Data becomes more valuable when you share it. The Fulcrum team is constantly thinking about ways to make it easier for you to share your data widely, but securely. How to safely share data Data exports and data shares are two existing ways to do that. Exports are manual, though, and data shares require you […]

How to Modernize Your Mobile Workforce: The Successful Manager’s Guide [E-book]

Businesses around the world are embracing technology — from email to AI — to work better, faster, and smarter. But many companies are still holding on to outdated manual processes for some tasks, even as they engage with advanced tools for others. For example, your teams might be using drones and augmented reality to conduct […]

G2 Crowd Names Fulcrum a Leader in Summer 2020 Grid Report

G2 Crowd, a world leader in peer-to-peer review sites for business software, has just released their Summer 2020 Grid Report, and we’re proud to announce that Fulcrum is again at the top of the class. Fulcrum is ranked No. 1 in the Mobile Forms Automation Results Index, which means our users said they see ROI […]

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