Running a company is hard work. Any app that can make it a little easier is a gift. And an app that not only makes it easier but saves you and your company time, that’s a bonus gift. In this article, we will review the top 5 useful free apps for engineering companies like yours. We’ll explain which areas of daily operations they cover and reviewing their pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision.

Below are the top 5 apps, some of which help with the financial aspects of running an engineering company, others with the project management aspect. See which ones might work for your situation and where they work together.

Dovico

Free for up to 5 employees or 10 projects | Basic plans start at $10/user per month

Dovico’s Timesheet solution gives you features that do away with chasing down team members to get their timesheet data. It makes employee time entry easier for you and the team. With a powerful reporting engine at your ready, Dovico makes it pain-free when it comes time to tally up project costs for billing at the end of the month.

Dovico Timesheet means you can enter, approve, or reject time from your team anywhere, whether you are out in the field, out of the office, or working from home. You don’t have to wait at your desk for paper-based timesheet submissions.

Pros:

  • Employees can submit their timesheets from anywhere, even on their mobile devices.
  • You can receive instant notifications for any pending time that needs your approval, budget milestones, or time that hasn’t yet been submitted so that you know what’s happening.
  • Generate customized reports based on the data you need at a given time.

Con:

The full version of Dovico is not responsive to work on tablets or mobile screens.

Stand-Bot

Slack add-on is free | Free trial for Jira integration

Regular meetings are an essential component of good collaboration. They go a long way toward holding all team members accountable and offering support where necessary. But in today’s modern workday, you not only have to contend with people working on different projects in different areas but team members working remotely in other offices or from home.

This variability in scheduling makes it difficult to find the time slot for everyone on the team to get together at the same time for a video call or a meeting. That’s where Stand-Bot steps in.

This free app lets you run a stand-up meeting asynchronously, ensuring the meeting takes place regardless of where people are working or when they are available. Moreover, it works in tandem with some of the other top apps like Jira Cloud, ensuring overall efficiency.

Pros:

  • Every member can send updates on their projects.
  • You can review past reports to verify project progress.
  • Run daily meetings, regardless of schedule or who is working from home

Con:

Its main competitors are workflow management apps like Trello, Asana, Smartsheet, and Basecamp, which have been around longer and might already be used by your company. Adoption for change may be difficult.

AutoCAD 360

Free DWG viewer

AutoCAD 360 helps engineering teams collaborate on projects remotely. With this free app for engineering companies, your team can view, edit and share DWG drawings. Individual team members can make annotations or revisions to work drawings while on location in the field, in the middle of a meeting, or while working from home. They can then share it with relevant parties in real-time.

Pros:

  • The palettes (like the Layers, Blocks, and Properties palettes) are faster to access.
  • There’s new support for a physical keyboard, so people working on nothing more than a work laptop or office desktop can still utilize the app.
  • You can upload SHX fonts.

Con:

Upgrading to a non-paid version of the software is quite expensive.

Jira Cloud

Free up to 7 users | Plans start at $7/user per month

Jira helps you manage projects, and more importantly, track issues or defects within your company projects. It functions as a collaborative solution for your company, your individual engineering teams, and it works well with other top engineering apps.

Jira Cloud provides you with notifications on ongoing tasks, requests from engineering staff, details about the type of issue, the level of priority for said issue, and who is assigned to it.

Need to share information with specific departments or engineers? Jira Cloud has you covered. It allows you to filter which updates are shared to various groups based on the project type, the issue, and other characteristics so you can decide who collaborates on what.

Pros:

  • Attach messages to individual issues for better collaboration
  • Customize the notifications you receive, and send them to individual channels

Cons:

  • There are no connectors for Google Drive integration, which can be problematic if your company relies heavily on Google drive.
  • You won’t be able to access 100% of the functions in their databases directly. Still, the API is pretty hefty, and chances are you won’t be bothered by this.

Engineering Codes and Standards

Free app from Google Play

Engineering Codes and Standards is a handy app that was created as a reference guide. As its name suggests, it contains up-to-date engineering design codes and standards sorted by discipline. It works well for fire engineering, mechanical engineering, piping engineering, civil and structural engineering, and electrical engineering. 

You can even specify by the organization, components, rotating equipment, static equipment, topic, and more to prove requirements quickly and send them to your team when coding issues arise.

Pros:

  • The developer is swift to respond if you have questions about the functionality of the app.
  • It provides up-to-date engineering design codes and standards that can be accessed from any device.

Con:

It is only for use on Android platforms, which might not work for some company devices.

Conclusion

These top useful free apps for engineering companies stand out because of their features and go above and beyond the average. While not all five may prove useful to your business, it’s still important to review each’s pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision when the time comes. Sometimes you never know what you need until you see it.

You may be losing up to 20% of billable time due to chaotic time tracking

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About the Author

Jeff Nagle is Dovico's blog contributor and digital marketer. What started as a hobby, writing content has now become Jeff's full-time career. At Dovico, he began as a software developer, then moved to customer support and custom report writing, and now, he's helping get Dovico's word out. When Jeff's not in his office writing, he’s sweating it out at the gym, reading a captivating biography, or training for a marathon.



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