So versatile: Your app for photo documentation in the construction industry

Exciting new apps for your photo documentation app – discovered by clever contractors


Our 123onsite photo documentation app is used by countless construction companies every day. Contractors use them for their legally compliant construction site documentation. However, we are always happy when customers tell us what else they use the app for beyond its actual purpose. Here we show you how to get even more out of your photo documentation app.

In discussions with customers, it becomes apparent time and again that they use 123onsite photo documentation for many important processes – often in addition to the actual legally compliant photo documentation. When companies use the app in a completely different way than originally intended, it’s always a surprise. And I am happy about it every time!

Document work in civil engineering or under plaster

For example, an employee at a civil engineering company told me how employees use the photo app: “In civil engineering, if we do our job well, we work like a surgeon, so to speak. Because after our work, no one can see what we have done. But this also means that, for instance, you can’t go out and inspect the work steps of individual employees on site after the fact. I therefore have them document all individual work steps. Of course, we need that for the client.

The photo documentation is then at the same time also the basis for project discussions

That’s because we have a running record of work there – and it’s much better documented than in other systems we use.”


Important: Under data protection law, the use of photo documentation for the above-mentioned purposes is not a problem. This is because employees use it to document their work for the client. However, construction companies obviously need to make their workers aware of this beforehand if the company also uses the photos for other purposes.

The advantage of photo documentation – the app has these functions

With the photos in the app, you have legally compliant construction site documentation. However, working with the app has other advantages as well. Because employees usually start in the time recording function, they have logged on to a project at the same time. This project is also decisive for the photo in the background – like a construction file, so to speak. This makes it easy to (re)find the photo using the search function.

Document access roads and paths

There is another nice example of how construction companies use the photo app: as photo documentation for the subject of access roads. Construction companies usually drive and work with large vehicles. However, employees must then use these to drive into small streets in residential areas. It happens again and again that a hedge is hit, a corner stone scratches the rims or that a mailbox is somehow affected. It is then helpful to document the conditions on site. For example, one of our customers has his employees photograph the driveways before and after.

With photos, construction companies can document with legal certainty what the access road looked like before and after their work.

This is helpful in discussions with builders, subcontractors – or even residents.


Important: It is not a matter of warding off the damage. But it must be clear for which damage a construction company is really responsible. With photo documentation, the case is often quite obvious.

Mitarbeiter von Tepe macht mithilfe seines Handys ein Bild von einem offenen Stromkasten

Show installations clearly with the photo documentation

Photo documentation is also suitable for the area of electrical installations, maintenance work or even repair work. Let us assume that an employee has subsequently connected an aggregate. After a while, there is a message from the client or customer that something is no longer working. The customer would then like to have the unit replaced free of charge under the guarantee or warranty.


In this case, too, it is helpful if the company performing the installation has documented it. The photos then show for instance: The damage was on the right cable, but work was done on the left cable. This enables the company to prove that it did not cause the damage. This turns the damage report into a normal repair order.

Photo documentation makes the difference between a business making money on the spot or having to step in for free for something it may not even caused.

Photo documentation brings a real advantage for construction companies

I always compare our time recording applications to a locomotive on a train. We definitely need them, no matter what other modules the various construction companies use on top of that. The other modules are, so to speak, the individual wagons that can be attached individually.

One customer said that the photo feature gives him an even greater advantage than time tracking.

Facilitate communication and planning

Another example I have learned from my experience with our customers. During maintenance or conversion work, everything regularly turns out differently than planned. Contractors renovating old buildings, for example, open up the wall and discover that different work is needed than initially thought.

Photo documentation supports internal communication in a company.

Maybe another worker is needed or some material are needed. However, the on-site employee is often not responsible for planning. That’s why it’s convenient when he takes a snapshot via smartphone camera. The photo ends up directly in the project folder. The construction manager or supervisor can then get a good sense of what is needed. He or she can get an overview of the new requirements and decide which materials to request. Perhaps a different piece of equipment will be needed on site the following day, and the company may need more materials. There may also be a need for more manpower – or someone much more specialized in this changed circumstance. For complex issues or setups, a picture shows more than many words.

Overcome language barriers easily

In an international, diverse team, natural language barriers crop up again and again. For this reason, the 123onsite apps are multilingual. Nevertheless, there may be difficulties in communication. And even among native speakers, not everyone is a linguistic genius. Here, photo documentation can make communication easier:

A photo is often sufficient to clearly depict a fact.

Instead of having to explain what is going on, employees simply press the button, take a photo and have a better basis for discussion and decision-making with this documentation.

Bottom line

123onsite photo documentation makes everyday life easier for construction companies. Whether for documenting construction progress or for individual applications – whenever a photo says more than 1,000 words, 123onsite can help.

Photo credits: 123onsite/Timo Lutz advertising photography; 123onsite

An article by
Maurice Stelljes