Start the Year with Some New Features

DavidroundDavid Vasquez
Head of Customer Support

Now that the holidays have passed and a new year has dawned, it’s time to start off 2017 the right way. No doubt you were on your best behavior all of 2016 (if not, just play along), so we have a sack full of belated goodies to hand out to you. Some of you may have peeked at these presents a little early, as a few of these new features were already released weeks back in beta mode. But now we’re ready to unveil the finished products, so grab a seat and start unwrapping some of Fieldwire’s new gifts to you!

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Improved Calendar and Task View

Let’s begin with a feature that many of you have had on your wishlist for a while now: the new-and-improved Calendar View. Now, we’ve always had a version of Calendar View available for your tasks, but it used to be limited to the 3-week lookahead. This has been replaced with an infinite, visually-streamlined calendar to display all of your upcoming tasks. Whether you want to schedule tasks 3 weeks or 3 years into the future, every date is now an option, and you can organize the Calendar View by day, week, or month increments. We’ve also addressed all your scheduling needs by replacing the old Due Date system with Start and End Dates for tasks. This will further clarify to your crew the duration each task has to reach completion. Any Due Dates you already had set for your tasks have automatically become End Dates, which you can adjust if necessary. The beefy new Calendar View is now available on the web version of Fieldwire.

We've also updated how tasks now look when you open them on web. The new task view places all the core task attributes along the right side of the task window, leaving the main body of the task for your notes, photos, checklists, and all other content. Just making it easier for you to see all the details at a glance! This new task view should go live within the next day or two, but here's a sneak peak:

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Redesigned Project Dashboard

Next up, we have something surely all of you have noticed by now when logging in on the web: the new Project Dashboard. We’ve given your account’s homepage a sleek new design, to make it easier to locate and distinguish between all of the projects you’re a part of, as well as locate your Account and People settings much easier. We’ve also made our tutorial videos easier to find as well, just in case you need any pointers while using Fieldwire.

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Batch Scaling for Plans

The next web-only feature we’ve added is another innovative tool: the batch scale feature for your plans. As you may know, if your drawings have scales already printed on them, Fieldwire will automatically read and scale each sheet accordingly. For those plans without a scale, or if you simply want to change things up, you can now select all the plans you wish and set their scale as you see fit. This should make managing drawing scale a much simpler process.

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Mobile Sheet Storage Options

Now let’s open up some of our exciting mobile app developments, starting with the new mobile storage options for your plans. We know that sometimes, depending on your mobile device’s capacity, it can be difficult to preserve memory space on some of those larger projects. We released the selective syncing project feature in the past to help mitigate this, and in order to further address your device space issues, we’ve now made it possible to adjust how many sheet revisions your projects will sync. You can select up to 10 new versions (or fewer if you prefer) and that will help save data space in the Fieldwire app. On Android, you will be able to change the number of sheet versions synced via each project’s Settings page; this is not yet possible on the iOS app, however as a workaround, you can still set the version number preference on web and it will go into effect on iOS.

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Recently Viewed Plans

Another great addition is the Recently Viewed Plans tool, which can be found on the Plans page in both the iOS and Android apps. Clicking on this makes it easy to pull back up the most recent sheets you’ve opened, rather than having to search for or remember which ones you were just looking at. This will make plan viewing even easier than it already was in Fieldwire, so starting pulling up those sheets.

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Additional Task Sorting

We offer a lot of different attributes to choose from when creating your tasks, and now you can sort through and organize those tasks in new ways on both iOS and Android. The new Task Sorting tool allows you to pull up your list of tasks based on Priority, Start/End Date, Last Modified, Completion Date, and Verification Date, so every task is displayed in a useful way while you’re working. Whether you have a preferred sorting order or it changes from day to day, our mobile apps have you covered.

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Mobile Photos Tab Updates

For those interested in managing their project photos, we have some updates to the Photos section as well. First off, the Photos section is now available on the iOS app, so you can see your task and plan photos all collected in one convenient album. And on both the iOS and Android app, you can now add photos directly to the Photos section, just like on web. So keep snapping new field photos while you’re out on the job!

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Improved Android Camera

Those users who favor the Android app have another photo-related update to take for a spin: improved in-app camera functionality! You will now be able to zoom in and select specific focal points when taking photos in Fieldwire on Android devices. These new camera features will add more clarity to your photos, and should hopefully prove useful to those of you angling for that perfect on-site shot.

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Scribble on Android

And last but not least, we have one more tiny gift for our Android users - the Scribble task tool! iOS users will already be familiar with the Scribble tool, which allows you to either leave a signature or draw an image within a task, and now this handy feature has been included in the Android app. It should be a helpful little addition to your task management arsenal.

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There it is, your complete holiday haul of new Fieldwire features! This should be plenty of gifts to keep you busy as we take our first steps into 2017, and if you’re still feeling a little greedy, don’t worry. We’re already working on more new developments to include in Fieldwire, so it won’t be long until we have even more feature announcements to make. Like a dear old grandma, we like to spoil you here at Fieldwire.

Fieldwire is free for small teams on Apple iOS, Android, and on the web. We support 1,000+ companies across 50,000+ projects, and our community continues to grow even larger as we roll into 2017.

By the way, are you interested in becoming certified in your Fieldwire knowledge on LinkedIn? Take our Intermediate and Expert Certification quizzes, and if you pass, you’ll earn a badge to display on your LinkedIn profile! Let your peers and employers know that you’re a Fieldwire pro!


Use Case: Inspections

MarielleroundMarielle Price
Director of Customer Success

Throughout the course of any project, inspections are necessary to make sure everyone got it right. And “it” can encompass a variety of duties, from safety to deficiencies to commissioning to QA/QC work, all of which involve attention to detail and thorough issue tracking. We all know the diligence that these inspections require always pays off, but that doesn’t always make getting through them any easier, especially if your team is using outdated methods. So why not make sure you’re doing the best job possible by using a top-of-the-line construction management tool like Fieldwire? We go to great lengths to ensure that our app is catering to your on-site needs, and when it comes to walkthroughs and inspections, there’s no solution more accurate or less complicated to take with you into the field.

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All Your Data at Any Time

The first step for any inspection is making sure you have all of the necessary data to know what to look for. While this may sound like a no-brainer, papers and clipboards both pile up and get misplaced all of the time, so it’s easier said than done. Thankfully, Fieldwire collects a complete cloud-based record of your entire project right there on your mobile device, meaning you always have all of your documents at your fingertips - both online and offline - while you’re walking around the jobsite. Any drawings, specs, submittals, details, cut sheets, and tasks can be referenced or approved on the go. If your crew has added new data to the project since you last checked in, it will sync via the internet to your own device so you’re never lacking important details. Having every vital piece of information in hand makes it simple to compare current site conditions to project standards, and makes the inspection process run far smoother.

Stay Up-to-Date in Real-Time

As your team updates their tasks in Fieldwire, that new progress is automatically synced with everyone else on the team. Best of all, those involved with specific tasks will be informed via email and mobile push notifications, so you can always track issues in real-time from start to finish. You can even tie tasks together so one trade knows when their work directly affects another’s, and you’ll know at a glance when each job is ready for sign-off. If any punch items or safety hazards suddenly arise during an inspection, just create a task for it and assign it to the appropriate person for immediate attention. It’s possible to duplicate tasks as well for repeated or similar duties across the jobsite. Task attributes such as priority and due date help identify the severity of each issue, and Fieldwire employs Admin-controlled two-step verification for all completed tasks to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. In other words, you’ll never lose track of anything!

The Value of Checklists

If a particular job has a number of steps that need to take place in a certain order, add a checklist to make this clear to your subs while they work. Checklists also make it easy to confirm that everything was taken care of while you’re on your walkthrough, so there’s never any confusion about who did what. Creating a checklist is a simple process on both the web and mobile versions of Fieldwire, and you can also save checklist templates in your project so that they can easily be inserted into any other tasks from that point on. Savvy users can facilitate inspections by creating a task that includes a checklist to act as a template for walkthroughs, then duplicate that task as many times as they like directly on their plans. All of the key attributes of that task will be included in each clone you create. This is useful when you have multiple rooms to inspect or numerous areas across the jobsite to look over.

Reporting Made Simple

If you want to document an inspection, you can generate a PDF or spreadsheet report to paint a clear picture of where your project stands at any given time. Reports are entirely customizable, meaning you can share as much or as little task information as you need, and can be sent to anyone you like. You can sort report content by date range, priority, category, assignee, and just about any other core characteristic you can think of. Every report template you create is automatically saved in your project as well, making it easy to edit or send it out again. And if you’d rather not even be bothered with remembering, reports can also be scheduled for specific dates to be sent out on a repeated basis. This makes creating inspection reports a lot simpler than jotting down notes and photos and assembling them all manually in a Word document that you then have to print and distribute in person.

5 Easy Steps for Inspections

To summarize, you can handle your inspection needs with just a few easy steps in Fieldwire. To get started with your inspections quickly:

  • Create checklists (and save the templates).
  • Add the checklists to your tasks.
  • Duplicate the tasks if they apply to multiple areas.
  • Take the Fieldwire app on-site during your inspection to add photos, comments, and make note of all the details.
  • Document the inspection by generating a report.

Inspections are an integral part of getting jobs done the right way, and Fieldwire is dedicated to relieving any stress or unnecessary steps from the inspection process for you. With a few clicks you can quickly survey, record, and send out all of your findings to the appropriate teammates and ensure that every aspect of the project is built to perfection. Now keeping an eye on the quality of your project really can be a no-brainer.

Fieldwire is free for small teams on Apple iOS, Android, and on the web. We already support 1,000+ companies across 50,000+ projects, and we’d love to join you in the field on your inspections!


Customer Use Case: Shimizu North America

DavidroundDavid Vasquez
Head of Customer Support

As a subsidiary of a Japanese construction company more than 200 years old based in Tokyo, Shimizu North America LLC is based in Atlanta and manages jobs all along the East Coast from Georgia to New York. They primarily focus on manufacturing and the automotive industry, often taking on feats upward of $500 million in scale, which makes them ideally suited to handle a wealth of building projects.

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“One person using Fieldwire for one year can save us up to $26,000. That one person ends up saving 44 hours - one full week - per month by using the app to do everything quicker.” - Rick Lane, Project Director at Shimizu North America LLC

Quality Control and Deficiency Management

Since 2014, Shimizu has placed its trust in a mobile construction app that could help facilitate getting jobs done. Rick Lane, Project Director at Shimizu North America, recognized the value in a system that could efficiently track punch list items and maintain quality control throughout the company’s daily activities. That system turned out to be Fieldwire, whose mobile construction software quickly became Shimizu’s go-to solution for managing the bulk of their issues.

“We have 3 or 4 major uses for Fieldwire on recent projects, most of them related to quality control. From reinforced steel inspection, concrete pouring, steel erection, and even safety monitoring,” says Lane. “Right now we’re focusing on quality control to create reports. We generate reports pretty regularly with Fieldwire and they get distributed to subcontractors immediately, so we send all of the defects that we find directly to them.”

Creating reports in Fieldwire is an essential method for Lane to deliver duties out to his team, tracking issues as they are created and worked on so that he can monitor overall progress on the project. Report templates in Fieldwire feature a wide array of filters, so each report can be tailored to include the tasks of specific subcontractors and be sent out automatically on a regular schedule. This makes it easier than ever to track what everyone is doing, since all their progress can be viewed in real-time from any device connected to the internet. No more trekking across the job site, no more waiting on the crew for in-person check ups. Once each defect has been updated in Fieldwire, Lane and his construction team can look them over and include those tasks in the next report that goes out. And while they are currently focused on quality control, using reports for punch list management is not a foreign concept to Lane.

“We started using Fieldwire very regularly, so we’re very used to it by now. We don’t get bogged down in unnecessary steps anymore. You just create a task on a mobile device and that’s that, you’re done.”

Positive stories like this became more frequent among Lane’s team as they continued to use Fieldwire, and helped support his findings as he encouraged Shimizu North America to deploy Fieldwire on additional projects. The quick familiarity and improved metrics from his team’s performance cemented the construction management app as a worthy addition to their field arsenal. It was a no-brainer for Lane to introduce the app into his team’s day-to-day operations when other clients came calling.

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Saving Time and Money

“People don’t understand the immediate value until you put it in terms of money. One person using Fieldwire for one year can save us up to $26,000,” says Lane. “That one person ends up saving 44 hours - one full week - per month by using the app to do everything quicker. You can have your PM or your superintendent spend more time focusing on the construction side of things instead of sitting behind a computer doing administrative work or creating reports the old way.”

Rick Lane has had tremendous success cutting down on wasted time by using Fieldwire. Continued use of the construction app has streamlined his team’s on-site pursuits and improved their organizational skills. As work continues on their projects, the Shimizu North America crew relies on a steady stream of reports to get out to their subcontractors each day, so being able to save large amounts of time on that whole process is invaluable.

“Before using Fieldwire, the old fashioned way of doing things was just too time-consuming,” says Lane. “We needed to find something to help us be more efficient. Our projects can run pretty large in size, and we would need at least 2-3 more people just to create reports all day if we didn’t have Fieldwire.”

Freeing up several people so they can actively contribute to construction, instead of preparing task lists for everyone else, makes a world of difference day by day. And since the reports are composed directly in the app itself, they don’t need to be printed out in order to be distributed. The project management team can email out reports directly to their trades all from within the office. The benefits of incorporating Fieldwire into their routine kept piling up, as Lane and his squad were able to boost communication and cut down on time spent making reports.

“It used to take us from 40 minutes up to an hour to create a report the old way. That time has dropped down to less than 10 minutes using Fieldwire. We can get all the deficiencies out to the subcontractors right away. It saves us a lot of time.”

Such a drastic reduction in the time dedicated to generating reports creates benefits that reverberate throughout the entire work flow like a shock wave. Lane saw a decrease in downtime and an increase in time spent smoothing out snags across job sites. The temporal savings naturally lead to monetary ones, and with each passing day, Lane regularly sees a trend toward less spending in the big picture.

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A Construction App that Fits Like a Glove

With all of the advantages being reaped through use of Fieldwire, those unfamiliar with the app might assume a lot of effort had to go into setting it up to Shimizu’s standards. But as Rick Lane will tell you, adopting Fieldwire and becoming fully fluent with it only took a matter of hours, and the hours it subsequently saved them more than made up for the brief learning phase. Regardless of their varying levels of technological expertise, his crew took to Fieldwire like a hammer to a nail.

“We got our team up and running with Fieldwire in one day - even less than one day,” says Lane. “It wasn’t hard for everyone to get used to it quickly, even all of our old school guys out there working. They all got used to Fieldwire pretty easily. It’s very simple, very user-friendly, and it has what it needs. There’s no extra things to confuse you. It has a very intuitive interface.”

Improving daily workflow is the overall takeaway from Shimizu North America’s implementation of Fieldwire, but the core difference being made extends beyond that. They are achieving a level of productivity that helps drive them forward at a steady pace, leaving behind the sluggish methods of the past. Smart phones and tablets are replacing pencils, paper, cameras, and physical drawings. Despite the huge size of their projects, the answer to growing issues has been paring down the task repertoire. Everything can be contained in a single tool, accessible on any other mobile device in any other pair of hands.

“We can have anywhere up to 40 people or more active on projects. Of course everyone uses their own mobile devices, but we also usually have about 4 dedicated mobile devices on-site, so Fieldwire is always present on the job. People can walk through the site, make inspections, and check everything all the time.”

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Building a Winning Streak

Shimizu North America is pushing forward with continued success in all of its endeavors, thanks to the vigilance of those among their ranks with an eye for progress. Construction management across a multitude of manufacturing projects is being streamlined through the data reports, quality control, and user-friendly design that Fieldwire provides, and with every finished job, Shimizu’s East Coast presence is further solidified. Other Shimizu branches in Asia and other international markets are also rolling out Fieldwire on projects after such stellar confirmed results from Shimizu North America. Indeed, Shimizu proves its ability to define building quality time and again, and its North America branch plays a large part in that with the help of people like Rick Lane. His winning streak with Fieldwire shows no signs of slowing down.

“It’s working great, we’re definitely planning on using Fieldwire for our future projects,” says Lane. “I would definitely recommend it to others as well, as long as they’re not my competitors! We’re saving a lot of money and taking care of work really well, and I don’t want the competition getting in on this!”

If you would like to download a shortened PDF version of this customer use case, click here.


Customer Use Case: Webcor Builders

DavidroundDavid Vasquez
Head of Customer Support

Located in San Francisco, CA, the folks at Webcor Builders like to keep their plates full. As one of the largest building firms in California, they can be regularly found in the field working on a multitude of sizeable projects. Past triumphs include the California Academy of Sciences, the SFMOMA Expansion, Lucasfilm Headquarters, and San Francisco General Hospital, and ENR recently included Webcor Builders in their list of Top 100 California Contractors - they were #5. As a subsidiary of Japanese construction giant Obayashi and with an annual revenue approaching $1 billion, it’s clear that Webcor possesses some serious construction prowess.

One of their current missions is the $500 million expansion of the Moscone Center in San Francisco. At over 2 million square feet of building area and 700,000 square feet of exhibition space, the Moscone Center is one of the most popular convention sites in the United States, but it is still operating at capacity despite its great size. In an effort to increase contiguous event space and accommodate more clients, Webcor Builders has been tasked with expanding the Northern and Southern wings of the convention center, with construction scheduled to extend into 2018.

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Successful Sheet Management

The Moscone Center Expansion, due to its layout and the fact that much of the existing convention space is still in use during construction, presents a host of ongoing challenges for the Webcor team. Matthew Watley, Assistant Project Manager, knew that he would need to run a tight ship in order for his crew to tackle such a large and tricky venture. Luckily, he did not need to rely on good fortune to keep the ship afloat. Webcor Builders, being no stranger to projects of massive scale, has the experience to successfully navigate a multi-phase project of this size. And after testing out Fieldwire, with its built-in plan management capabilities, he knew they would be well-equipped to handle the growing convention center by combining the app’s strengths with his team’s expertise.

“Our main purpose for Fieldwire is looking at current documents in the field, predominantly drawings,” says Watley. “Our project has an immense amount of drawings, which are very difficult to manage on their own. We upload lots of different versions and then sync them into Fieldwire via Box, which is a big help once we’re on-site.”

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Having access to all drawings on a mobile device is a major advantage for Watley and his team, as both they and their inspectors are utilizing Fieldwire to oversee the expansion project. They can keep the latest sheets and older versions in hand while walking the construction grounds, adding markups and annotations as they go, as well as attaching tasks, photos and videos, measurements, and files directly to the drawings. The time and trouble being saved thanks to digital plan management exceeds measure for Webcor, and through automatic syncing and offline functionality, Watley’s team grows more organized and effective as they improve the convention space in Moscone North and South.

Although Box integration has been available in the app for years, Fieldwire worked directly with the Webcor team to enhance the integration capabilities so that the feature was better suited to their project needs. This level of service was something special that Watley had not encountered with other construction software that his team had tried in the past.

“I would certainly recommend Fieldwire to other teams because it’s a great solution for viewing documents in the field without creating excessive work,” says Watley. “Having updated drawings on-site has helped us avoid rework, and it’s definitely saved office-side time too since the syncing system automatically publishes new drawings. We don’t have to manage each set manually, as we’ve had to do with other programs. The less office work required to support documentation in the field, the better.”

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Expanding Horizons

As fall begins to grow cooler, the expansion of the Moscone Center continues to heat up as it shifts into its next phase. But it’s not just the convention floor that’s expanding down in the heart of San Francisco. Webcor Builders is broadening their approach to document organization and construction management through their consistent use of Fieldwire, and seeing tangible boosts in their efficiency as a result. By using the app to handle all of their drawing sets and accompanying data, Matthew Watley has embraced an innovative tool to make each day in the field a little easier for his team.

If you would like to download a shortened PDF version of this customer use case, click here.


A Special Message to all our Veterans

DavidroundDavid Vasquez
Head of Customer Support

On behalf of the Fieldwire team, we want to thank you for your service. We’re so grateful for the hard work that all of you who have served or are currently serving undertake to keep us and our country safe.

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As a small token of our appreciation, the first 100 servicemen and women who write in to sara@fieldwire.com will be sent a free Fieldwire t-shirt. Just include your shirt size, mailing address, and a photo of yourself in uniform, and we’ll get your shirt in the mail. This offer is good all through this Veteran’s Day weekend, and will conclude come Monday, November 14.

If you’re not a veteran and still would like to sport our great swag, you can get them through the Fieldwire Store. All profits go to the people at Hire Heroes USA, whose mission to empower U.S. military members, veterans and spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce is already generating over 100 hired individuals every week.

Thanks again for your dedication and sacrifice. We truly appreciate it!