The Other Hot San Francisco Industry

MarielleroundMarielle Price
Director of Customer Success

Our CEO, Yves Frinault, recently took part in an interview on NBC, along with Scott McGrew, JP Mangalindan, and Jon Swartz. We wanted to share a few highlights from their discussion with you.

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In the interview, Scott points out that construction is a very hot sector right now, particularly in the Bay Area. There are very few parts of San Francisco where you wouldn’t easily spot a crane or two…or ten. The recent topping out ceremony of the new Salesforce tower is just one example of the incredible construction boom in the area.

“There’s a shortage of skilled labor on the West Coast,” says Yves. “There’s a lot of high profile, high complexity where they are flying out very skilled crews from the Midwest to the West Coast”. With the industry expanding so quickly, it comes as no surprise that it has been struggling to fill open roles for over a year now and this has brought hiring practices and diversities into light.

But this isn’t isolated to just the West Coast. It’s happening all over the country, such as in cities like Atlanta, which has seen massive changes and been paying a lot of attention to the latest technology tools. These innovations keep those projects on time and under budget, and Atlanta was actually one of the first cities to provide the Fieldwire team with traction in the early days.

Yves also mentions the impact of mobile technology in construction. Before smartphones, there was no clear device that could provide the industry with the functionality it needed. Fast forward a few years to 2011 and nearly everyone on-site has a smartphone in their pocket, and that’s when Yves realized that the industry had no choice but to embrace mobile. “They are going to adopt technology because everybody is going to get a smartphone, and that’s what’s happening in construction. What the computer did for the office, mobile is doing for the construction site.”

Fieldwire’s core mission is making sure that everyone can access the information they need from whatever device is most comfortable to them. That’s what differentiates Fieldwire from its competitors. “Fieldwire captures a large portion of the labor on a site. We capture up to 30% of the headcount you’re going to have on a site, and that’s the only way to have a really profound impact on how things work.”

Listen to the full interview here

Fieldwire is free for small teams on Apple iOS, Android, and on the web. We support 100,000+ projects worldwide, and our community continues to grow with each passing day!


Lean Construction Handbook

StephaneroundStephane Denerolle
Product Evangelist

Lean Construction is a journey that takes time and can call into question traditional construction management delivery. This paper is intended to help your organization take the first step of this journey by illustrating a few Lean tools and techniques that can be implemented on your project(s) over the next couple of weeks.

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There is plenty of academic literature covering the concepts and guidelines of Lean, yet little on how to get started. This series of articles flips the framework on its head by introducing Lean concepts through simple actions that can be taken right away. Think of this as a training program that an athlete would follow to prepare for a competition. The key is to start with small, actionable steps that will generate quick successes in a short timeframe. These first results will help you build habits and, as you become more familiar with the Lean culture, set you up for long term success.

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This first e-book presents five quick practices that support the key concepts of Lean Construction:

  1. Use visual displays to increase transparency
  2. Start daily huddles to improve reliability
  3. Hunt down double data entry to eliminate waste
  4. Use floor marking to improve workplace organization
  5. Implement Plus/Delta to encourage continuous improvement

Download the e-book here.

Fieldwire is free for small teams on Apple iOS, Android, and on the web. We support 100,000+ projects worldwide, and our community continues to grow with each passing day!


New Fieldwire Features for Spring

DavidroundDavid Vasquez
Head of Customer Support

The early days of spring are here, and there’s more than flowers blooming. We’ve released some exciting new features recently, and wanted to turn your attention toward them just in case you may have missed out! Let’s take a look at what we have in store for you this time around:

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Box/Dropbox 2-way Syncing

First up, we have a powerful new feature available for our Business and Enterprise users - Box/Dropbox 2-way syncing! What exactly is it? It’s the ability to automatically sync all file changes made in Fieldwire back to your linked Box or Dropbox account! A new “Fieldwire” folder will appear in your cloud storage to house all of your plans, photos, files, and as builts, and whenever you make changes to them or upload more in Fieldwire, you’ll see them appear in Box/Dropbox as well (and vice versa). To learn more about this new feature, check out our FAQ article and tutorial video about it!

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External Android Storage

A powerful new option now available for our Android app users is external data storage. We understand that sometimes projects can run on the large side, so if you need some extra storage space on your Android phone or tablet, it’s now possible to store your files on an SD card! This will help prevent using up all of the device’s main storage space. Plans, file attachments, photos, and videos are just some examples of data that you can now tuck away on an SD card instead of your mobile device. You can switch between device storage and external storage at any time, so to learn more about how to do that, click here.

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Plan Notifications

Next, we have a great new feature for all Fieldwire users - plan notifications! Now any time new plan versions are uploaded, or someone adds new markups or other changes to the plans, you will see a notification for this event in the top right corner of your project on the web version of Fieldwire. Notifications will all be sent out once a day at 5 AM (local time), so you're not bombarded with notifications throughout the day. This is a very handy way to keep track of plans with new additions, so everyone knows when there is new plan data to view.

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Sheet Version Comparison

Another very useful plan management feature that we recently added is sheet version comparison. This feature is available on all premium Fieldwire accounts, and it allows you to overlap and compare two sheet versions together (one appears in red, the other in blue) so you can get a clear picture of what has changed since the newer version was released. You can read more about how sheet version comparison works by visiting our FAQ article.

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Updated Report Templates

Premium Fieldwire users will now also enjoy an updated report template display, which will make it easier to choose which of their task data is actually included in the finished report. Are you creating a Detailed PDF report, but only want to include task photos? Now that, and virtually any other combination of task data, is possible! Just open up your report templates and you’ll see the check items available for each kind of task content based on the report type you choose. Select any or all that you want to see in your report! To read more about generating reports, click here.

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Smart Sync on iOS

On iOS, there’s a clever new feature that’s also designed to help save your cellular data - Smart Synchronization! This iOS app setting will be activated by default (but you can switch it off at any time in your Profile Settings) and it will prevent the app from automatically downloading non-plan files, such as photos or videos, in an effort to keep Fieldwire from burning through your device’s data plan. Fieldwire has always automatically downloaded all project files, but now we’re giving iOS users the ability to preserve some space and be more selective with what files they download on their phones and tablets.

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That does it for our latest set of new Fieldwire features, but don’t worry if you’re still craving more. We’re always hard at work developing new tools for our web and mobile services, many of which are based on direct feedback from you, our users! We continue to offer a useful app thanks to our hard work and your solid input, so thanks for contributing to Fieldwire’s high standard for quality! When we have more new features to unveil, you’ll be the first to know. In the meantime, enjoy the spring weather while you’re out in the field!

Fieldwire is free for small teams on Apple iOS, Android, and on the web. We support 100,000+ projects worldwide, and our community continues to grow with each passing day!


How Fieldwire Helps ROSACE Build a Digital Network in Eastern France

DavidroundDavid Vasquez
Head of Customer Support

There are over 100,000 projects run by Fieldwire users all around the globe, and we always love the opportunity to shine the spotlight on their efforts. One such project over in France is the SDTAN initiative, which seeks to develop a broader digital framework for people living in the Eastern portion of the country. This will close the public gap between those with digital coverage and those without, and help encourage more investment interest from private operators.

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ROSACE, the team behind the project, is a joint venture between NGE, a heavy civil contractor, and Altitude Infrastructure, a telecom infrastructure firm. Over the next six years, ROSACE will fulfill their mandate by installing a massive fiber optic network in more than 700 cities throughout the Alsace region of France. This encompasses over 3,200 square miles, and ROSACE is responsible for designing, building, launching, and maintaining the entire network. By 2022, citizens and companies within the Alsace region will enjoy new, optimal coverage for cloud computing, telecommuting, and digital spaces in order to connect people both better and faster.

This long-term commitment to providing a scalable fiber optic network is an enormous endeavor, but the improved internet service will more than justify the effort. Modern networking will stimulate both commerce and socialization, and this particular data system will span over 370,000 fiber optic outlets connected by 13,000 kilometers of cabling. ROSACE will deploy more than 500 workers across 80 companies to develop the network, with a total project cost of 480M€ (that’s approximately $512.5 million).

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With such a daunting task ahead of them, ROSACE has trusted Fieldwire to help them manage the daily supervision of this expansive project. The core management team is utilizing the construction app to organize and access their plans more efficiently, and with at least one dedicated plan for each Alsace city, that’s around 700 municipal layouts to keep track of. Luckily, Fieldwire allows them to carry every plan around on a mobile device for easy reference and the ability to mark them up on the fly.

Fieldwire also enables the ROSACE team to manage all of their tasks with real-time notifications and comprehensive data storage. They can measure installation progress through detailed reports and handle all QA/QC issues in the app, keeping their subcontractors on track with checklists and helping them document important items with photos and notes from the field. There’s no event they cannot record and track from start to finish, which ensures that each section’s installation goes as smoothly as possible.

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In the video below, ROSACE and our own Stephane Denerolle discuss how their superintendents use Fieldwire on their tablets to hold inspections and stay on top of daily progress. The app helps reduce wasted time by sharing data from throughout the Alsace region directly to them, so they don’t have to make any unnecessary treks for project updates, as well as by making it easier to compile on-site reports. The entire information flow from the field to the office to the client is streamlined tremendously within Fieldwire. Check it out (and be sure to turn on English subtitles):

Pour lire cet article en français, cliquer ici.