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!


Best Fieldwire Feature Updates of 2016

MarielleroundMarielle Price
Director of Customer Success

2016 was a busy year for us at Fieldwire. We developed quite a few new features, and most of them were based on your direct feedback, so thanks for your support in our continuous improvement!

Here are some of the top features that we released in the past year:

Calendar View, Related Tasks, & Task Duration

We know that keeping on top of your schedule is a high priority in the field. That’s why we’ve added more options to help you keep track of what’s happening next. You can now relate tasks to one another, add start and end dates to your tasks, and view your entire project schedule in a monthly, weekly, or daily calendar display.

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Improved Photo & Video

This year, we focused on improving the overall photo experience in Fieldwire. You can now view all of your project photos in one place - the Photos tab. You can also now add videos and boost photo quality with focus and zooming features.

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Measurement & Scaling Tools

We received a lot of feedback for better take off features on your plans. So we added length and area measurement markup tools, and went a step further by making it possible to scan your plans for a scale, automatically calibrating your vector/text-based plans. If you don’t have vector PDFs, you can use the new batch scale tool under the Actions menu.

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Report Updates

We revamped our PDF and CSV reports with better formatting, sorting options, and filtering capabilities. There are also more customization options with the ability to add your company logo and color to the report cover pages.

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Improved Mobile Selective Syncing for Projects & Plans

To save precious space on your phones and tablets, we added selective project syncing so you only need to download the projects you want to access in the field on your mobile device. We also added the option to limit the number of plan versions downloaded to your devices, which helps save space for those projects with lots of plan revisions!

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New Filtering Options - Plan Tags, Photo Tags & Recently Viewed

We know that the key to being a useful tool is providing the information you need as soon as possible. That’s why we’ve added more filtering options for plans, tasks, and photos. Adding tags to plans and photos to group related items together will help you pull up important data quicker. You can also now easily re-open recently viewed plans!

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Improved Task Notifications

Since Fieldwire is all about collaboration, notifications are the key to keeping the team on the same page. We’ve expanded our notifications to include real-time indicators on web. On the mobile app, the notifications now bring you to the task itself, so there’s no need to hunt around for the information. You’ll always know what the newest information is, whether you’re on web or mobile.

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International Coverage - All Currencies & Additional Languages

As Fieldwire usage is expanding, so is our global reach! We now support all international currencies for cost tracking in tasks. We also localized several more languages (Brazilian Portuguese & Russian) to raise our total number of supported languages up to 9!

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On behalf of everyone at Fieldwire, thank you everyone for making this our best year yet! Keep letting us know the type of features you want to see, and we'll keep building them. Let's make 2017 even better than last year!


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 100,000+ 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!