Kim sloweyKim Slowey • 

#15685 Construction dive article

With all the new software offerings and apps available to contractors these days, it might seem unlikely that a construction company could pick just one to meet its technology needs in the field across a wide variety of projects. However, that’s exactly what happened when Clark Construction Group, a multibillion-dollar general contractor with projects nationwide, recently adopted Fieldwire companywide to manage project documents.

Fieldwire facilitates coordination and management of documents like plans, inspection records, punchlists, requests for information, purchase orders and any other piece of information related to what’s happening in the field.

In fact, when Fieldwire CEO Yves Frinault founded the company in 2013, he had been working on building information modeling technology and realized that, although BIM is critical to the construction industry, perhaps the needs of those on jobsites were being overlooked.

“[Those working in the field] deal with very specific issues,” Frinault said, “like accessing information [remotely] and assigning and tracking thousands of items every day that need to be completed — and completed well. There was not really any [solution] for the people out there.”

Now, he said, it’s even more important that companies be able to streamline their field activity through a tool like Fieldwire because of the rising costs associated with labor. Just one hour saved per worker per day can “move the needle significantly” for the company’s customers, and this opportunity to shave time off the schedule has been one of the drivers of Fieldwire’s growth.

“In any market that has expensive labor,” Frinault said, “we’re going to do well.” But the focus on field production, said Ray Mina, head of marketing at Fieldwire, is not specific to Clark. “It’s a common thread in the industry,” he said. Arming those in the field with the tools they need to do their jobs, Mina said, “is a momentum we’re seeing.”

Building a relationship with Clark

But how did Fieldwire make its way onto Clark’s jobsites?

A few Clark projects on the west coast had been using the program with impressive results, said Molly Raglani, project executive at Clark, which led to an “enterprise approach” in evaluating Fieldwire for wider use throughout the company. “We were strictly looking for a document management program,” she said.

There were several factors that went into choosing Fieldwire, including an evaluation that pitted the app against other programs like Bluebeam Studio, BIM 360 and PlanGrid, Raglani said.

One of the most important features that Fieldwire offers, she said, is availability on all types of devices, including the iPhones, a functionality that not all solutions provide. For field supervisors, being able to use an iPhone relieves them of the burden of having to lug around an iPad. (The product also can be used with other smartphones.)

Speed and efficiency of use was also a plus, she said. Using what Raglani calls a click test, the evaluation team at Clark recorded how many clicks it took users to perform various tasks on Fieldwire, extrapolated those figures to hours and then compared that to the time it took for users to navigate through other programs. The time savings realized using Fieldwire were significant.

“They understand the importance of time,” the project executive said. “As soon as you can economize the amount of time you’re using to do anything, you can serve your clients better, and you can communicate with your subcontractors better.”

Next, Fieldwire’s interface, she said, is easy to navigate for subcontractors and customers, who are able to check up on their projects easily.

Finally, Raglani said, Fieldwire’s customer service through the test period was exemplary and continues to be so. “They’re really quick to respond,” she said. “Every question is important.”

In addition, the Fieldwire team listened to feedback. “They were always responsive to what we were suggesting and to what issues we were having,” Raglani said. “If they could immediately integrate and push [changes] out, they would, and if it took a little more time, they would be very communicative about the whole process.”

In addition to putting this field-friendly tool into the hands of its employees, Clark will also make the program available to all its subs free of charge for use on Clark projects.

“The fact that I haven’t heard anything (from the field) is what stands out to me. It really is just that easy.”

Molly Raglani, Project Executive, Clark Construction Co.

This is the model that Fieldwire relies on to grow its customer base, which now stands at approximately 2,000 companies.

“When you think about technology as a company,” Frinault said, “you have to be very careful of where you allocate your resources, and, for us, it’s a lot better to focus on the product with a model that does a lot of distribution for you. The model is a bit different, but it seems to be working for us.”

The biggest “vote of confidence” from subcontractors that were introduced to the product through a general contractor like Clark, Frinault said, is when they become paying customers.

Fieldwire, Mina said, is also scalable so that both small and large contractors are able to benefit from it.

And as for Clark, Raglani said, the proof of a successful implementation could be the lack of comments about the program from the field. “The fact that I haven’t heard anything is what stands out to me,” she said. “It really is just that easy.”

Looly circleLooly Lee • 

June product release

Hi, Looly here from the Fieldwire product team. It’s been a busy few months, but I’ve got something new to share with you. Actually, make that six new things to share! That’s because we’re supercharging a whole bunch of Fieldwire features. I can’t wait to dive in and tell you more about the updates we’re making available to you. So, here goes…

View AND edit PDFs on the Fieldwire mobile app

Back in February, we released the ability for you to mark up files, just like you can with plans! You didn’t think we were going to stop there, did you? Now you can get more done from the field by doing it all from your mobile device. That’s because we’re giving you the ability to search for key terms on specifications, highlight essential phrases, and cloud important changes to communicate them to your team - all from your tablet or phone.


Set permission levels on sensitive documents

We’re all about creating an open and collaborative platform for communication. Still, there are times when, as the admin on your project, you’ll want to set permission levels to sensitive documents. As a Business plan user, you can now do this by heading to the Files tab in Fieldwire to restrict access to confidential contractual information and hide privileged documents from external stakeholders.

FileFolderAccess

Set up two-way sync with Microsoft OneDrive

You probably already know that you can use Fieldwire to set up two-way sync with Dropbox and Box and keep all of your team on the same page (see what I did there). We’ve also heard from you that offering the same ability with Microsoft’s OneDrive would be huge. We listened, and it’s here! With this new feature, anytime you make changes in Fieldwire, like upload a new bulletin or update an RFI response, those changes will be synchronized to OneDrive, and vice versa.

OneDrive

Collect GPS coordinates in photos to use in Google Maps

One of our top missions at Fieldwire is to help you see what work needs to be done and where you need to go to do it. Since January, we’ve given you the option to collect GPS coordinates on all your mobile photos. Those coordinates are now accessible in the photo view on web, and linked to the exact location on Google Maps. On roadway or heavy civil projects, this can help pinpoint the precise location of your photos and the progression of the project.

Download reports in-app

If you’re a Pro or Business plan user, you now have the option to download task reports directly from your web browser rather than sending it via email. It’s just another way to save you time by allowing you to instantly preview things like punch lists and QA/QC reports, then adjust your report template before sending it out to your entire team.


See who else is involved with tasks

Here’s an update in the interest of even more visibility in Fieldwire. When looking at a specific task, you can now see its “watchers;” people on your project who are involved with that work and get notified about updates. Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re coordinating the installation of equipment with various trades. You can now see all the subcontractors who can contribute updates and additional information, but still have one single assignee responsible for finishing the job. Users also now have the option to unfollow a task or add other task watchers that should be aware of the conversation.

watchers zoom

Try Fieldwire Pro or Business for free

Remember when I said you could try out all of our new updates for free? I was serious. Yep, that’s right; we’re now offering a 14-day free trial of our Pro and Business plans! If you’re using our basic plan you can initiate your free trial of either Pro or Business tiers to unlock premium features, like unlimited sheets, projects, and all the new features I just covered. Just start your free 14-day trial by clicking right here. New to Fieldwire? No problem. Click here, and we’ll help you get started with a trial account.

That’s about as many new features as I can possibly fit into one update. For a full list of new features, fixes, and enhancements, check out our support page at any time.

I hope you noticed that we’re listening to your feedback and that you’re excited about these changes. Listen, if at any time you have more ideas that could improve your experience using Fieldwire, would you send them our way? All you have to do is write a note to support@fieldwire.com. We’d love to hear from you.

HeadshotTara Callinan • 

Construction software checklist

When evaluating construction software, you may subconsciously follow the Goldilocks Principle — you don’t want software that’s too simple, nor software that’s too complex. Rather, construction software which you believe is ‘just right.’

To reach this point in your evaluation process, you must identify which features of construction management software are important to you and which features are not. To help you do this successfully, we’ve put together a simple checklist of construction software features which we think are necessary for construction projects to succeed.

Here’s a short description of what you need and why:

A blueprint app for the jobsite

To go paperless in the field for improved productivity, you must carefully select construction software that offers mobile plan viewing and document management. You need an easy way to view your drawings without needing to carry around paper copies of plans. A construction management app which offers mobile markup tools will further simplify your life onsite as you’ll be able to add things like markups (lines, highlighters, clouds, arrows, and text), annotations, and progress photos directly to your drawings from the field. This way, you don’t need to reprint a drawing set every time a change is made — saving you more time and money on your construction projects.

“Initially, it was around $7,000 to print off one set of drawings, so we’ve saved $35,000 just on printing costs with Fieldwire.”

Robin Beck, Document Control Manager, Graham

As-built drawing software

As you know, it’s critical to keep your drawings up-to-date when new changes are made, otherwise you risk working from an outdated plan. To avoid this from happening on your jobsite, invest in a construction app that automates version control and identifies conflicts for you between old and new plans. This level of transparency ensures no wires get crossed and keeps production moving without significant waste.

Task management software

At Fieldwire, we believe tasks should clearly define work so that you know where you need to go each day and what to do once you get there. That’s why it’s important to implement construction task management software that gives you these answers on any device, in real-time. For jobsite productivity to improve, you need software that gives you the ability to:

  • Attach tasks directly to plans.
  • Assign tasks to others.
  • Set priority levels for tasks.
  • Organize tasks using categories or checklists.
  • See an overview of your tasks for a given day, week, or month.

Construction scheduling software

In order to avoid construction waste on your next project, you need flexible, transparent, and lean scheduling software. For easy crew scheduling and progress tracking, try construction scheduling software that offers a Kanban board, Gantt chart, or Calendar view of tasks]. Having the ability to easily extend deadlines, drag-and-drop tasks, and quickly see into the future will help you avoid project overrun and scheduling conflicts.

A punch list app for the jobsite

Punch lists are commonly tackled towards the end of a project when deadlines are tight and workers are exhausted. Which, in turn, increases error and prolongs project turnover. So, it’s critical that you invest in a construction punch list app that streamlines the punch process. You want to be able to add and annotate punch items on-the-fly using a mobile or tablet, and instantly generate punch list reports directly from the field. This way, you can conduct more efficient site walkthroughs and reach close-out faster.

Customizable construction reporting software

Towards the end of a construction project, reporting can be a headache, but not if you’re using automated construction reporting software. In the click of a button, you should be able to generate and download PDF reports and CSV files to share with others from the field or office. More importantly, you should be able to customize those reports for different project members. With Fieldwire’s custom form builder, you can make modifications to our six existing forms — daily reports, safety audit forms, QA/QC inspection checklists, request for information (RFI) forms, timesheet forms, and time and materials (T&M) forms — or build your own entirely from scratch. It’s never been so easy!

Fieldwire Custom Construction Form Builder Hero Graphic

The best part about Fieldwire’s construction management software is that it combines all of these six, essential features in one platform. And, based on the plan you select, Fieldwire offers varying features — some being simple and some being complex. That way, you can easily choose the plan that’s ‘just right’ for you. Start evaluating today!

HeadshotTara Callinan • 

TechView Q&A

It’s not every day we get interviewed for The Registry, so when the opportunity arose, we didn’t hesitate to say “yes”!

Registry’s reporter, Meghan Hall, was eager to learn more about our recently released Custom Form Builder. So, we sat her down with our CEO, Yves Frinault, who told her everything she needed to know (and more). Yves talked about the evolution of Fieldwire and the construction industry, the benefits of moving towards an entirely paperless jobsite, and the power and simplicity behind our Custom Form Builder.

Here is the transcript of our Q&A for The Registry which was published as part of their TechView series.

Meghan: Tell me a little bit about the construction industry in general, and how jobsites have evolved with the introduction of mobile technology such as smartphones. What pain points in the industry did you see that inspired you to create Fieldwire?

Yves: Pre-2010, construction was essentially like the office pre-computer and internet. Ninety percent of field people were working offline so getting access to information was quite hard. Even more, communication was hard! It was the pain that came with creating punch lists that inspired us to create Fieldwire. Essentially, punch lists are used to document site issues (or punch items) with photos; localize them on drawings, assign them to people, and track them to completion. There are often thousands of punch items on projects so this process pre-Fieldwire was super tedious. We do much more than punch lists, but I would say this was the starting point.

Meghan: When it comes to the construction industry, do you believe that it has kept pace with other commercial real estate sectors in terms of the innovation and implementation of technology?

Yves: There is no debate that the digitalization of construction has been slower than in other industries, however, it has little to do with people being early or late adopters. There are various structural reasons that have slowed down initial adoption. For example, a construction site is a rugged environment often with bad connectivity, but, more importantly, it’s a temporary setup with dozens of companies involved. This makes it really hard to first reach a consensus on the best technology to use and also invest long-term in that technology.

Meghan: Tell me about the launch of Fieldwire’s Custom Form Builder; how does it enhance Fieldwire’s existing offerings?

Yves: Fieldwire actually eliminates the need to fill out lots of forms since most of a user’s data is archived automatically. However, we realized that sometimes a form cannot be eliminated. For example, what if an owner wants you to file a form that is unique or custom to them? Well, now, our customers can build that very specific form in Fieldwire, submit it to their client, and continue to use Fieldwire as the core platform. It’s that easy!

Fieldwire Custom Construction Form Builder Hero Graphic

Meghan: Why do you think the industry has not adopted technologies to go paperless for forms like daily reports, safety audits, inspection checklists, etc. previously?

Yves: It’s taken decades for the construction industry to get to this point but I think we’ve finally removed almost every technological hurdle there is. The technology available to site and office teams has been trialed and tested, and the ROI is proven to be positive. It’s now up to the last few people to get on board with the program and embrace a paperless future.

Meghan: How successful has Fieldwire’s Custom Form Builder been at encouraging companies to go paperless?

Yves: Very successful. There is always that one form that a company absolutely needs and now Fieldwire can digitize that for them. One of our clients was previously scanning an old piece of paper again and again (no one had an original digital copy) and then filing the forms away where no one could easily access them. They created that form digitally in Fieldwire, and now they can easily track the progress in one place for everyone to see.

Meghan: How many of Fieldwire’s customers are using the Custom Form Builder, and what has been their reaction to the platform?

Yves: Our customers love it. In fact, many of our existing customers upgraded to our Business tier just to get access to the Custom Form Builder, so it’s been really successful from that perspective. What’s interesting is that digitizing forms is usually only the first step in their mind. Most of them plan to extract the data later through our API.

“We save our customers an average of one hour each day which is pretty amazing!”

Yves Frinault, CEO, Fieldwire

Meghan: What downsides exist — if any — to going digital in the construction industry?

Yves: Unlike your smartphone or tablet, paper won’t run out of battery and isn’t hard to read in the sun. Paper processes seem fairly effective at first, which is why they’re so hard to displace, but the benefits of going paperless are immense. We save our customers an average of one hour each day (based on user feedback) which is pretty amazing! Just imagine what you could do with an extra five hours every week.

Meghan: What technological challenges has Fieldwire faced since its launch? How has the company worked to overcome them?

Yves: Fieldwire uses Fieldwire internally — across the whole company including engineering, marketing, sales, and operations — so we’re constantly developing the product to ensure issues with the technology don’t arise. As a company, one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced was learning enterprise marketing and sales as we’re primarily product and engineering focussed.

Meghan: How many projects are using Fieldwire today? What are Fieldwire’s plans for future growth?

Yves: Used on over 450,000 projects worldwide, Fieldwire has saved projects millions of dollars by powering clear and efficient communication between the field and office staff. The company has grown 5X over the past two years and we only plan to accelerate further with our third office opening in Phoenix this year. Our goal is to power the future of construction through software.

Meghan: What are some notable projects for which Fieldwire was used and had a significant impact on jobsite processes?

Yves: Fieldwire has been used on many great projects worldwide – from high-rises and hospitals to airports. If I had to highlight a couple, though, I would mention the Moscone Center in San Francisco with Webcor, and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC with Clark Construction. Both are extremely impressive structures!

To learn more about some of the impressive projects Fieldwire has been used on, head over to our Customer Stories page. If you’d like to see our platform in motion and hear more about our Custom Form Builder, please contact us today.

HeadshotTara Callinan • 

What is a net promoter score or NPS

According to Satmetrics, a Net Promoter Score, or NPS, is an accurate indicator of customer satisfaction and predictor of business growth. A company’s Net Promoter Score is determined by calculating the sum of total answers to this question: On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely is it that you would recommend [insert company or product] to a friend or colleague?

To calculate the Net Promoter Score, you must group the answers as follows:

  • Promoters (customers who answered 9 - 10): Loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, in turn, fueling growth.

  • Passives (customers who answered 7 - 8): Satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.

  • Detractors (customers who answered 0 - 6): Unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.

Then, subtract the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters to get the total Net Promoter Score. In some cases, the NPS can be as low as 0 and as high as 100.

How important is a Net Promoter Score?

To understand the importance of a NPS, think of it as a consumer review. For example, a consumer is more likely to purchase a construction app with a 4.7-star rating in the App Store compared to one that has anything less. That’s because reviews and referrals are taken very seriously and often persuade final decision making in a buyer’s journey. In fact, 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from others — even people they don’t know — over branded content. And, as it turns out, these include the good, bad, and ugly recommendations. Groove’s survey found that the average American customer tells nine people about a good experience and 16 people about a bad experience. Therefore, the most successful companies or products with positive customer reviews will, in turn, have a high NPS.

What is a high NPS?

It’s important to note that a ‘high’ NPS differs from industry to industry. For example, the average Net Promoter Score for Software and Apps is 31, compared to 62 for Department Stores. A snapshot of all industry averages can be seen below, and a full list of all industry averages can be found here.

Average NPS by Industry

While it’s important to compare your NPS to competitors in your industry, it’s also important to compare your own NPS overtime to see if customer satisfaction is improving. At Fieldwire, our NPS score is improving, with almost 50 percent of survey respondents giving us a perfect score in 2018 to put us well above the industry average. A snapshot of company-specific Net Promoter Scores can be seen below and a full list can be found here.

nps by company

How to improve your NPS

According to Wootric, there is not a single magic solution, but rather three best practices to improve your NPS:

1. Follow-up with Detractors. Your priority should be conflict resolution.

2. Try to engage with Passives. Use software that is real-time to ensure efficient communication with customers.

3. Always thank Promoters. But not too much. Asking customers to continually provide feedback could make them feel smothered and less inclined to participate in surveys.

We’d like to thank our customers who continually send us feedback and ideas which help us improve our product and service even further. Please don’t hesitate to contact support@fieldwire.com to submit a request at any time.

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