Webp.net resizeimage.jpgMatt Schneiderman • 

#17932 Women in construction blog Just 9% of America’s construction workers are women. And as employment of construction workers is projected to grow by double-digits through the next decade, it’s crucial that construction companies recruit and retain more skilled female construction professionals. That’s why Fieldwire is profiling amazing women working in the industry — women like Jessica Rondash of Holt Construction.

Jessica is Holt’s Technology and Business Systems Manager, coordinating any and all technology-related initiatives at Holt with a focus on software, user interface, and training.

Did you join Holt with a construction background?

I came with no construction. I studied film in college and worked in audio studios while I was studying for my MBA.

At one point, I wanted to do something different for work. My father works at Holt and Holt is a family business, so it was a good fit. I started as an associate PM — technically, I was a project coordinator — and then was pulled into IT.

How did you adjust to working in construction?

For my MBA, I took some PM classes, but they were not geared to construction. For my job, I took a few project management and accounting classes online and at NYU to learn more. Fortunately, my dad helped me with construction knowledge.

For me, the biggest hurdle in construction is that it’s so behind the times technology-wise. In a lot of ways, it made the transition harder. We didn’t have a solution before Fieldwire. At this point in time, supers walking around jobsites with paper drawings is kind of crazy. Being behind the times in technology is problematic.

What’s a typical day at Holt look like for you?

No two days are identical. I rotate through our local New York metro offices — I try to hit each of our offices once a week — Newark, NYC, Pearl River, and Rosedale. Sometimes I’ll go to Boston, Philly, and our offices in Texas.

A large proportion of my day is spent on calls, emailing, and answering questions in person. I have two primary responsibilities, software training and troubleshooting. That could be fixing a mistake or manipulating a plan in Fieldwire, for instance.

I also work on FAQs about our software and develop training materials and videos. Fieldwire did a training we recorded which I cleaned up and added to our learning platform.

And I’m in charge of tech onboarding for new hires, so I train supers on Fieldwire, entering their daily reports, filling out safety forms, and in general how to use iPhones and iPads.

What challenges have you faced as a woman in construction?

The general vibe can be a challenge. Not within Holt, but when talking to subs and others in the field, I sometimes get the feeling that people don’t think I understand what they’re talking about. I have to go the extra mile to prove that I know the details. Subs may take something a man says slightly more seriously than what I say.

Within Holt, I’ve never run into problems. At Holt, women get the same opportunities as the guys do.

But in general, when I’m talking to outside people, I have to put in 110% to prove I’m at the base level of someone else. 2020 01 08T11 27 34 edit

What’s a piece of helpful advice you’ve received?

The best advice I’ve received was from Chris Asaro, the president of the company. After I’d been here a bit and was deciding what I wanted to do long-term, he told me, “Be indispensable to as many people as possible.” He wants me to help as many people in different departments I can, so I don’t get boxed into one thing. That’s how I got into IT.

Have you had mentors at Holt?

Everyone at Holt is open to mentoring and helping each other out. My mentors have been Alex Perotti, Director of Operations, and Jason Spector, Director of Field Operations. These people are very knowledgeable — they’ve answered all the questions I’ve ever had.

Every construction company could use more women — that’s always a sticking point. Alex is a member of Women in Construction. And another coworker who helps me a lot, Antonina Caruso, is in a lot of women’s organizations. In general, this company has always been very welcoming and open. We’re starting an internal women’s organization with monthly speakers.

And of course I’m really lucky to have my father here. Before Holt, I was never in construction per se, but my father always has been. He re-did our house and my sister and I helped. He never excluded my sister or me from anything. It never seemed weird to me that a woman would be in the construction industry because I never heard anything else.

I have better access to the supers because of my father — he opened doors for me and made sure the supers were comfortable with me. I’ve learned so much from him. He’s retiring in June and I’m his legacy here. He’s always pushed supers on tech, encouraging them to learn how to construct emails, to learn Fieldwire, to use technology better in general. I’ll continue that after he retires.

Are you mentoring anyone yourself?

Not formally, but we recently hired someone named Marlene Lawla who has a tech support background but nothing to do with construction. She has expertise working in IT at big organizations, and I have construction experience. So it’s a dual mentorship thing. I’ve been able to mentor her on construction overall and how to work with our business processes. It’s an interesting dynamic.

What’s the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is helping all of these people — especially our supers and PMs. Some are scared of technology and don’t want to learn to use new things. When I started five years ago, they would come into the office and ask me to print documents and fill forms out. Seeing them learn to use their iPhone or iPad and use Fieldwire — it’s exciting to watch them get into technology. Before we would have been hard-pressed to get pictures from the jobsite. Now they all take and send pics.

It’s especially great to have supers more invested in technology. We’re integrating with Fieldwire more and more and they’re clamoring for more training. It’s opened up a lot of potential for us.

Fieldwire is user-friendly and extremely related to what we’re doing. It makes the supers more efficient in construction and in technology. It’s eye-opening to see how much they grow.

Webp.net resizeimage.jpgMatt Schneiderman • 

fieldwire-permissions Fieldwire makes it simple to grant the right people access to the right information, thereby saving you the time and hassle of adjusting permissions for every document.

There are several ways to customize access to projects, plans, and files. Reference this cheat sheet when you need to know or adjust who sees what on your account and projects.

Account-level people settings

There are three types of users that can be added to an account: Account Managers, Account Users, and Project Users. Here’s how they differ.

Account Managers can create, view, and edit all projects within an account and can invite new Account Managers and Account Users. (Account Owners have the same permissions as Account Managers.)

Account Users can create projects and can access and edit projects they are assigned to. They can also invite new Project Users to the projects they create.

Project Users are users invited to individual projects. More about project permissions below. account-permissions Learn more about account-level permissions in the Help Center.

Project-level people settings (Project Users)

Project-level permissions are specific to each project. There are three main types of Project Users: Admins, Members, and Followers. Here’s how they differ.

Project Admins can create tasks and categories, upload and rename plans, and assign tasks. They can also add markups, hyperlinks, and attachments to plans, mark tasks as verified, and delete projects. (Creating a new project makes you that project’s Admin by default.)

Project Members can create tasks, add markups, hyperlinks, and attachments to plans, and invite new Project Users to the project.

Project Followers can view plans, create new tasks, and add photos to tasks. project-permissions Learn more about project-level permissions in the Help Center.

Want more? Learn all about permissions with these helpful articles.
- Forms: User Types and Permission Levels
- How to Use the People Tab in Projects
- What Is File Access Control?
- Account Management and Pricing
- User and Project Settings (YouTube)

HeadshotTara Callinan • 

#17771 File management

If you’re not using software like Fieldwire, chances are you’re wasting time searching for specific files just to keep projects on track… Am I right?

At Fieldwire, we know that wasted time and poor file management results in decreased productivity. Hence why we built an advanced file management tab for users to quickly upload, access, and edit important files with ease.

If you’re interested in learning how to use Fieldwire for successful file management, please take note of the following tips and tricks.

1. Save time and energy by linking files to plans

Instead of jumping back-and-forth between the Plans and Files tab on Fieldwire, simply link files directly to your plans for everyone to see. Just go to the plan, click the link icon, select the paperclip icon, and drop it onto the plan. You can then choose to add a new attachment, such as an RFI or submittal, or search for an existing file.

Extra tip: Fieldwire will automatically include a link back to that plan in the File tab for quick and easy navigation.

2. Restrict access to files to ensure privacy

Did you know that you can hide files within folders from certain users? From the Files tab, simply select the drop-down menu to the right of the pertinent folder, then select “Edit Folder Access.” This will bring up a pop-up menu where the project admin (only) can restrict a user’s folder access. If a user doesn’t have access to a particular files folder, the folder and the files within it will stay hidden from various views (Files tab, file hyperlinks, within a task, etc).

admin access

Extra tip: Having the ability to restrict access to files is super useful if you want to hide sensitive contractual information from external stakeholders.

3. Annotate files for quick & easy documentation

You’ve always been able to add markups and notes to your plans… But did you know you can do so on other PDF files as well? For example, you can search a submittal for a key phrase, highlight it in red, and note any issues to interact with your files quickly and easily.

Annotate any PDF

Note: This feature is available on all platforms - web, iOS, and Android!

4. Add tags to files for a simple search process

If you don’t have your files organized in folders (yet), searching for the right document could take some time, especially as your project progresses. That’s where Fieldwire tags come in handy. Add tags, e.g. #change_order or #punch to files as you upload them, and filter by those tags to speed up your search process.

If you’d prefer to keep untagged files in organized folders, you can do that too. Simply head to the Files tab, select “+ New Folder,” and add new or existing files to that folder. This is the best way to stay organized and ensure nothing important slips through the cracks!

To learn more about successfully managing files in Fieldwire, please check out this Help Guide. And don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about this topic.

If you’d prefer to have Fieldwire Tips & Tricks blog posts delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletter, The Wire.

StephaneStéphane Denerolle • 

#17674 Stephane switch

While I loved playing with Lego as a kid, I wouldn’t say that working construction was my childhood dream. By the time college came around, however, I had developed a keen interest in the industry.

In fact, my favorite subjects were mechanics and economics, and this led me to specialize in Construction Management at grad school (UC Berkeley) at the intersection of both fields.

Following my studies, I joined DPR Construction to get more industry experience. During my time as a Sr. Project Engineer, I led BIM coordination meetings and managed work packages on large corporate campuses, such as the new Apple Park in Cupertino, CA.

apple campus

While I loved the pace and very tangible aspect of building a project from the ground up, I found myself frustrated by the adversarial nature of the industry. Traditional project delivery methods were doing very little to promote collaboration across companies, resulting in a lot of inefficiencies, disputes, and unnecessary paperwork.

From fieldwork to Fieldwire

Living in San Francisco, I became curious about the tech industry and how it could be leveraged to foster collaboration in the construction space. And it was this fascination that inspired me to join Fieldwire.

While tech and construction are very different industries, my transition seemed pretty seamless. I was immediately drawn to the fast-paced environment of working for a startup, which reminded me of the close-out phase of construction projects.

As the Director of Product, my role is to translate and prioritize requests from customers into features that my engineering team can build. An example of that would be the recent addition of private markups. Many of our customers have been requesting to let field users add private notes on plans to mimic the way superintendents used to mark up their printed set of blueprints. After conducting customer interviews and brainstorming internally, we decided to introduce a new private markup color (purple) to visually tie markup colors to privacy. The feature was then implemented across the Fieldwire platform within a month and released in August.

private markup

I find my role at Fieldwire to be very similar to a project manager role at a general contractor, transcribing requirements from the owner and architect into directions for the field teams. In both instances, these user groups speak very different languages so it’s the PM’s job to translate and funnel the requests.

My biggest advice for anyone considering making the switch from construction to tech is to pick a company that is solving a problem you’ve experienced first hand. This will help you bring value to your new team and make you feel empowered to solve problems for others.

Fieldwire is actively seeking professionals with industry backgrounds to work alongside me on the Design and Engineering team (we also have open roles across all other teams). Apply and make the leap today!

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