HeadshotTara Callinan • 

Electrical contractor blog image

Electrical contractor software is taking the contracting industry by storm. Between now and 2021, Construction Dive reports, almost 75 percent of all contractors — including electrical contractors — will adopt construction software to improve jobsite productivity. According to the Associated General Contractors of America, the adoption of such technology will “prompt a significant transformation in the way projects are built.” Adopting electrical contractor software like Fieldwire will empower electricians to go paperless in the field, and, in turn, improve jobsite productivity.

Fieldwire is one of the best apps for electrical contractors, but don’t just take our word for it. ABCO Electrical, DC Electric, and Blue Mountain Electric are three U.S. based electrical contractors already using Fieldwire to simplify jobsite processes. As a result, they’re saving time and money on electrical projects and operating far more efficiently — both in the office and in the field.

ABCO Electrical use electrical contractor software to be 100% paperless

Just imagine how your day would run if you could eliminate paper plans onsite. You wouldn’t need to carry around bulky physical files, walk back to the trailer just to update a plan, or spend money printing revised drawing sets. Sounds great, right? The best electrical contractor software eliminates these processes entirely and empowers workers to go paperless in the field — syncing all relevant files and drawings they need to the mobile device in their pocket. Using Fieldwire’s blueprint app, contractors at ABCO Electrical Construction & Design can view all of their plans on any mobile device, even when they’re working offline. ABCO’s project manager, Sam Carlson, saves his team even more time onsite by organizing electrical drawings into project-specific folders for easy navigation in the field; important information they previously had to search for in binders full of paper. Now, all information relating to a project – plans, resources, submittals – is stored in Fieldwire for everyone to access. All detail, section, and elevation callouts are automatically activated on plans, allowing electrical contractors to easily navigate between drawing sets. Carlson said:

“We have senior site staff who once wouldn’t even take their iPhone onsite, and those are the guys who are now advocates for the platform.”

Sam Carlson, Project Manager at ABCO Electrical

Once the team realized they could use electrical apps to view their plans on an iPad or iPhone, instead of flipping through hundreds of physical files, the adoption of electrical contractor software was immediate.

Blake ABCO Fieldwire Plan Viewing and Mark-ups on iPad 500px wide

DC Electric saves 2+ hours per person each day

It’s clear that ditching paper plans will save you time and money onsite, but what about all of those other paper forms electricians and electrical contractors still carry around? Think daily reports, safety audit forms, QA/QC inspection checklists, RFIs, timesheets, and T&M forms. Can they be digitized and accessible on mobile as well? The answer is yes. Fieldwire’s electrical contractor software is pre-loaded with six types of construction forms, meaning electrical contractors can fill-out forms and reports from any location and on any device. Fieldwire also offers a custom form builder which allows electrical contractors to customize pre-existing forms to suit the way they already operate or build their own construction form entirely from scratch; a process that’s saved DC Electric 10-15 hours per person each week.

Prior to using Fieldwire, DC Electric spent 25 percent of their day manually building forms and filling out paper reports. Thanks to efficient electrical contractor software, this process now takes just a few minutes. Electrical contractors and electricians in the field can instantly log daily reports — site details, weather conditions, schedule delays, materials used — from their mobile device. Once the report is submitted from the field, the office manager is notified in real-time and can approve the form in the click of a button. As a result, the business manager at DC Electric, Steven Clements, said:

“We’re saving 2-3 hours per day for each person on Fieldwire. The ability to have custom forms built into Fieldwire has allowed us to get closer to our goal of becoming a completely paperless office.”

Steven Clements, Business Manager at DC Electric

Using Fieldwire’s custom form builder, DC Electric contractors are able to build and submit digital forms from the same platform they’re already using to manage plans, punch lists, and tasks each day.

Blue Mountain Electric assigns tasks in seconds

For productivity to remain high onsite, electrical contractors must be equipped with the tools they need to communicate tasks in real-time. When there is a delay in information, production often slows down, and projects run over schedule. In fact, McKinsey & Company estimate that large construction projects typically run 80 percent over budget and take 20 percent longer to complete than originally scheduled. Using electrical contractor scheduling software that keeps contractors focused on their tasks — for any given day, week, or month — will help reduce that number significantly and keep production moving. Electrical scheduling software doesn’t have to be complicated either, sometimes all it takes is a simple ‘@’ symbol.

Blue Mountain Electric use Fieldwire’s electrical contractor software to easily track work and assign tasks from the field. They use the ‘@’ symbol — a Fieldwire-specific shortcut to quickly assign tasks — to notify a contractor in real-time that they have work to complete for the project to stay on track. The company’s vice president, Nathan Howat, often uses the ‘@’ sign to immediately tag and notify an electrical contractor who needs to fix an outage. He said:

“Once the outage is completed, I can verify the task. This makes tracking outages so much easier. It’s a huge advantage for taking care of every task.”

Nathan Howat, Vice President at Blue Mountain Electric

Fieldwire’s contractor management software is used on more than 300,000 projects worldwide — not only for mobile plan viewing and simple task management, but for scheduling, inspections, reporting, and more! To learn more about Fieldwire’s free electrical contractor software and to see how it can benefit you, please request a demo today and start working towards a paperless jobsite.

HeadshotTara Callinan • 

Feb. releases blog banner

Here at Fieldwire, we’re always working to make our platform better for all of our customers who rely on it throughout their days. In our most recent release, we announced the ability to build forms customized to match your exact jobsite processes, all managed within Fieldwire.

While we were creating this new way to get work done on the jobsite, we were also making a number of other product enhancements that make Fieldwire easier to use each day. Here are just a few of the features we think you’ll enjoy from our latest release:

Real-time task dashboard

Our new, real-time task dashboard helps users understand how utilized they are and how busy they’re about to be. You can choose to see a breakdown of your project tasks — by category, assignee, plan, or location — to easily identify which area or user group requires the most attention.

real-time task dashboard

Track the status of plan uploads and processing

As part of our commitment to be the best and fastest mobile plan viewer, we are continually enhancing the process we use to upload plans. In this release, we allow you to see the upload progress status of large files (such as an entire set of hundreds of sheets) and to identify the folders and plans that require your attention (eg. to confirm plan names or resolve version conflict).


Add a project code to any new project

Many of our users create a new project for each jobsite they’re working on and want to use their own internal project codes to sort and filter projects. In this release, we’ve included an optional field for project codes so that you can insert whatever you need to make your life easier on-site.

Search and annotate within any PDF

You’ve always used Fieldwire to add markups and notes on your plans; now you can do so on your other PDF files as well. For example, search a submittal for a key phrase, highlight it in red, and note any issues to interact with your files quickly and easily. This feature is available on web only in this release.


View your 360° photos in reports

We have always included photos directly in your project reports so that anyone can see what happened on the jobsite, regardless of if they’re a Fieldwire user or not. Now, anyone can access your 360° photos as well. Each 360° photo appears as a thumbnail with a link in your construction reports, and when anyone clicks on the link, the full pannable image opens in their browser, with no login required.

Project billing dashboard

Some of our customers allocate the price of Fieldwire back to each project or jobsite that uses it. We’ve made it easier to do this with a simple dashboard available to admins that shows how many users are attached to each project.

Here at Fieldwire, we encourage users to submit their feedback and any ideas they have which could enhance our product even further. Please contact support@fieldwire.com to submit a request. For a full list of new features and enhancements, check out our support page.

HeadshotTara Callinan • 

Construction daily reports

While filling out a construction daily report can be tedious and time-consuming, it’s also inescapable and extremely important. What is a daily report? Fieldwire defines a construction daily report as a record of field notes, including work completed, weather conditions, and materials delivered or used onsite. Daily reporting keeps the project management team — including the owner and general contractor — informed and aware of project progress. More importantly, daily reports can save key stakeholders a lot of time and money when the information contained in them is used to resolve litigation disputes.

Despite being perceived as time-consuming and tedious, construction daily work reports should not take more than a few minutes to complete. Field management software, like Fieldwire, which empowers workers to operate with ease onsite, allows specialty contractors to submit a construction daily report from any mobile device. In just a few minutes, daily reports can be generated from any location in the field — significantly reducing office hours and eliminating the need for emails or calls just to communicate project progress. Reduce wasted time in construction with efficient communication and reporting software!

Fieldwire construction daily reports

In a nutshell, Fieldwire daily reports are designed for jobsite workers and office teams to document work in a convenient and straightforward manner. Using the Fieldwire platform and customizable construction daily report templates, a project manager or superintendent in the office can assign a daily report to a foreperson or specialty contractor in the field. They receive a notification in real-time on their phone or tablet to complete a daily field log and submit it. From within the Fieldwire construction management app, the contractor can instantly fill out a construction daily report to include important information, such as:

  • Weather conditions, which can be input manually or automatically generated based on the project’s location.
  • Information about schedule delays, conditions, accidents, and equipment or materials used.
  • A log of work that was undertaken, including who did it, the time it took them, and any other additional notes. This information can also be reported in a time and materials (T&M) form, also supported in Fieldwire.
  • Attachments such as photos and files that support the work log.

Daily reports ipad 2

Process daily reports with ease

Once all information for a daily report is supplied by the contractor, they can instantly notify the team in the office by clicking ‘submit’ within the Fieldwire construction forms app. The office team can generate a PDF report and send it to various stakeholders in just a few minutes — so no more hours wasted at the end of the day manually compiling lengthy reports!

“Forms are a game-changer for us. We’re already using daily reports, and we’re excited to see the power of forms added onto Fieldwire’s existing plan viewing and task management capabilities.”

Curtis Brundidge, Director of VDC, Carroll Daniel Construction

Daily reporting best practices

When choosing a construction daily report app, check that it supports these four daily reporting best practices to ensure construction projects progress smoothly:

  1. Automatically dated and organized reports. Trying to locate a daily report from days, weeks, or months ago is going to be extremely painful if you don’t have an organized history of reports. Just including the date on each report isn’t enough; you also need a searchable index in a single daily reports online database.
  2. Weather conditions. An accurate log of weather conditions can help jobsite teams explain construction delays and/or future defects, and should be automatically included based on location. If, for example, heavy rain impacts a general contractor’s trenching and shoring schedule, team members can look back at their daily reports and validate the necessary steps to get back on track.
  3. Clearly defined work completed. For key stakeholders to understand what progress is being made each day, workers must list all tasks completed (plus how long it took them to do each one) in a daily work log. This way, craftspeople in the field take ownership for their work and the owner’s office teams have a sense of project progress without physically being onsite.
  4. Detailed documentation. Before submitting your construction dailies, make sure you have included enough information — including files and project photos. This eliminates unnecessary questions being asked post-submission.

Daily reports ipad 1

Completing a construction daily report doesn’t have to be tedious and time-consuming. Accurate daily reporting is essential for the success of any project. For more information on Fieldwire construction daily reports, read this overview or watch this video online. Daily reports are just one of six form types offered by Fieldwire’s construction forms app.

ZacharyroundZachary Reiss-Davis • 

Last summer, Fieldwire introduced a whole new way to use Fieldwire: forms. In that release, Fieldwire forms allowed you to consolidate your daily reports, inspection forms, RFI forms, and timesheet forms into one easily searchable platform. But we heard from our customers that they wanted more.

More types of forms and, critically, the ability to modify the forms Fieldwire provides out of the box and build their own custom forms that match the workflows and processes that were already happening on the jobsite.

Today, we’re excited to release a major new set of capabilities for our forms. We’ve added two new types of default forms — safety audit forms and time and material (T&M) forms — as well as the ability to customize any form or build your own that matches how you work.

Fieldwire’s customers are already engaging with the new custom form builder; for example our customer at DC Electric said:

“Custom forms built into Fieldwire has allowed us to get closer to our goal of becoming a completely paperless office. We’re now 90% paperless and hope to be 100% paperless by May of this year.”

Steven Clements, Business Manager, DC Electric

With Fieldwire custom forms, you are no longer forced to adapt your jobsite processes to your field management software. Instead, your software can adapt to your jobsite processes. Either take one of our six existing forms and add, remove, and customize fields so it exactly matches what you need or build a new form from scratch. Sound exciting? We’re running a webinar on February 7th, and you can sign up now to learn more. (Read the custom forms support page)

Fieldwire Custom Construction Form Builder Hero Graphic

We’re also excited about our two new out of the box forms:

  • Safety audit forms. Safety forms need to be stored in one searchable database to be helpful later. Stacks of boxes of printouts or a jumbled mess of PDFs simply don’t help you if there was any injury or accident on the jobsite. With Fieldwire, complete a safety audit directly from your mobile device and store all of your completed forms in one database. (Read the safety audit forms support page).
  • Time and materials forms. Time and materials forms (or T&M forms) were the other most requested type of form, after the safety audit form. You can now record exactly how long a job took and what materials it consumed while in the field, from your phone or tablet, to help you prepare field-originated change order requests in the office. (Read the T&M forms support page).

Since the original release of Fieldwire’s construction forms app, we’ve also added a number of smaller enhancements, including automated weather data and linking forms to specific points on a plan or task. And we’re excited to continue building on the platform this year, including the ability to export and email forms on mobile. Forms is available to our Business customers; if you’re interested in trying it, request a demo or watch our release webinar.

For more information about how to get started, sign up for our release webinar on February 13th with Stéphane Denerolle, Director of Product Management for Fieldwire.

Thank you to all of our customers who have given us great feedback about forms already, like Apex Steel:

“The custom forms are thorough, organized, and are easy to use. They look great and we are so excited to use them!”

Lindsey Smith, Quality Control Manager, Apex Steel

Resources:

Sameer 2Sameer Kalburgi • 

If you asked me five years ago whether it would be possible as a software engineer to work from a single platform, I would have probably told you ‘no.’ Because, like most people in similar roles, I needed separate tools for issue-tracking, real-time chat, and email just to do work.

Thankfully, though, this all changed when I started working at Fieldwire and realized I was wrong; there is a way to work efficiently and from one platform.

Why Fieldwire runs on Fieldwire

Fieldwire’s construction field management platform, as the name implies, is used by jobsite teams to coordinate tasks and streamline processes in the field. However, the more I continue to develop the platform, the more I realize how powerful it is — not only for jobsite construction teams but for software engineers like me.

Fieldwire uses Fieldwire internally — across the whole company including engineering, marketing, sales, and operations — to ensure work gets done in the quickest way possible and without any need for extra tools or emails. Instead of spending up to three hours in my inbox each day, I now spend about an hour in Fieldwire’s task dashboard, where all of my tasks for a given day, week, or month are listed in order of priority. Not only does this keep me organized but it saves me a lot of time and hassle as I no longer need to jump between my inbox, Jira, and the likes of Slack just to complete a task; everything I need to know is stored in Fieldwire.

The benefits of increased transparency

As the VP of engineering, I need to be across all of my own tasks, plus my entire teams’ tasks to understand what work is being done each day. From the task dashboard, I can see exactly what my software developers are working on, the pace at which they’re progressing, and any conversations happening around a particular task. This kind of transparency is especially helpful when it comes to answering questions about product releases my team is working on. For example, if the marketing manager says “hey Sameer, when is that new feature being released?” I just easily jump into Fieldwire, search for the relevant task, and communicate the release date in seconds — without having to send an email or ask around in the office.

Below is an example of one feature release I worked on recently with my team. It might seem relatively simple, but this task — to create a Gmail style pop-up alert in Fieldwire — has saved us from doing hours of unnecessary rework. popup alert

Wondering why we built this feature?

Fieldwire employees sometimes accidentally closed tasks or tabs in the middle of adding a message. And, unlike Gmail, Fieldwire used to not alert them to the fact that they were about to lose what they’d already written. Hence why I created a task in Fieldwire for my team to build a Gmail style alert which would pop-up on the screen every time someone was about to close a task that contained unsaved content — including files, images, and notes.

Fieldwire-specific features were leveraged when creating this task to ensure the work required was communicated clearly to everyone involved. A category of ‘Web App’ was used to identify the team responsible for completing the task, and a brief description (including some screenshots) was supplied for further context. The task was then assigned to Tyler Lu, who allocated one day in his two-week Sprint to complete this task. Tyler could explore ‘Related Tasks’ or send messages directly to other Fieldwire employees (which he did) from within the task to ask questions or simply communicate progress. This helped me stay abreast of all conversations that were being had prior to the feature’s release. fieldwire task on macbook Besides the benefits gained with increased transparency, the best thing about Fieldwire, in my opinion, are the real-time notifications which alert me to change, remind me of pending tasks, and (ultimately) keep me productive. It’s the key feature I use to stay organized every day, especially when I have more than 100 tasks to stay on top of for a big release!

Staying organized and productive shouldn’t be hard

Technology has advanced in a way that makes it easy for any type of engineer — whether a software engineer or a civil engineer working on a jobsite — to work painlessly. If you’re interested in joining a company that works with the product it’s developing each day, we want to hear from you! Check out our list of job openings and follow the links to apply; we’re hiring across the entire company including on my team, construction, and sales.

If you’re specifically looking to improve productivity on an upcoming construction project, I highly recommend taking a look at Fieldwire — and you’ll see why we run Fieldwire on Fieldwire.

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