HeadshotTara Callinan • 

Women in Construction Week

According to the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), there are 10 times the amount of men in construction as there are women. However, a recent study by the NAWIC found there were 939,000 women working in construction — the highest number on record since 2010. While this is only a fraction of the total workforce, it is still a step in the right direction for women and a reason to celebrate this week!

The focus of Women in Construction Week 2019, according to the NAWIC, is to highlight women as a viable component of the construction industry, and to emphasize the growing number of women with construction jobs.

Here at Fieldwire, we applaud those women as entering a male-dominated industry can be quite intimidating. We know this because many of the female employees at Fieldwire have prior construction experience. Hence why, we love sharing advice for women alike who are new to the industry or considering a career in construction.

Here are our top five tips for women in construction:

  1. Learn from the best. Surround yourself with people you admire so that you can absorb knowledge and ask lots of questions. Credibility and accuracy can really help when standing up for yourself and your ideas.

  2. Be confident in your knowledge. Don’t let the old-school construction workers talk down to you just because they’re not used to women being on the jobsite. Remember, you are equally as qualified as the men on your team.

  3. Never hesitate to ask questions at the risk of looking like you’re unsure of something. Being humble and curious will get you far! For example, ask the electrical foreman on a project about code requirements, materials, and inspections and you’ll end up having a more holistic view of the construction industry.

  4. Seek the skills you wish to acquire. Try to put yourself in situations where you can fill holes in your experience and expertise. This can involve shadowing meetings, or asking to take on certain projects and responsibilities. Sometimes, people can be overlooked for tasks because they’re not seen as likely candidates, so keep an eye on what you’d like to be doing and make it happen!

  5. Try to go on-site every day. It’s easy to get tunnel vision — burying yourself in RFIs and submittals, and just pushing through your paperwork. But try to take a step back and really understand what you’re building and how the team plans to build it. Lean in on foreman meetings, take daily site walks with your superintendent, and talk to your subcontractors (and not just the ones in the office). Being able to solve problems with first-hand knowledge, as well as technical skill, will make you an invaluable asset. Remember, hard work never goes unnoticed!

If you want to work for a company that values empowerment and gender equality, we encourage you to apply at Fieldwire — just follow this link to submit your application. There are various positions available in all departments across America and Europe! So, what are you waiting for?

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.

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.

HeadshotTara Callinan • 

And just like that, another month has passed, but not without any major achievements! Fieldwire received some honorable press mentions, this time from four prominent publications — The Globe and Mail, ENR, BIM+, and Construction News — to all of whom we are truly thankful.

In case you missed it and would like to catch up, here is a quick recap of each story’s highlights:

The Globe and Mail: App-based technology comes to the construction site

The Globe and Mail (the largest newspaper in Canada) further explain how EllisDon uses Fieldwire as part of their series on innovative decision-makers in Canada.

In this article, Chief Technology Officer at EllisDon, Tom Strong, explains why he chose Fieldwire in such a competitive tech market, and why he will continue to use the platform going forward on every project. He said:

“Fieldwire helps our project teams deliver high-quality results by connecting us seamlessly with our clients and trade partners.”

To learn more about Strong’s perspective on app-based technology in construction, read the full article online today.

ENR: Construction Productivity: Why It Matters

How can we move the productivity needle if we don’t have any boots on the ground? Yves Frinault, Fieldwire’s CEO, weighs in on this debate to give ENR (the largest construction trade publication) readers some food for thought when it comes to construction productivity, or lack thereof.

Frinault speaks to the high turnover rate in construction — 13% higher than in oil and gas — as a reason for a labor shortage and explains why with supporting evidence:

“Competing industries like oil and gas offer skilled workers a higher wage. The average pay for construction workers in the U.S., according to BLS, is $29 per hour – a staggering $16 less than oil and gas workers who earn $45 per hour on average.”

How do competing industries afford to pay employees so much more? They’re much more productive and therefore generate more revenue per employee. ENR 2018 - Construction Productivity - Why It Matters To learn more about the pay and productivity gap, and why it matters in construction, read the full article on ENR here.

BIM+: Can construction quality be boosted by collaboration software?

The short answer is yes.

While quality control is an issue plaguing the construction industry in the UK, it can be resolved with field management software.

This article in BIM+ (a respected digital construction resource in the UK) explains how Fieldwire is used by global construction giants – like EllisDon – to improve efficiency all while boosting quality. In fact, leveraging collaboration software for QC could result in significant savings. The article notes that:

“Better quality management could save the industry between £7bn and £12bn.”

Learn how to leverage technology to improve quality on your next project! Read the full article here.

Construction News: Warwick’s 1,000-year-old school gets a new site

A UK-based construction company with a passion for innovation, Speller Metcalfe, has been contracted to expand and relocate one of England’s oldest institutions; King’s High School in Warwick.

The three-year project will be managed on Fieldwire to ensure the project stays on track and critical information doesn’t get overlooked. Speller Metcalfe Project Lead, Michael Quinney, said:

“Fieldwire is particularly useful for snagging and allows notifications to be sent to the team when work is overdue or complete. It means we can keep a complete live track on the project as it is being built.”

For more details, please read the full story in Construction News, the UK’s leading source of construction industry news, market intelligence, and forecast and trend data.

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