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 it 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 • 

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.

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?

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