- Manages code compliance and permit expediting nationwide
- Created 800+ projects in Fieldwire in 2018 alone
- Each project contains between 25 and 250 unique plans and documents
- Improved collaboration
- Risk management
- Plan viewing and document control
Burnham Nationwide navigates permit and code compliance processes using Fieldwire
From San Francisco to New York City, Burnham Nationwide has been involved in the construction of various iconic buildings across the United States. For more than 25 years, the team of permit expediters and code consultants has brought complex projects to life, securing all necessary documents required for plans to become a reality. In 2018, the company worked to protect public health, safety, and general welfare of building occupants on 800 unique projects, from skyscrapers to single family homes.
“We make it easier for people to comply with building codes and regulatory requirements. We’re about helping people exchange the right information at the right time. We make complex projects simple and we can handle anything from a large complex highrise to a single family home. We simply get it done,” said Carson Kyhl, co-founder and president at Burnham Nationwide.
To ‘simply get it done,’ however, requires more effort than implied. With six office locations and hundreds of projects per year to manage, Kyhl adopted Fieldwire’s field management software to help his team operate efficiently at scale. He said: “Since implementing Fieldwire in 2015, I’ve tried to ingrain it into everything that we do. I believe it can be a normalizing platform for all of our drawings and files; the one place we work from for effective document control.”
Effectively manage tens of thousands of documents
Burnham primarily uses Fieldwire to review, store, and share documents with project owners and government authorities. Before construction can proceed on city buildings, Burnham must undertake a full review of plans — architectural, plumbing, mechanical, structural, and electrical — to ensure they comply with relevant codes, permits, and licenses, plus coordinate the approval process by verifying blueprints.
Caitlin Haycock, Office Coordinator at Burnham HQ in Chicago, is responsible for creating every Fieldwire project — for the entire company — and uploading all documents (plans, RFIs, and permits) into each one. With so many documents to upload per project, Burnham needed a standardized process to streamline document control and save time on repetitive labor. Whenever Haycock creates a Fieldwire project, she organizes it in a way that is clearly understood. “We arrange our structural and architectural plans in a specific order so that it is always consistent and easy to follow. We then change the name of sheets using Fieldwire’s batch-editor tool which is so much quicker than doing it manually one-by-one,” said Haycock, who creates upward of ten unique projects per week.
With several new projects per week and only one Caitlin, ease-of-use was critical for success. Already this year, Burnham has created more than 800 projects in Fieldwire so the team is thankful that the platform offers unlimited storage for plans. Unlike alternative software, all of Fieldwire’s paid plans include unlimited sheets, and the price per user does not increase no matter how much the platform is used. As Kyhl said: “The capabilities of the Fieldwire platform are superior to the likes of Plangrid. Fieldwire’s task management, customer service team, and its easy-to-use APIs allowed us to use it as a solution across the country.”
Additionally, Burnham uses Fieldwire’s open API to integrate directly with its ERP system in order to seamlessly manage access to each project and set of documents.
Reduce risk and rework with Fieldwire
While Burnham is legally required to print paper copies of plans, digitizing them in Fieldwire has reduced risk and amount of time spent fixing errors. “When we get drawings from the city of Chicago, for example, in their approved format, we upload them directly into our reprographer (which produces digital versions of plans). When we upload these files into Fieldwire, the platform automatically detects any corrupted files or mistakes, which makes that extra step in the process well worth our time,” said Kyhl.
Instead of lengthy phone calls and emails, Haycock says she uses the Fieldwire platform to communicate with project collaborators when she’s out of the office. “I’m always looking for ways to speed up processes,” she said, adding that “Fieldwire has the power to make our industry more environmentally friendly by eliminating paper and going digital first.”
Build stronger client relationships
Fieldwire is a powerful and advanced platform, but at the same time, is easy-to-use. And for the team at Burnham it has to be because they’re onboarding dozens of different projects — each with unique stakeholders and plans — every month. Haycock says “whenever a client tells us they’re not confident using technology, we show them Fieldwire and the client gets up and running easily.” This way, all collaborators on a project can come together in one place to transfer information, easily review plans, and ultimately, keep the production moving. Haycock added that “project owners especially love Fieldwire because they can reference it like a digital library. It lets them instantly share plans with clients and it’s this capability that makes our projects shine.”
Going forward, Burnham is eager to leverage all of Fieldwire’s powerful capabilities, especially in the field. Kyhl says, “soon we will all be working from the screens in our pockets, and that’s why we chose Fieldwire over any other software because it was engineered to be a mobile-first application and help our people in the field.”