TekWorks - Data Center Installation
The demand for technology solutions has grown larger across many different businesses in recent decades. TekWorks, a Southern California leader in technological installations, has helped take the lead when it comes to custom-crafted data center, network cabling, audio/visual, and fiber optic services. Since 1995, their acquity for improving network infrastructure for corporations big and small in a variety of industries has garnered TekWorks a rising reputation in their field, earning them over $50 million in projects each year.
- Company Type: Specialty contractor
- Specializes in technological installation
- Jobsite coordination
- Punch lists
- Owner inspections
Tracking Punch Lists
With a multitude of jobs all going on at once, TekWorks has to keep their efficiency at a maximum in order to successfully provide their top-notch services. Of the 400 projects the company takes on each year, Wayne VanDell, Director of Projects at TekWorks, manages hundreds of them and supervises approximately 30 technicians. He’s been with TekWorks for over a decade and has a particular knack for keeping their work on the upswing, thanks in no small part to the aid that Fieldwire provides his teams.
“One of the largest benefits we get from Fieldwire is tracking punch lists on our phones,” says VanDell. “So if we have a technician in a particular area of the city, or we have to send someone on-site, we don’t need a whole one-on-one meeting to resolve punch items. They don’t have to memorize any instructions or create a convoluted list of steps to troubleshoot everything.
“That’s what we used to do. We used to keep all of those punch lists and documents in a binder, and that binder would be locked up in a container on the project site, so you’d have to meet up each time to deal with any situation. Now with Fieldwire, all of the information is there on our phones.”
Managing punch lists is one of Fieldwire’s core attributes, and the ability to track every issue that springs up on any given project is speeding up how quickly VanDell’s crew can tackle deficiencies. Every punch item is housed and tracked within Fieldwire’s task management system, and the app provides timestamps and a complete chronological record of every task update, meaning there is never any confusion regarding how each item is coming along.
“It’s saved us a tremendous amount of headaches and pain points trying to get individuals on the same page,” says VanDell. “You’d be surprised at how much effort it can take to connect multiple people to multiple tasks on a project. We used to have to meet different people on-site and offsite in order to run through all of our expectations on completing items. Now all we have to do is drop those items into Fieldwire on a set of floor plans with notes and photos and a technician can just report to the site, pull up the app on his phone or iPad, and make the corrections, which we’re then notified about in real-time.”
Placing items directly to plans ensures that TekWorks’ users know exactly where to find each job on-site, and the task update notification system triggers anytime new content is added or edited in a task. This makes delicate labor like installing network cabling or setting up LED lighting go much smoother with reduced rework and swift alerts about new developments. These also come in handy when the scope of the project expands and additional items are included in their workload.
“We primarily use Fieldwire for punch lists, but we also use it for change order purposes,” says VanDell. “So if a client wants to add five more cables, our supervisors can drop those additional locations on the floor plans as change order notes. This means our technicians in the field immediately know where those changes need to occur.”
Using the construction app doesn’t just make each day easier for the TekWorks team. Fieldwire also benefits the clients that join them on the app, enabling them to check on the status of every task at any time. Rather than having to get in touch with workers directly, their customers can stay abreast of how the project is going and share that information with their own colleagues. This keeps everyone in the know while freeing up time for both parties since they no longer need to coordinate in-person meetings.
“Clients can log into Fieldwire and see the status of the punch list items on their projects in real-time,” says VanDell. “And since the items are separated by floor and we track several different trade categories, customers have live access to that specific information. This helps them when they’re reporting to their executive teams because they can share those recent updates, since our customers will walk floors pretty consistently.”
A New Way to Keep in Touch
Wayne VanDell and TekWorks saw the vast potential to improve collaboration between their employees when they started using Fieldwire. Since all project data is shared quickly and openly within the app, it became an essential aspect to setting up and managing all of their projects going forward.
“We’ve actually implemented Fieldwire as a main process for kicking off a new project,” says VanDell. “So every single job that we take has to be input into Fieldwire for tracking purposes. We’ll upload all of the relevant documents, floor plans, schedules, and the proposal for the entire project.”
By housing all of the vital information pertaining to each project within the app, VanDell and his associates are able to carry everything they might need to check on with them at all times. All it takes is pulling out their smartphones or tablets, or logging in on a laptop to access every item in Fieldwire whenever the need arises.
“Fieldwire allows us to track everything,” says VanDell. “We see it all as it happens. I don’t have to go back through notepads, binders, emails, or spreadsheets. The mobile app shows me everything we need to address. Everything’s pretty simple so you just know what to do.”
Best of all, now VanDell’s people no longer need to track down each other in order to relay any important details. Every technician can be self-sufficient and function with relative freedom once their tasks are laid out before them. This is especially crucial when it comes to winning over those workers who are not the most tech savvy.
“Construction folks don’t always care much for technology. But when they see the benefits of Fieldwire, and that they don’t have to carry around 26 notepads because they can keep it all on a phone, it makes an impact,” says VanDell. “I think the biggest sell for them was not having to set up meetings with other technicians that are going to come assist on the site. They don’t have to go over 300 different tasks with them. All they have to do is pull up Fieldwire, point them where they need to go, and just have them start knocking out items.
“When I demonstrated these advantages to my team, they realized that this software is a really useful tool, not a pain point. Fieldwire makes life easier, and knowing that helped them catch on pretty quickly because they knew the app was worth investing their time into.”
Better Performance, Lasting Partnerships
The improved organization system offered by Fieldwire helped TekWorks eliminate the outdated methodology and clunky systems that had served them poorly in the past. Now VanDell and company don’t need to rely on repetitive email threads or unwieldy documents to stay on top of their projects. They’ve regained a great deal of wasted time and effort.
“Before Fieldwire, we would manage punch walks via email,” says VanDell. “We’d have to input observations into an Excel spreadsheet and email it to everyone, but not everyone has a laptop. Most technicians just use their phones, and spreadsheets are difficult to pull up on phones. So they needed to go through their emails before going on-site, and when you get 50 emails each day, it becomes too much. This led to missing a lot of items. There’s non-stop follow-up in the project management world, and the beauty of Fieldwire is that it reduces all of that to a literal click of the mouse. I love using the app to track everything in the project. We don’t have to worry about any of the former issues.”
This streamlined way of business is also making a huge difference for their clients, who regularly visit project sites to make their own observations and feedback. Fieldwire makes it possible for them to share that input with VanDell on the fly, and vice-versa, which substantially boosts the working relationship between TekWorks and their customers.
“In the past, we would get long lists emailed from customers saying, ‘Hey, I just walked the floor. What’s going on with all of these items?’ Now with Fieldwire, we keep every punch item up-to-date as we go, and since the customer knows everything is logged in real-time within the app, there’s a comfort value for them. They know the item’s been documented and there’s an actual path of completion, which creates a sense of calm and trust from our customers.”
On the Right Track
TekWorks continues to turn heads and produce strong work thanks to their proven skill and their confidence in the support that Fieldwire provides their projects. The dedication that Wayne VanDell and his team have toward maintaining high standards and forming lasting customer relationships is as solid as their services, which ensures that TekWorks will keep expanding their presence year after year. After all, the path to success is far easier to travel once all of the roadblocks have been cleared out of the way.
“Fieldwire is an excellent tool that helps us be more efficient and gives our customers the comfort value of knowing that everything gets done properly. It reduces stress for everyone involved.”