Consulting Engineering Best Practices

Tara Callinan imageTara Callinan  •  

No matter whether you’re working with architects to refurbish a resort or collaborating with contractors on the world’s tallest tower, you, as a consulting engineer, have a set of rules to comply with. You know exactly what work needs to be done - inspections, daily reports, and the actual restoration work - the question is: how can you do it more efficiently?

For many consulting engineers, the answer lies with technology. Consulting engineers are turning to construction management software to simplify work, organize craftspeople, and ultimately, increase productivity.

Fuse Consulting Engineers, based in Miami, is using Fieldwire’s platform and mobile construction app to streamline job site productivity and eliminate manual, busy work. Fieldwire enables Fuse to conduct site inspections on mobile, assign tasks on-the-fly, and generate construction reports in minutes to dramatically reduce time spent in the office.

Annotate plans on mobile

Digitizing plans to annotate changes in the field is a surefire way to increase productivity. Going paperless in the field and having access to plans on mobile means far less time is spent organizing documents and manually updating plans. Having all versions of drawings stored in one place will specifically help consulting engineers who are forever jumping between sites and projects.

Fuse, for example, uses Fieldwire’s iPhone app to store and update all of their plans, which can be accessed in the field even without an internet connection. Having this kind of information at their fingertips has allowed Fuse to operate efficiently, confidently, and without a need for expensive hard copy materials. They can fly through a site, take photos of defects and pin them to an exact location on a plan, add notes for context, and assign it to the right subcontractor - all from the convenience of their iPhones.

“Now, all we need for an onsite inspection is our phone, Fieldwire app, and a battery.”

Kylie Schalz, Senior Engineer, Fuse Consulting Engineers

Streamline and simplify reporting

Once defects are annotated on plans, the next thing to do is generate a report. For many engineers, this involves hours of busy work back in the office. And while busywork might be inevitable, it is also avoidable with the help of technology. With the right construction management software, Engineers can dramatically reduce the time they spend on manual data entry for reporting.

Fuse Consulting Engineering Photo 2 phone tasks

Fuse, which knows all too well about the negative impacts of busywork, are using Fieldwire to recover more than a day each week that’s lost on reporting. Because before using Fieldwire, building one inspection report per week could take 10+ hours in the office. Now, from a smartphone or tablet, Fuse engineers record site observations on-the-fly, and have the ability to generate a fully timestamped CSV or PDF report in the click of a button. Just imagine how much time this streamlined process could save you!

“Before using Fieldwire, organizing reports and uploading more than 1,000 photos took 10-15 hours per report each week; this would take up 70% of our time in the office.”

Kylie Schalz, Senior Engineer, Fuse Consulting Engineers

Have a single source of truth

Recording observations and issues onsite is a critical part of your day-to-day operations, but if not done correctly, could cost you more than time. When documenting deficiencies, it’s important you supply as much context as possible to ensure every issue gets addressed correctly. That’s why, when Fuse conduct site inspections, they use Fieldwire tasks to highlight defects, add searchable hashtags, checklists, categories, and assign it to the right person to resolve. This makes issues easier to find, and important information rarely slips through the cracks.

Having an organized history of all deficiencies is especially important for Engineers when it comes to due diligence audits. If at any point, post-project completion, Fuse is asked to explain a construction defect, they can access their Fieldwire tasks to see exactly when the issue was reported, who it was assigned it too, and what work had been done (or not done). So no more taking the blame for mistakes you’re not accountable for.

“Fieldwire has become the common language between all parties involved in a project.”

Federico Balestrazzi, Engineer Director, Fuse Consulting Engineers

To learn how to harness field management software for increased job site efficiency, take a look at our full coverage of Fuse’s success.

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