PlanGrid Construction Productivity Blog

Upping the ante in Las Vegas: How PlanGrid helped The Raymond Group keep a $450m project on track

Building one of Las Vegas’ biggest arenas is no easy task — discover how PlanGrid helped The Raymond Group get it done on schedule.

In 2014, The Raymond Group — one of the US’ top interior and exterior contractors — started working on a $450m sports and entertainment arena in Las Vegas.

As you can imagine, working on a venue of this size brings with it a host of logistical challenges. After being hired to complete the metal framing, drywall, painting, exterior, and plaster work for the arena, The Raymond Group decided that paper and email wouldn’t cut it. It was time to invest in a blueprint management system that would allow real-time communication, instant updates, and super-fast plan distribution.

As Kim Lorch, Vice President and Area Manager of The Raymond Group (Las Vegas division) said, “No one wants to be embarrassed in the field when they don’t have up-to-date information. But sadly, many folks feel starved for information that helps them do their jobs well. This is partly due to on-site staff being used to rolls of drawings that are cumbersome and out of date.”

Kim had spent four decades in the field performing multiple roles when he discovered PlanGrid and decided to use it at The Raymond Group’s Las Vegas division. He recalls:

I looked at other systems, and it became so obvious to me that PlanGrid was the better platform.

When the arena job came along, it was a huge selling point that many of the teams at The Raymond Group were already using PlanGrid, and Kim was surprised by how easily the rest of the team adopted it: “I couldn’t believe it. Our guys in the field just snapped this thing up. It’s a beautiful tool.”

It was a relief for everyone at the office when the field team adopted it quickly and enthusiastically. They already had tablets, so it made sense to give them access to everything they needed — and when they did, the whole company immediately began to reap huge benefits.

The numbers:

29% increase in recovery of impact costs from improved documentation of issues for their customer.

60 hours per week saved across the team, allowing them to stick to the aggressive construction schedules common in Las Vegas.

100% elimination of paper costs from documenting and collaborating on the entire project within PlanGrid.

John Ben (JB) Pascua, a Field Coordinator with The Raymond Group, recalls the first time he saw PlanGrid, calling it ‘a game changer.’ Straight away, the team dropped paper blueprints and learned to navigate over 5,000 pages of electronic drawings using mobile phones, tablets, and desktop computers.

The team used PlanGrid to access the same information they would have usually gotten from paper blueprints, while issue tracking helped them stay on schedule by allowing them to upload pictures of problems in the field, add notes, and assign each issue to the responsible party. The project manager was then able to create reports for the GC, sharing key project information directly from the field. Without that real-time communication, the GC would have been out of the loop.

It keeps everything we need right at our fingertips. It’s amazing!
–Kim Lorch

JB’s team reported several favorite PlanGrid features, including:

  • Progress photos, which were shared to the master set. Previously, the office managers would have only seen that type of update on their monthly field visits. With PlanGrid’s progress photos, however, they could see updates as they were happening.
  • Hyperlinks were another team favorite. Setting up links to other pages was convenient and alleviated the need to manually search through sheets. When anyone made a hyperlink and pushed it to the master set, everyone else could use it too, saving everyone a ton of time over the course of the project.
  • RFIs were a life saver for the team since the GC could post them instantly instead of waiting weeks for answers. With PlanGrid, the whole team could see the RFI, and the GC could answer it immediately — without paperwork. JB felt like he was able to deal with situations as if he was physically there.

The most significant impact PlanGrid had on The Raymond Group was the ability to document issues in the field in a way that made it easy for their customer to understand, therefore increasing their recovery of costs. They used to only have a 70% recovery of project delays and impacts, but with PlanGrid, they drove that up to 90% recovery — just from improved issue documentation.

Before PlanGrid, The Raymond Group also estimated that they could eliminate 90% of their drawings. Within a year of using PlanGrid, they had eliminated all of them. Those savings alone justified using PlanGrid: “We used to get a truck to deliver our plans. Six to eight sets of drawings had to be transported. That’s thousands of pages printed every time we made an update. It was incredibly expensive,” said JB.

During construction, a foreman was stationed on each of the eight levels. With at least 5,000 pages on an iPad at a time, each person would have needed a cart with 200 pounds of blueprints on it in order to carry the same number of sheets with them. It just wasn’t possible — or practical. And as far as accessing the most up-to-date information easily? As Kim put it:

How can you calculate the value of your guys having the right information all the time? It’s just incredibly valuable that they do.

Throughout this two-year project, PlanGrid helped The Raymond Group meet its schedule, cut costs, and stay on track to successfully finish a massive project.

Author: Chris Bank

PlanGrid is used on hundreds of thousands of projects around the world, saving construction companies time and money every day. Ready to make the switch? Visit or call us: 800–646–0796