At PlanGrid, our customers’ satisfaction is of utmost importance to us, so we always try to anticipate their needs. Commonly, we’ve found that our users will inquire about small additions that are already natural extensions of the product, like adding another color to the markup color palette. However, for larger needs, it is sometimes difficult for people to articulate exactly what feature would solve their problem. Instead, by asking about and observing the workarounds that people have created to get a job done, we can gain insight into how PlanGrid could better solve that problem.
Recently, we interviewed superintendents, foremen, project engineers and project managers to learn about cases where they looked for specific information on their sheets. They primarily identified a few main uses such as: counting items on a project, identifying the location of those items and finding a specific instance where these items had an issue or defect.
When we asked our interviewees how they went about finding these elements on the sheets, their answers varied:
Senior Superintendent: “I have all the sheets memorized, so I just know where everything is.”
Foreman: “If I were looking for something and I didn’t know where it was, I’d probably ask the PM.”
Project Engineer: “I go back to the office to my desktop computer and search in my PDF viewer.”
All of these tactics are ways of working around the limitations of paper records. Nonetheless, we saw their responses as an opportunity to provide our customers with a sheet search option that maximized their efficiency.
I’m proud to announce that PlanGrid is more intelligent than ever, giving users the ability to search their sheets on mobile devices while offline in the field. This functionality is available now in the most recent version of our iPad and iPhone app, 5.17.0, and will be rolling out on our Android and Windows apps over the next several weeks.
With PlanGrid’s Full Sheet Search feature, customers can search for text across all the sheets on a project and see where that text appears in the numbers and titles of the sheets, as well as on the sheets themselves.
If a customer dives into a sheet, they can see all the instances where the search term appears highlighted. Users can also initiate the search on an individual sheet, then expand their search results to see all the results on the project. Even better, PlanGrid’s enhanced search algorithms now recognize related words. For instance, customers can now search for “architecture” and see sheets with the term “architect” or “architectural” on them.
As mentioned, Full Sheet Search is available offline, meaning that WiFi or a data plan isn’t necessary to access it. Just tap to fully sync up projects before going out to the field, and users can search all their sheets offline from anywhere.
Full Sheet Search makes PlanGrid more intuitive by enabling our customers to find what they’re looking for faster, and as a result, better execute on their most important projects!