Although the result of construction is generally a single, massive project, it’s a combination of countless little things and actions that make a project successful. Every page of documentation, each tiny fasteners and all the minutes of labor contribute to the overall goal of a completed project.
At PlanGrid, we’re engrained enough in the construction industry to know that each incremental addition we can make to the productivity of field teams is significant.
Even consider the following statistic from the World Economic Forum: if the construction industry increases productivity by 1%, it could save the global industry approximately $100 billion each year.
We’ve been busy over the last few months making refined product changes and PlanGrid updates that create big opportunities for time and cost savings. Every one of our latest updates has the potential to make a collectively huge impact on a project.
Read below to learn more about some of the most recent PlanGrid updates and changes we’ve made. We also have some major product rollouts that we can’t wait to share with our customers soon. If you’d like to read a teaser on what’s to come, check out our post, “What to Expect at PlanGrid’s Summit.”
Issues: Multiple Assignees and Watchers
PlanGrid customers use our Issues feature to manage punch lists, QA and QC lists, assign tasks to team members and more. While Issues has been critical to keeping individual teams on the same page, our customers have told us that they’d like more ways also to hold external partners and teams accountable for an issue.
Now, our latest enhancement to PlanGrid Issues keeps additional stakeholders up to date by adding them to a watching list. Instead of manually emailing or calling a team member to give them an update on an issue or punch list, they can easily be added to the issue list. This allows them to not only view the issue but also receive notifications when any updates are made. Issues can be assigned to two users at once, and any number of teammates can be added to watch any issue. By eliminating manual work, one step further, construction team’s can resolve issues faster and build more efficiently.
Submittal: Bulk Add Team Members to Watching
We released PlanGrid Automatic Submittal Log and Submittals products earlier this year. So far, our customers have been amazed by how our products have automated and streamlined this historically manual and painful process in construction.
Similar to Issues, we also wanted to provide our customers with additional opportunities to bring visibility and accountability to all project stakeholders faster. For instance, during the course of approvals, a submittal will be sent to multiple companies for review. Within each of these companies, there may be multiple recipients that will also be sent the submittal for reference only. Typically, this is a tedious process for the contractor to type out individual email addresses every time the submittal changes hand.
But now, our users can bulk add team members to a watching list in our Submittals product. As a result, a Submittals Manager can easily keep additional recipients in the loop along the submittal review process. By bulk adding team members on a watching list, everyone is aware of the status and teams can move to construction quicker.
In PlanGrid, detailed callouts and sheets are automatically hyperlinked so you can jump between sheets and relevant documents using only a single tap or click. With the new addition of Related Links, accessing important information is quicker, allowing you to improve real-time decision-making and boost construction productivity.
As sheets contain documents and RFIs, which further contain photos and attachments, it’s vital that this information is easily accessible by project team members so they can stay up to date throughout all phases of construction.
Related Links, now found on every sheet, is a button explicitly designed to show you and your team the total number of sheets, documents and RFIs that are linked to a particular sheet. Clicking on the Related Links button gives you a single panel to see all hyperlinked items by type, so you can quickly gain access to the details you need to keep on building.
PlanGrid customers use photos to document work, track the progress and history of construction and share updates with stakeholders. To save valuable time finding items and information you need, knowing where a photo was taken can be just as important as what was captured in it.
We’ve already mentioned PlanGrid’s GPS photos on our blog previously, but if you don’t know already, the feature is a new way to collect and display useful geolocation information for photos added to PlanGrid. Now when viewing a photo in PlanGrid, you can easily find the geographic location of where it was taken both on a map and with precise GPS coordinates. Even when capturing photos offline without access to the internet, the location of photos can later be automatically synced to and referenceable within PlanGrid.
In particular, GPS photos is a massive benefit for heavy civil projects that rely heavily on context to understand the pictures taken on their projects: who explicitly took a photo, when it was taken and where is it geographically. These attributes are critical to understanding the visual documentation of infrastructure projects because there are often no landmarks, or key elements may be buried under concrete.
Field Reports: Folders for Templates
With the many moving parts, documents and stakeholders involved in a project, it can be difficult for teams to stay organized. PlanGrid has already increased our customer’s ability to see an organized view of their sheets and reports within our platform. Nonetheless, our customers asked if there was even a better way to organize their field report templates in the web version of our platform.
With our latest product changes, PlanGrid users can organize Field Report templates in folders and subfolders on web. By making it easier for our customers to organize their various field report templates, it helps them to scale their usage of field reports.
Field Reports: Bulk Edits
Released last year, PlanGrid’s Field Reports have helped construction teams eliminate hours of manual work. By allowing teams to view, create and submit reports right on their mobile devices less time is spent traveling between the field and trailer or office and more time is spent executing.
We’ve added an additional feature to Field Reports that further eliminates tedious, manual work. Now, admins can save time managing Field Reports by updating settings in bulk, as opposed to one by one. This also allows users to bulk archive report types, which was a commonly requested feature by our customers.
It’s crucial that project teams have an accurate view of weather on a constant basis. PlanGrid’s Automatic Weather Reporting already allows users to track and report the weather on your daily report. Nonetheless, our customers requested that the feature include even more detailed forecasts for precipitation and humidity since they can significantly impact conditions on a jobsite.
Now, our improved weather feature updates more often and displays ‘last updated’ time on drafts. We replaced the precipitation probability with precipitation amount and added humidity measurement. Additionally, we further internationalized our the feature and added regional localization such as Celsius or Fahrenheit.
The Big Impact of Each Change in Construction
Each minute of time saved on the jobsite can add up significantly in the profitability of a project. At PlanGrid, we’re refining each feature and workflow, to provide the maximum return for our customers. Although we have major PlanGrid updates that are just around the corner, the little enhancements we make to our current products will move the needle on projects all the much more.
If you’re not currently a PlanGrid customer and are looking to learn more about what the construction software can do for your business, contact us today!