PlanGrid Construction Productivity Blog

Highlights from the First Ever #PlanGridSummit

Even though the sun is officially setting in San Francisco, the buzz of the 2018 PlanGrid Construction Summit is still burning. While attendees have now gone their separate way, we wanted to take a moment to recap several of the highlights today in case you missed them (or just can’t get enough).

It was an action-packed inaugural PlanGrid Construction Summit and we’ll be releasing a more detailed debrief over the next few days. For now, here are some of our favorite moments from the conference keynotes.

What Was the PlanGrid Construction Summit?

In case you didn’t attend the event, let’s take a step back. The Summit was a meeting of nearly 1,000 of the brightest minds in the construction industry. From PlanGrid customers, construction thought leaders and others just passionate about moving the industry forward through innovation, show attendees joined us from all over the world to network and attend over 15 expert-led sessions and keynotes.

Opening Keynote: A Glimpse of the Future of Construction  

The PlanGrid Construction Summit kicked off with a powerful message. Tracy Young, CEO and co-founder of PlanGrid opened the morning keynote. She expressed not only her concern for the future of the construction industry but the state of our infrastructure and planet, “We’re facing some serious challenges in the world today. Beyond red and blue and green lines–our infrastructure is deteriorating. Our world population is growing at a pace that is not sustainable. At current course, our basic needs of shelter and food cannot be met–and this isn’t some future of 50 years from now, we’re living it today.”  

The co-founder also stressed how improving construction productivity is the only way our world will meet our infrastructure needs. She added, “It’s undeniable that construction will play a role in addressing the challenges of our world.” She identified three of the key levers needed to increase workforce productivity, all which construction technology like PlanGrid is helping to drive:

  • Access: Digitize construction information and provide instantaneous access to everyone who needs it, even when they don’t have internet connectivity.
  • Collaboration: Tools for the field to communicate and coordinate better within the construction information itself.  
  • Insights: Leveraging project data to help teams build better on projects.

Before closing her keynote, she remarked, “We’ve only scratched the surface on what we can do for this industry and we’re committed to building the tools you need to make this industry better.”

Following Tracy’s remarks, Ralph Gootee, PlanGrid’s Chief Technology Officer and co-founder took the stage to reveal just how the company is evolving to serve the industry, “The way we shape our product roadmap is by listening to you…The long-term goal is for each of our customers to gain actionable insights into how projects are currently performing and to improve outcomes for every single project in progress.”

Ralph and PlanGrid employees Leslie Francisco, Product Manager, and Kevin Cheng, Strategic Project Manager, also took the stage to announce and showcase several exciting product updates.

Upcoming PlanGrid Product Announcements

  • Revit Integration (BIM): Sheets can be synced from the model directly into PlanGrid. The feature is still in Beta but currently accepting applications.
  • Tasks: The evolution of PlanGrid Issues to Tasks that will allow construction teams to track both proactive and reactive work. Tasks will be rolled out to users later this year.
  • Change Management: Change Management will be PlanGrid’s workflow to manage costs and changes to a project. PlanGrid will soon start to recruit for Beta for this feature.
  • Submittals (update): New updates make it easier to collaborate with partners on Submittals. Includes, Parallel Reviews, Restricted Assignee Access, Groups and Status. This feature will also be rolled out to PlanGrid Submittals users later in the year.
  • RFIs (redesign): PlanGrid RFIs is getting a brand new redesign. The refresh will make it even easier to streamline and progress the process forward. The update will be released later this year.
  • Insights: The highly anticipated feature will provide project, corporate and predictive insights to help customers streamline their work. The feature is starting to recruit for Beta.

After the keynote and throughout the rest of Summit, show attendees had the chance to see the product updates demoed live in a product experience center. To learn more about the exciting product announcements, read our release here.

Closing Keynote: What the Field Can Learn from Football

#PlanGridSummit was a full day of insightful conversations and discussions. At the close of the day, the 1,000 attendees were addressed by Steve Young, 3X Super Bowl champion with a few words of motivation. The former NFL player drew parallels between football and construction. “Construction is not the easiest industry to move forward.”

He reflected on his own experiences of not moving his team forward and “throwing to the other team” in interceptions. Inevitably, his team members would ask him what happened, quick to add blame. What eventually moved his team forward was him taking accountability for the mistakes, “Finding accountability at the moment of truth when the lights are on…At that key moment, what I did, was saying that I’m responsible and infused accountability into the system.”

To bring it home, Steve added, “What’s the one thing you want to teach your kids? When something goes wrong, stand for it–and then tell people how you’re going to fix it.”

What’s Next?

If you missed the conference or are looking for more insights on keynotes and session, we’ll be posting a full conference recap in the next few days. Meanwhile, you can follow #PlanGridSummit for all the latest Summit buzz.

While this year’s PlanGrid Construction Summit was a first, it certainly will not be the last. Next year’s Summit will be here before you know it and you don’t want to miss on first registration announcements and more. Stay connected with us by following us on social media and subscribing to our blog. 

Attended Summit? We would love to hear your thoughts. Share your favorite highlights in the comments below!


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