Boost Project Visibility and Extend Workflows to the Field
It’s no surprise that for every construction job, hundreds of requests for information (RFIs) get asked throughout a project to ensure that the crew is building correctly. Although these documents are essential to moving a project forward, if not managed properly, the delays caused by unanswered RFIs can lead to massive increases in the cost and the length of the project.
PlanGrid first launched its RFIs product in 2015 to ease the process and accelerate responses and resolutions, directly from the field. While our product has empowered faster turnaround times on RFIs for construction teams, we knew PlanGrid could do more to quicken the entire process–from draft through response distribution.
Through beta testing and numerous insightful conversations with our customers, we’ve identified areas where construction software could improve the management of the entire RFI workflow. Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of a new and improved way for construction teams to manage a complete RFI process in PlanGrid: Introducing PlanGrid Advanced RFIs.
Read below to learn more about Advanced RFIs and other new and exciting PlanGrid product updates.
Introducing Advanced RFIs: Close the Loop to Resolve RFIs Faster
As soon as issues are found on the jobsite, PlanGrid Advanced RFIs makes it effortless to create RFIs, collaborate with key stakeholders and move the process from one stage to the next. Advanced RFIs automates and streamlines this time-consuming process, meaning nothing slips through the cracks. It’s now more intuitive than ever for teams to create, review and distribute answers to questions or disputes that arise in the field.
Advanced RFIs ensures a seamless RFI workflow from draft to distribution:
- Engage the field right away – Right from their iOS, Android or Windows mobile device, PlanGrid makes it easy for the field team to submit questions and supporting context once they spot an issue.
- Collaborate on RFIs through email – Without needing to be trained or added to the PlanGrid project, the design team can reply to an email and attach relevant documents as a way to provide their official answer.
- Deliver projects on schedule – When it comes to RFIs, stakeholders want to get answers quickly and with minimal back-and-forth. PlanGrid’s Advanced RFIs streamlines the process by automatically tracking what stage the RFI is in and displaying who needs to take action.
“On a typical project, we’re managing vast quantities of information, and we need a way to make this information manageable and easily accessible. If my team doesn’t have the insights we need, work stalls out and it can cause a domino effect on interrelated resources across the project,” said Rob Winklepleck, Project Manager, West Brothers Construction. “The new features in PlanGrid not only help speed up the building process but also show me exactly what needs to happen to move the project forward. My team is able to get a quick response to pressing issues, and I spend less time calling or walking back and forth from the trailer to the field to verify work.”
Use PlanGrid Advanced RFIs and PlanGrid Submittals together to manage construction workflows in a single place, simplify these processes and engage both the field and office to deliver quality projects on schedule.
Starting today, PlanGrid Advanced RFIs is available for organizations that have purchased the Add-On SKU. Once activated, PlanGrid Advanced RFIs is available for use on all platforms, including iOS, Android, Windows and web.
To learn more about PlanGrid Advanced RFIs, be sure to watch our recent webinar or speak to your PlanGrid sales rep.
Beyond Advanced RFIs: Other New PlanGrid Updates
This month, Advanced RFIs joins several other new product features–all enabling construction teams to resolve work faster so they can stay on track and reduce project risk. This includes another major new product release: PlanGrid Project Hub.
Introducing Project Hub
Construction projects face constant change with information being added every hour. Especially on large projects, the volume of information flow can be overwhelming. Even when housed in PlanGrid, this data can be challenging to navigate, filter and track; there was no seamless way to get a unified view of all project activity.
Our users wanted a single place where they could get a pulse of their project with a simple visual summary. Our solution: PlanGridProject Hub.
Project Hub is the new project home screen, where project managers and project engineers (PMs/PEs) can see what’s happening on their project, and deep dive into the items most important to them. By surfacing only the most relevant, timely or urgent information, it reduces the amount of time PMs and PEs spend searching for information.
The top time-saving modules include:
- Team sync status: Ensure teams are using the most current set by seeing their sync status on mobile devices in real-time.
- Recent activity: Track all significant project developments as they occur, in chronological order. Filter and quickly drill deeper into any event.
- Project work: See a personalized view of ongoing work as well as flagged items that are overdue or unassigned.
With Project Hub, managers in the office and trailer can stay focused, react faster and advance the project without any delays. Start using Project Hub today, which is automatically available for all projects on PlanGrid.
New Change Tracker (Closed Beta)
Introducing PlanGrid’s answer to managing costs and change orders for a project. With the PlanGrid Change Tracker, easily triage change orders all at once and automatically compile quotes without searching through your email. Once a change order has been approved, authorize work to begin with just the click of a button. The PlanGrid Change Tracker is now in closed beta. If you are interested in trying this product before it gets released and providing feedback to improve its functionality, please fill out this form to sign up to participate.
Updates to Sheet Compare
With the release of hundreds or thousands of changes to drawings over the course of a project, PlanGrid’s Sheet Compare has unanimously stood out as one of our users’ favorite tools. Now users working in the trailer can make sure they never miss a change by overlaying sheets to spot the differences on web. Just as it works on mobile, select any two sheets, align them manually and share the view as a snapshot or full plan.
Updates to Tasks
PlanGrid Tasks makes it effortless to create and manage tasks for planned work or to keep track of issues that need to be resolved. Today, the product launches new functionality to give users more flexibility when managing planned work.
Updates to Submittals
Last April, we announced a new feature for PlanGrid Submittals called PDF Markups for Submittals. Without requiring the use of a separate PDF tool, this feature allows construction teams to collaborate and make comments on submittal documents directly within PlanGrid.
To reduce the amount of time spent searching for a page within a submittal document and cut down on manual entry, we’ve launched two new improvements to PDF Markups for Submittals–Smart Stamps and Bookmarks.
It’s common practice to use stamps to indicate the status of a submittal, including if the submittal needs to be revised and resubmitted or if it has been reviewed. Considering that hundreds of submittals will need to be approved before areas of construction can begin, it’s no surprise that marking up a submittal document with a stamp requires repetitive actions and manual entry.
Now in PlanGrid, when a submittal document is marked up, users have the option to choose between uploading a static image of the company’s stamp or using the brand new PlanGrid Smart Stamps. Just like a company stamp, the flexibility of Smart Stamps means users can build a repeat custom stamp that includes a company’s name, logo and any related legal disclosures. From there, anytime the Smart Stamp is used on a submittal document, it will automatically fill in the stamp’s field including the submittal status, date and user name, saving time and effort.
From project to project, the length of submittal documents vary and can end up being hundreds of pages long. However, the key pieces of information that are needed to get a submittal approved might only be found within a small number of these pages. Our newest Submittal feature, PlanGrid Bookmarks, allow teams to flag specific pages within the entire submittal document for quick reference later. Rather than scrolling through pages to find needed information, once a bookmark is clicked, users will instantly be taken to that page.
Bookmarks can be created in several ways. They can be created in PlanGrid PDF Markups for Submittals. They also can be transferred from edits made in a third party tool or automatically generated by PlanGrid when documents are combined and marked up. Once a bookmark is made, users can also add a “child” bookmark (a bookmark within a bookmark) to call out specific pages within each section.
Updates to Admin Console
We’re introducing two new features to help teams better manage users and projects in Admin Console.
Bulk edit options now allow admins to work more efficiently by performing any user action for multiple users at once. This includes actions like changing/upgrading licenses, removing users, editing notes, resetting passwords, expiring sessions and enabling/disabling SSO.
The Export All button on the users and projects list page now includes all fields from user details/project settings, including a list of all projects (and project codes) for each user.
See PlanGrid’s New Features in Action
Advanced RFIs automates the RFI workflow to speed up the process, and Project Hub provides an actionable picture of essential project activity in one central location within PlanGrid’s software. Along with the rest of PlanGrid’s new functionality, these features enable construction teams to identify and resolve issues faster and keep projects on track.
To see all of this and more in action, watch our webinar recording.