How Primus Builders is Integrating the Field and Office
Primus used an inconsistent mix of field apps, Microsoft Office programs and email, which created a multipart process for jobsite data capture and communication. Field users were required to switch between multiple solutions and processes and the back office and trailer lacked total visibility over the jobsite. Manual processes meant a slow journey of data from field to office. And the data, once received, wasn’t standardised, which then required double handling to update status, create reports and assign actions.
Additionally, Primus’ project managers and architects relied heavily on email as a means of communication. Correspondence and interactions weren’t being captured and logged, leaving no audit trail for later reference. An inability to easily identify ball-in-court or source real-time status for an RFI or submittal generated even greater volumes of email and telephone calls.
We wanted the entire jobsite on a single platform.— Erik Lyda, Project Manager
Primus’ project management team set out to replace existing software-supported jobsite processes with a consistent workflow, whether quality, punch or safety. “We wanted the entire jobsite on a single platform,” said Project Manager Erik Lyda.
Viewpoint Field View was selected for its flexibility, intuitive navigation and ease-of-use. After gathering all of the field forms currently in use, Lyda set out to recreate them in Viewpoint Field View. Select forms, such as Weekly Safety Inspections, included form calculations to yield a numerical score that communicates compliance and indicates areas for improvement. “Viewpoint Field View allowed us to easily construct forms and get them out into the field,” Lyda added.
Communication was streamlined by swapping out email for in-product task assignment, whereby individuals are made accountable for jobsite actions. Task assignments are often linked directly to forms so there’s no guesswork in the field as to what needs to be done. “It’s consistent. Everyone is reporting information from the field is the same way,” said Director of Project Management Anthony Dembickie. Project managers and other office-based roles that require jobsite visibility, such as Primus’ safety director, utilise operations dashboards in a web browser to monitor the status of open and closed tasks.
Superintendents are able to utilise the advantages of mobile hardware by issuing observations with supporting photos as they’re walking the jobsite. Offline capabilities ensure that workflow is unaffected regardless of internet connectivity. “The ease-of-use on a tablet is where we’re seeing the advantages,” added Dembickie.
Reporting used to be a highly-manual process involving extracting and merging data then distributing by email. Viewpoint Field View’s reporting capability enables fast dispatch of information to senior project team members and company executives. Centralised distribution ensures that key people aren’t accidently left off.
Dembickie and Lyda also selected Viewpoint Team for project management. Real-time and collaborative, the software facilitates fast movement of information between office-based architects and project managers in the trailer. Where RFIs and submittals used to involve a combination of network drive document storage, email, Word and Excel, correspondence and interactions now occur within Viewpoint Team.
“We get a complete picture of a submittal’s journey,” Lyda said. “No more emailing the architect for a status update. All the information is in Viewpoint Team.” Every interaction and communication is logged for a complete audit trail and history. Ball-in-court is easily identified and email notifications and operations dashboards prompt team members when action is required.
Everyone is reporting information from the field is the same way. No more emailing the architect for a status update. All the information is in Viewpoint Team.— Anthony Dembickie, Director of Project Management
By replacing multiple jobsite apps and Microsoft Office forms with a single platform, the office and trailer gained total visibility over the field and eliminated double handling and duplication while standardising data. Field-based staff gained consistent processes via a single login regardless of whether their task was related to quality, punch or safety. A flexible forms builder ensured that familiar looking forms were recreated to ease the transition from old to new.
Communication between the project and design team was streamlined and processes were accelerated. In-product interaction and correspondence around RFIs and submittals yielded a complete audit history and made it easy to identify ball-in-court. Notifications and operations dashboards improved accountability by directing team members to coming due or overdue items. All of this results in a better-run projects, which improves Primus’ ability to deliver on time, within budget and to the quality and safety standards set by the client.