Thanks to the surge in attention to construction technology over the last few years, our once dark and analog industry has benefited from many tools that help produce higher quality projects more efficiently. Here are some of the solutions The Douglas Company is making a focus this year:
- Scheduling Software – Supply chain issues and workforce shortages are expected to continue in 2023, and without a detailed and outstanding project schedule any project is going to suffer from inefficiency and lost time. As schedules get more complicated, tools that help understand their data and the effects of one task on another. The Douglas Company uses SmartPM, a web-based tool that tracks changes between schedule versions, availability of float, compression, and overall health of a schedule. This gives our project managers more information to help prioritize work on-site and focus on the right work areas.
- Project Photography – Pictures tell a thousand words, and in construction, they can save thousands of dollars. The better photographic records we have on a project, the more capability we have to monitor progress, document concealed areas, and find problems. To help get more pictures of our projects and take advantage of these, we use OpenSpace AI to enable our superintendents to utilize a 360-degree camera and capture full walkthroughs of a project in pictures. We also continue to fly drones on all our projects regularly.
- Site Estimating – Land availability is down, so site estimating has gotten harder than ever as more brownfield and complex sites become all that’s left. We have upped our training and commitment to RocTek, an earthwork quantity estimating software that helps dial in the accuracy of our site budgets.
- Financial Tools – In order for jobs to run well, the money has to flow seamlessly and on time. That requires good financial records, access to information, and quick invoice approvals. We have utilized the industry-leading SAGE platform for our records for decades, but recently added TimberScan to our arsenal. TimberScan allows quicker access to documents, and invoice review/approval from mobile devices.
- Project Management – We have been Procore users since its early days, and are proud to say we utilize it to the fullest. We’ve gone beyond just drawing, RFI, and submittal management in recent years and use Procore for all project change management, communication, and quality monitoring. Our teams have full access to the project information from anywhere, and the ability to quickly communicate and track issues between our subcontractors.
The key to continuing to succeed in the construction industry is adapting to and incorporating the latest construction technology. The technology a contractor plans to use on a project should always be a part of planning discussions and making sure, like with anything in construction, the right tools are being used for the job.
Bruce Douglas, PMP, LEED AP BD+C
Executive Vice President, Midwest
The Douglas CompanyRead More >