The digital revolution and online technology changed the way white collar workers do business.
Now, EllisDon is using it to empower project managers and blue-collar workers on construction sites across Canada.
The company announced recently it has chosen a jobsite co-ordination platform developed by Fieldwire to connect teams working on construction projects.
The platform has already been used by the company on the construction phase of Brookfield Place Calgary and is being used for the worksite flow on capital building projects at Vancouver International Airport.
Fieldwire, a San Francisco-based company, has both a desktop software and mobile application that enables efficient online and mobile communication between architects, employees, consultants and field staff.
The construction field management platform connects just about everybody on the project team — from the general contractor and subcontractors to project managers and foreman on the ground — to streamline jobsite co-ordination and allow real-time information sharing between field and office employees.
EllisDon decided to enter into an enterprise agreement with Fieldwire after using the platform for three years on several projects.
The agreement between EllisDon and Fieldwire covers all internal employees, as well as trade partners, clients, architects and external consultants involved in EllisDon’s projects.
“The construction industry is changing at a rapid pace,” said Tom Strong, chief technology officer at EllisDon, in a statement. “Leveraging technology allows us to further drive productivity at the project level.
“Fieldwire helps our project teams deliver very high-quality results by connecting us seamlessly with our clients and trade partners.”
Use of the application is a marked change for the construction industry, said Strong.
Our customers report that they save an average of an hour a day per person using Fieldwire
— Zachary Reiss-Davis
“Our industry has not always been the most forthcoming about sharing information,” he said. “By providing Fieldwire to anyone involved on our projects, we promote transparency and ownership in our construction process.”
Zachary Reiss-Davis, director of marketing at Fieldwire, said the application saves clients time by powering between field and office staff.
“It’s designed first and foremost for the people doing the actual work on construction sites,” he said, noting Fieldwire is used on projects that range from airport renovations, highrise buildings, highways and hospitals.
The application, he said, enables users to view plans, share documents and do mark-ups on them, as well as arrange tasks like field scheduling and inspections. The platform also allows users to communicate better and send messages, progress reports and forms.
Reiss-Davis said managers on construction sites spend most of their time co-ordinating what needs to be done rather than actually doing the work.
“Our customers report that they save an average of an hour a day per person using Fieldwire on the jobsites through reduced time spent figuring out who’s supposed to be doing what, when and where,” he explained.
Before signing Fieldwire to be used across all of their projects company-wide, EllisDon representatives tested the application extensively.
The company used the platform to manage all of the work done during the construction phase at Brookfield Place Calgary, a 60-storey, 1.6-million-square-foot office tower.
All the plans were loaded into Fieldwire, enabling management of all day-to-day work and tasks for EllisDon and every speciality contractor who came onto the site, said Reiss-Davis.
Whenever a deficiency was found, the operations team was able to mark it quickly via Fieldwire’s mobile application and task the right team on the contractor side to fix the issue.
By having all of their superintendents and foreman trained on Fieldwire, EllisDon was able to ensure everyone working on the project was looking at the same set of plans.
Reiss-Davis said this enabled EllisDon to hand the project over to Brookfield much faster.
Drew Woods, assistant project manager for Brookfield Place Calgary, said the platform helped at all stages of the project.
“Fieldwire is really handy to have in the field, not only during construction, but also during the close-out and the deficiency-management phase.”
EllisDon also used Fieldwire’s application for a $350-million contract at Providence Care Hospital in Kingston, Ont. It helped the company assign tasks and deficiencies to contractors immediately.
EllisDon is now using the platform for worksite flow, including tasks and blueprint management, on a $9.1-billion, multi-year expansion project underway at Vancouver International Airport.
Javed Singha, co-founder and chief operating officer of Fieldwire, said in a statement that the company is excited to enter a new phase in its partnership with EllisDon.
Reiss-Davis said there’s been a consistent decline in construction labour productivity since 1960 in the United States, and the industry has bottom-quartile profit margins compared to other industries.
“We’re completely focused on helping change both of those facts with our platform today,” he said, “and believe that there’s a huge role to play for companies like Fieldwire to assist construction companies of all sizes.”