Building Better

The Fieldlens Blog

Why It’s Actually Safer To Ditch The Paper Trail

I’ve mentioned before that I grew up in a construction family.

With my grandfather, father, brother and various uncles owning construction companies I know (as in I really, truly know) how important covering your ass is. I’ve witnessed first-hand the frustration and inevitable time-suck that occurs with any type of lawsuit.

Construction business owners are some of the busiest and most stressed out people on the planet. Add a lawsuit to their list of things to deal with, and their pace of productivity briefly unravels, taking a toll on the whole company.

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Will Construction’s “Robot Revolution” Include Pens & Paper?

We keep hearing about how augmented reality, as well as drones and 3D printing, will soon reshape the construction industry. We’re excited about all this new technology. Still, we can’t help but call out the elephant in the room: the pens and paper that so many companies are still relying on.

According to a recent Software Advice report, “Fifty-two percent of prospective buyers use pen and paper to conduct estimating, takeoff, big management and other processes.”

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Again, don’t get us wrong. We’re all about using technology to make construction projects more efficient, and people’s jobs easier. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t exist.

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Simple Instagram Tips for Marketing Construction Companies

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Instagram for construction contractors? Isn’t that the platform my teenager uses for what the kids call ‘selfies’?

Nope, not anymore. Instagram is quickly gaining on more widely known social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and many small businesses are starting to realize the platform’s potential for marketing their companies. If you’re a contractor not using this free resource to market your business, then here are some simple tips for getting started.

What is Instagram?

Instagram is a photo/video sharing platform, and similar to Facebook you can post a photo or video and include a caption. Followers can like and comment on the photo/video if they want, and commenters can tag other Instagram users in the comments.

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Contractors: Are You Risking Enough?

“Just taking risks for risk’s sake, that doesn’t do it for me. I’m willing to take risks that I think are worth it, and I’ve worked so hard to make sure that I survive.” – Chris Hadfield, Astronaut

Construction Dive recently forecast that contractors will be more cautious about project selection this year. Ok, on the surface that makes good sense.

Most contractors that survived the recession have got some battle scars to show for it. They can relate to the quote above. Now when they think about how many projects to take on, how large/complex, and how many hands they’ll need, they’re proceeding with more caution than before.

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The Secret To Marketing Your Construction Company

You’re already doing it.

Your company is live with a project management software program, and results are rolling in: Work is happening faster, tracking progress and construction documents is easier, and no one’s banging their head against the wall when “daily report” and “punch list” are mentioned.

For many firms, there’s your victory. But smart contractors are discovering there’s more juice where that came from.

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One of the biggest bonuses of your new field management program isn’t in the field; it’s in the new technology’s marketing value.

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“Zero Punch List” Possible? Does It Even Matter?

If you tackle it right, there’s no good reason punch list should eat up the final 20% of your project. But is it ever realistic to shoot for a “zero punch list” project? Or is that like believing that there actually is a dark side of the moon?

Let’s dig into that – so you can do great things like make your clients happy and get paid faster.

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First up, if you don’t believe a “zero punch list” job is possible, why is it still worth shooting for?

It goes against the grain, but it’s a great strategy for aligning your project team to collectively work toward higher quality each day. (The alternative being to let poorly-executed work sit until you’re at the tail end of your project.)

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Make Your Toolbox Talks Count

When was the last time you paid full attention to an in-flight presentation? Sure, you probably have the main points memorized.

The real answer: possibly never, and certainly not every time you fly. This might be how your construction crew is feeling during your safety meetings. And as fines keep climbing, that just isn’t gonna fly.

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1. Make it memorable

How do you keep your crew’s attention and make sure they’re engaged during safety meetings when you’re covering the same ground over and over?

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So FieldLens Won The Gold — Who Cares?

We’re not just blowing smoke when we say that the best part of our day is when we hear customers say, “You make my life simpler,” and “Thanks to FieldLens, I got my afternoon back.”

But we don’t mind winning awards either, cause let’s face it: As much as we enjoy helping you win, we enjoy winning too.

We’ll tell you a little about the award we won and why you might be interested.

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Recently the Best Mobile Apps Awards announced that we took a gold for Best Business & Productivity App in the Overall category. It’s not the first award we’ve won, but it’s exciting to get recognized among names like SalesForce, Adobe, and Wired.

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Is Your Punch List Mobile Madness?

Punch list: No one is immune to the storm that kicks up just when you’re headed out the door to the next job. And no one feels the pressure to stay on top of punch lists more than a residential builder.

But there’s a way to get you out the door faster and hang onto your sanity.

I just have a few questions for you first.

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After your walkthrough, you might file your scrubbed checklist away in a box in your truck. Then you have to repeat the process with another punch list from the owner and designer (all while juggling multiple projects elsewhere).

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Talk That’s Not Cheap: Construction Project Communication

Tell me you haven’t heard some version of this before:

There’s been some miscommunication (Read: someone f’d up), and it’s causing some delays.”

Or:

“The project got off to a slow start.”

You know when you hear that — because you do hear it— that someone is losing money, and it’s probably not helping their reputation either. Communication breakdowns happen to even the best construction crews.

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It’s often after money losing jobs like this that construction companies entertain the idea of getting project management software — they’re looking to solve a problem. But usually this process leads to a treating of specific symptoms while ignoring the disease.

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