- PlanGrid is strengthening its relationship with file hosting service Dropbox to allow the app's users to access and use a broad range of tools and platforms, according to the company.
- The move aims to increase ease of collaboration and efficiency among project stakeholders through better connected technology.
- PlanGrid's integration with Dropbox allows users to upload and transfer plans from PlanGrid's app to Dropbox, and vice versa, where files, design plans and other project documents can be accessed from any device or platform in real time. The partnership also aims to reduce the need for rework by providing a mechanism for having the most up-to-date files available across project stakeholders.
According to James Cook, PlanGrid's head of partnerships, the move to link up with Dropbox has been successful with the momentum driving more construction companies to look to the cloud. "We saw value in being able to tie in two leading integration platforms," Cook said.
And PlanGrid is not alone. Con-tech investment is at an all-time high, with the sector seeing more than $430 million in disclosed funding across 56 deals by October of last year. Two of those deals, alone, exceeded $50 million.
Companies including PlanGrid, which has raised $69 million to date, are positioning themselves for such investment by differentiating themselves — and they're contractors' favor in the process.
"I think you’ll see more software as a service (SaaS) linking with construction," Cook said. "One of the things I’ve been very pleased to see is how construction companies are looking to try and use more cloud and SaaS apps to move their business."
That trend will likely continue for the foreseeable future — particularly as studies continue to point to technology's influence on construction's productivity levels. According to a recent McKinsey study, adopting new technology and management techniques stands to add $1.6 trillion in value to the industry and increase its stagnant productivity.
The cloud, especially, stands to have a significant effect on how construction companies operate. A 2016 survey conducted by the Associated General Contractors of America and Sage found that 59% of construction firms surveyed planned to use or already used cloud-based software.
As construction sites become increasingly technology-driven and the people managing them become more connected, the industry as a whole will likely transition toward implementing a cloud-based strategy for data storage and sharing. That ability will enable project teams to streamline operations and give users the most up-to-date information they need in real time — a process that can reduce any lag in data sharing and diminish the potential for error.