Construction software company PlanGrid is continuing its push to put construction documents in the cloud with the launch of Field Reports, a new function within the existing PlanGrid mobile and desktop app that allows crews to file and update a host of job-site reports from their mobile devices, according to the company.
Users can create or copy daily reports, inspection requests, safety checklists, timecards, hazard analysis and more from the app. The option to import custom PDFs allows companies to use their current forms on the new platform.
The app works offline and syncs with new data when users return to an internet connection. Users get a daily email update of new submissions and report-assignment notifications. The company plans to offer a means for users to analyze the data, such as tracking weather trends and labor hours, in the coming months.
Construction job sites are dropping paper — or trying to, at least — as project teams become more geographically disparate and software companies respond with cloud-based solutions for document storage.
PlanGrid was founded in 2011 with the goal of reducing the volume of paper used on the job site, and its latest release continues that trend. Giving reports a digital life helps to both standardize documentation and make it more widely accessible, as well as create a database where construction firms can track long-term trends in project hours, safety reporting, inspection results and more.
Recent trends in mobile uptake throughout the construction industry indicate that PlanGrid’s bet is a solid one. A study last fall of more than 2,000 construction professionals by JBKnowledge found that construction companies are increasingly looking to the cloud. Invitation to bid (36.1%), project management (28.3%), field data collection (27.2%) and CRM (21.2%) systems were among the most common cloud-enabled software used.
In that survey, eight in 10 respondents said mobile technology is important or very important for their day-to-day construction operations. PlanGrid is joined by other companies, including Bluebeam, FieldWire and Procore, in providing mobile project management and collaboration software. Autodesk’s BIM 360 Field keeps track of project documents in 2-D and 3-D, and its new Project IQ lets users monitor project performance in real-time. Digital punch-list tech like Bridgit Closeout helps manage project lists, subcontractors and defect reporting. (Check out more construction project management apps here.)
PlanGrid’s Field Reports is available on Web and IOS platforms, with Android and Windows expected in the coming months.