Three Engineering Teams that Used Construction Administration Software to Create Efficiency

Construction administration software allows engineering teams to introduce new efficiencies in a number of areas. Of course, every team has different needs. Some take a more owner-centric philosophy, and need to find a reliable way to report project progress to a state, county, or city agency. Others are the owners themselves, and need a way to check in on day-to-day activities and ensure quantities are aligned.

Regardless of need, these teams have found ways to add time and subtract stress from their jobs by embracing cloud-based construction administration software. Here’s how they went about evolving their process:

C&S Companies increases project capacity while saving $100,000 in monthly travel

“A lot of our highway/bridge projects were one-person shows. And if you have 20 of those projects, how do you check to make sure things were done correctly? Well, now that can be checked remotely.”

Greg Fehrman, Principal Engineer at C+S Companies, is responsible for oversight on roughly 50 projects annually, located across the country. Previously, the firm was using software to manage these projects that was not connected to the cloud, meaning it needed to be manually updated by Fehrman’s inspectors. As he points out in the above quote, that meant quite a bit of wasted time and gas in travel. By using a cloud-based construction administration platform, Fehrman’s team can enter daily report data directly at the job site, where it automatically syncs with the office. All project information is stored within the same cloud database, so the team can access project files on-the-go from their mobile devices.

Fehrman has also added efficiency by cutting down on the amount of time necessary to communicate with contractors. He simply provides the contractors read-only access to his inspectors database, so any disputes on quantities can be resolved quickly on a day-to-day basis. This access ensures that issues don’t snowball into bigger problems when it comes time to produce a pay estimate.

Read more about Fehrman’s story here.

Prime A/E Group, Inc. simplifies complex funding situations

“Pay item tracking through the Appia service has saved innumerable hours of tabulating quantities and reviewing work performed with the contractor.”

That’s a quote from Joe Warino, VP of Construction Management at Prime A/E. His team knows all about the difficulties of pay item tracking, especially on projects with multiple funding sources. Their recent work on a Facebook Data Center in Ohio required management of a complex mix of funding from state, local, and federal packages. In the past, they would have tracked funds through complicated spreadsheets with pre-programmed macros, where a single misclick could send the entire file into disarray. By using an online tool for construction administration, all of that manual processing work is automated.

Warino and his team set up their projects with individual fund tracking by item, so different fund sources can be applied to different items. They created specific groups of water, sanitary sewer, and roadway items and provided their client with biweekly reports on project progress. When it came time to produce a pay estimate, all the information was already in the system - it just required a single click!

Read more about Warino’s story here.

RS&H makes a dramatic reduction to file research and reporting time

“8-10 hours of researching files the old way, I did in about 5 minutes.”

As the Construction Services Discipline Leader for RS&H, David Elliott and his team travel to job sites around the country to “kick the tires” and ensure projects proceed as planned. With responsibilities spanning the coast, Elliott needs to maximize his time and ensure project disputes don’t slow down progress or come back to haunt him.

The latter occurred on an aviation project in Tallahassee several years ago. Despite Elliott’s multiple offers to assist with measurements on the project, a subcontractor continued to debate quantities and eventually made a claim against the project owner over a year after construction was complete. That’s where cloud-based construction administration came into play.

With all project reports stored in one searchable database, Elliott was able to easily generate query reports for the exact items in dispute in a matter of minutes. He didn’t need to dig through old filing cabinets or comb through a shared drive - a report that could’ve taken days was compiled in one evening.

Read more about Elliott’s story here.

Exploring Appia for construction administration and inspection

If any of these stories sound familiar, it’s likely you’ve encountered your own issues with paper or spreadsheet-based construction management. To overcome these issues, the engineering teams we profiled used Appia, Infotech’s cloud-based platform for construction administration and inspection.

Appia is an owner-centric platform designed to help engineering teams and their stakeholders track infrastructure project progress. It’s built with time saving features like mobile daily reports, instant report queries, item-based fund tracking, and more. If you’re interested in learning more about how Appia may work for your team, explore more here.