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Prism Electric streamlines its BIM workflow with PlanGrid

Prism Electric is ranked among the largest electrical contractors in Texas and Oklahoma with over $175 million in business annually. A PlanGrid customer since 2015, Prism’s portfolio includes projects in the commercial, industrial, institutional, healthcare and high-tech industries.

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How a disconnect between BIM and the field created confusion and an unproductive workflow

While walking the job, Prism Electric superintendent, AJ Spear noticed an issue; the mechanical trade had installed a duct where Prism’s electrical conduit was supposed to be placed. “Not again,” he thought as he picked up the phone to call Marco Vara, the BIM Coordinator at Prism’s headquarters. Marco pulled up the model, checked clash detection and said, “You shouldn’t have an issue.” As AJ stared at the conflict in the field, it was clear the BIM model in the office did not reflect the reality at the construction site.

Occurrences like these were common for AJ and Marco because communication between the field and the BIM department were often unclear, slow and very ineffective. As a result, a back and forth between what’s in the BIM model and the actual construction took place. With dozens of change orders on some projects, it was difficult for the BIM department to keep track of the latest changes. To resolve any issues, the Prism team found it most effective to discuss the issue live on the jobsite. Meaning Marco had to drive to the jobsite and resolve the issue live with the field team. “With many jobsites an hour or two away from the office, I would lose a day of work just driving back and forth. It wasn’t efficient, but it was the only way to get the issue resolved.”

Streamlining the BIM workflow with PlanGrid

The wasted time added up. Prism Electric realized that they needed a change. They searched for a construction technology solution that would be the single source of truth, improve communication with the field and increase the team’s efficiency. They landed on PlanGrid. With unparalled field adoption, the team at Prism was confident that the software would connect the field to the office. In fact, Prism chose to standardize on the platform, meaning all of their projects are run through PlanGrid.

With PlanGrid, confusion over field notes or document history has been greatly reduced. The BIM department has only one place to look for field notes and comments and has a robust history of when documents are uploaded and modified. PlanGrid has ultimately become the single source of truth

PlanGrid electrifies communication and time savings for Prism

Since standardizing on PlanGrid, the Prism team has seen great results that have ‘sparked’ improvement with BIM in the field. PlanGrid allows real-time communication between the BIM department and the field. AJ remarked that “PlanGrid has helped to resolve many field issues. By looking at the issue stamp the BIM Coordinators get a lot of information. The description of the issue, possible solution, clash detection and pictures are all there. The entire team can see field issues as they exist. It’s like being in the field without physically being there.”

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"People just don’t know how powerful a tool PlanGrid is to use. The organization, communication, reliability and accountability. It’s just a powerful tool that allows us to do our job."

- AJ Spear, Senior Superintendent
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