saved per week, per team member
Paper savings in first few months with PlanGrid
After years of using paper to manage their construction projects, the team at Nan Inc. was tired of asking, “Is this the most recent version of the plans?” It’s a simple question that was asked regularly—an uncertainty that led to countless hours being wasted and unnecessary costs.
Working from outdated plans led to mistakes that often required 100 to 1,000 hours of rework, and being headquartered in Hawaii meant that rework cost a fortune. Shipping a single steel beam from manufacturers in the continental U.S. means waiting days and paying extra for it to get there on a plane. To avoid these scenarios, Nan Inc. would send someone back to the trailer every day to check the plans. Jason Ko, Project Manager at Nan, admits, “Think about it: I’m paying someone $90 just to walk to the trailer and back. It definitely adds up.”
Nan had tried plan management software on another project, but found that it required too much manual work to set up, and it was difficult to use in the field. With a deadline of early 2019 and a lot of work to be done, the team needed to look into other options.
As project manager, Ko was authorized to research and invest as needed to support the project. After discovering PlanGrid, he decided to try it with five employees who might benefit the most: two field engineers, one superintendent, one foreman, and himself. While PlanGrid offered a training session to get the team on board, they declined and were able to quickly pick it up on their own. Ko shares that, “People grumbled about the change at first, but because it was so easy to use they loved it after just a couple of weeks.”
Ko noted that among many benefits, he appreciated PlanGrid’s automatic slip-sheeting and version control. When Nan received an update from the architect with 400 new drawings, Ko was able to drag-and-drop the PDFs into PlanGrid.com to give everyone in the field the latest set on their tablets. If these were printed on paper, someone would have had to insert each new sheet—one at a time—into four separate sets. All of the detail callouts were automatically hyperlinked, so that users could quickly jump from sheet to sheet with just the tap of a finger. And because PlanGrid works just as fast offline as it does with an internet connection, the team had instant access—no matter where they were.
Although Nan is still in the early stages of building the Kona Judiciary Complex, PlanGrid has already made a meaningful impact on the productivity of the project.
Ko estimates that he and his five-person crew save two to three hours per day on various activities, which translates to about $4,500 per week in labor costs. Today, when new versions are issued, the process of getting them to the field is streamlined. Nan has also saved thousands in printing costs. Each sheet costs them $2, and they would normally be working off of four sets of paper drawings with more than 1,000 sheets each.
Rework, however, seems to be where Nan is saving the most. Ko explains that, “PlanGrid is saving us a lot of money by helping prevent mistakes on the job site. 100 hours of rework costs us about $9,000 in labor alone, and now that we always have the latest plans right there in our hands, I don’t have to worry about this as much.” One near-miss that Ko caught would have cost him over $38,000 in rework, but he estimates that they have saved a lot more by avoiding other mistakes.
Ko feels confident that the team will finish ahead of schedule. He cannot attribute this entirely to PlanGrid, but it has been an accelerating factor. The quickly-realized return on investment and usability of the software has been an overnight success for his team. “It’s improved our productivity and fundamentally changed our mindset,” concludes Ko. “Everytime we go to work on something, we don’t have to question whether or not we’re doing it right.”