S. M. Wilson & Co. (S. M. Wilson) has built its reputation on creating amazing client experiences through trust, integrity, and open communication. With gaps in its previous construction management software, S. M. Wilson wanted a holistic solution to connect the office and the field. By adopting Autodesk Build, an Autodesk Construction Cloud™ solution, S. M. Wilson connected more than 1,455 users across its projects, increasing transparency and saving time, money, and energy.
A New Project Management System for Greater Collaboration
S. M. Wilson specializes in projects across industry segments that vary in size, scope, and complexity. With a focus on going Beyond the Build, S. M. Wilson prides itself on providing a customized experience for its clients and seeks technology to deliver on its clients’ expectations.
When Autodesk acquired PlanGrid, S. M. Wilson centralized all their workflows with Autodesk Build as its single solution to increase data integrity and streamline construction management activities. Building on their familiarity with PlanGrid, the team quickly transitioned to Build due to its ease of use, accessibility, and intuitiveness.
“Autodesk Build impressed us; it’s everything we want in our construction management system with data easily accessible in one place. The entire project team – from architects to engineers to trade partners – can work in unison to solve problems with a transparent solution that’s easy to use.”
– Jamie Berzon, Chief Technology Officer
Saving Time by Driving Workflow Efficiency with Autodesk Build
With Build as its interconnected construction management solution, S. M. Wilson could support speed, efficiency, and collaboration across its projects. And all project documentation – from RFIs to meeting minutes to submittals – is linked and easily referenceable. This feature is particularly beneficial for complex projects requiring multiple stakeholders to review an RFI.
With insight into an RFI coming from the field, the architect or engineer can follow the conversation and send an answer to the field more quickly. This capability allows teams to resolve issues faster and manage RFIs more efficiently. Now, project teams can address five RFIs in the time it used to take to handle one.
Storing project information in one place also eliminates confusion and gives the entire team more visibility into what’s happening on the jobsite.
“Having everyone in one ecosystem is a huge win and an incredible way to increase efficiency,” says Brian Turner, Construction Technology Manager at S. M. Wilson & Co. “With Build, we’re confident that everyone on the project is using the most updated plans with a single upload. As field, engineering, and design teams are up to date with site documents, meetings are more productive as we can review and resolve open issues.”
Today, S. M. Wilson’s superintendents use Build for their drawings, daily logs, and safety audits and are excited about the flexibility of the scheduling tool. The ability to search for critical items or activities or create a custom monthly timeline of the project will further connect teams and activities.
“Going from a static piece of printed paper to being able to look at your next three weeks and develop those three-week lookaheads is crucial and makes our teams smarter builders. Having that knowledge at their fingertips is a game changer.”
– Jamie Berzon, Chief Technology Officer
Connecting Teams with a Holistic Construction Management Solution
Today, the company has 1,455 activated members using Build, spread over 111 projects and 619 partner companies. Even more impressive, Build has allowed S. M. Wilson to manage more projects with the same number of staff.
With RFIs and submittals accessible in one place, teams can communicate more effectively; missed emails or questions about the status of an RFI or submittal no longer happen. And when staff needs to shift or cover for staff on vacation, they only need to look in one place to find all project-related documents, so there’s no time lost trying to get up to speed with the project.
“Build has been critical for large or fast-paced projects, thanks to the quick visibility into the status of RFIs and submittals. This makes it possible for us to complete projects on time and within budget regardless of who’s coming on or off a project,” says Jamie.
The ability to automate the submittals log process has also saved S. M. Wilson’s team’s time.
“We are using Build on a complex school district project with four schools under one contract, which involves extensive planning. AutoSpecs in Build has saved hours of project engineering time by creating the submittal logs for each project in minutes instead of days. And by separating the schools in our accounting system, we can track them individually to reduce confusion between team members,” says Brian.
S. M. Wilson continues to improve processes utilizing Build across the board. With RFI types and submittal review templates, S. M. Wilson can customize workflows, saving time while offering flexibility in routing the reviews. They also implemented Autodesk Takeoff to allow the operations staff to quickly analyze and move forward without needing the entire estimating department when scoping out changes.
The RFI review process is also very streamlined; setting up reviewers and co-reviewers allows multiple individuals to review the document simultaneously, resulting in expedited review times, sometimes saving up to five or six days of review for each RFI.
“At S. M. Wilson, we aim to create an amazing client experience. Build helps us achieve this through great document control and communication with our team members, owners, design partners, and other stakeholders in the project. There is never a guess or confusion on where any document stands at any given moment so that we can provide that ultimate client experience.”
– Brian Turner, Construction Technology Manager