A letter from our CEO

Tracy Young
Founder and CEO

To My Fellow Builders,

I cut my teeth in the construction industry nearly ten years ago. I have experienced the challenges of our business, both as a construction engineer and as a construction technology CEO. I have worked alongside many of you, discussing how we can boost the industry’s global collective productivity. I want our future filled with fourth and fifth generation construction firms keeping their values alive and delivering quality projects that improve local communities. Today I ask each of you: How do we evolve together to build the next 50 years?

When it comes to digital adoption, construction is behind mining, government, healthcare, and every other industry except agriculture and hunting. The negative impact is undeniable: In the last fifty years, while other industries have benefited from an average 152% increase in productivity, construction has actually declined. How can an industry that employs the most brilliant people I know, building the world’s most complex structures, be this far behind? Construction productivity is hindered as a result of several key challenges—the industry has never experienced a technological transformation; document control and distribution are too slow; communications and decisions are siloed and bureaucratic; and field teams do not have consistent access to the information needed to build.

When the iPad was unveiled in 2010, it marked the first generation of construction field-ready mobile technology. It was the moment when the idea for PlanGrid, Construction Productivity Software, was invented. Construction Productivity Software means instant access to the full construction record set. It means automation of tedious administrative tasks with machine learning. It means freeing up the team to collaborate effectively from anywhere so that workers can focus on the real work—building. When the keys are turned over, so is the data, ensuring long-term operations have all the building’s information and history at their fingertips.

Embracing new technology isn’t the issue in the industry. Workers are clamoring for more tech on the job site so they can build more efficiently and establish a healthier work-life balance. But companies are not spending enough. In 2016, 70% of construction firms spent 1% or less of annual sales volume on IT. This massive underinvestment requires every industry stakeholder—companies, unions, trade associations, and universities—to come together to rethink strategies, budgets, and training to achieve widespread tech adoption and proper traction. We must share best practices on this journey to build better, together. This is why PlanGrid for Education partners with universities and trade schools globally to provide a core curriculum that helps future skilled workers learn construction using the best tools available to boost competitiveness.

When we see the cranes populating our city skylines, it reminds us that we rarely go a day without occupying spaces that construction professionals built with their bare hands. Today construction accounts for 10% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and by 2030 it’ll be closer to 14.7% of global GDP. Construction is the infrastructure of our world, but the industry won’t be able to deliver the housing, road improvements, new facilities, and utility upgrades needed unless we are able to become more productive. PlanGrid exists to solve this problem. We are committed to developing powerful new capabilities to boost productivity and profitability, and enhance the quality of buildings and workers lives. If we can improve our customers’ efficiency by just 1%, we could increase the global GDP.

It is a privilege to build innovative tools for the hardest working people in the world. If we can continue to save each builder a few minutes, we’re saving humanity hours, and then decades, of increased construction labor productivity. I believe the industry’s future is now, but it will take all of us working together to break new ground and close the global productivity gap.

With deep respect,

Tracy Young

A measurable return on investment
See how 835 customers responded to our survey on productivity.

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Measure the impact for yourself

Customers report $15,000 labor savings per employee. In short, PlanGrid pays for itself.

Estimated annual team labor savings

You could save up to $0 per week in labor savings alone. Teams using PlanGrid report additional savings due to avoided rework and the reduction or elimination of printing fees.

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