How Fortis Group Uses PlanGrid to Improve Project Communication and Relationships
Fortis Group is a leading full-service contractor that has designed and built over four million square feet of retail, commercial, recreational and industrial space. The company uses PlanGrid to control of every phase of a project, from conception to close-out.
The problem for Fortis was simple. The company needed a way to quickly transmit information from the office to job sites and to subcontractors as they worked on projects. Fortis didn’t want to force an unproven solution on their team. Instead, the company’s field staff went to work looking for applications that could be tested in the field.
“We wanted the employees to pick the tech that would make their job easier and fit seamlessly into their day to day operations.” says Joe Maertens, Fortis’ Vice President of Field Operations.
To that end, several Senior Site Supervisors sought out a solution. After testing out different options, the clear recommended path was PlanGrid. Maertens had the IT Department load PlanGrid onto iPads and sent them to the foremen at several job sites as a trial. Then he stepped back and let the employees determine the ways in which they wanted to use the software.
“I feel much more organized and aware onsite now. PlanGrid gives me more freedom to focus and work on other things.”
Any construction project generates lots of paperwork. There are timesheets and equipment checklists. There are punch lists of work completed and work still to be done. There are RFIs and updated schedules and design changes, all of which needs to be distributed to a swath of subcontractors and workers.
With PlanGrid, all of that information is captured and stored on a tablet. There is no more need to go rooting through piles of paper or email folders to find old plans and compare them to new ones. And it is easy to share information even if a subcontractor is not using PlanGrid.
Fortis shows prospective customers how PlanGrid has helped integrate its office and field operations in order to bring projects in on time and under budget.
Once Fortis wins a bid, clients get to see PlanGrid in action all during the building process, too. Those with little or no background in construction might have trouble visualizing a project or see something on a site that they don’t understand. When that happens, Site Supervisor Rob Chatel will pull out his iPad and show the customer sketches or other visuals that Fortis is using to bring the owner’s vision to life. If the client is concerned that some detail is wrong, he can pull up a project’s specs and doublecheck it on the spot. If the client is elsewhere, Chatel can turn documents into pdf files and email them right away.
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“Sharing how we use PlanGrid proves to the client that communication is key; that we’re innovative in that respect.”
— Joe Maertens, Vice President of Field Operations
“We wanted the employees to pick the tech that would make their job easier and fit seamlessly into their day to day operations.”
— Joe Maertens, VP of Field Operations