Communicate With A Building Market
Control System Integrators developed its Site Manager tool to help construction managers work smarter and faster. Could you build profitable relationships in this market?
The Site Manager concept originated from Mitch Morris, an experienced project manager who supervises large multi-family job sites. Frustrated with the lack of experience and knowledge of his field personnel operating the site, Morris designed the Site Manager tool. His goal was to help construction management complete buildings more efficiently than the original manual system.
Some of the most common problems developers face include:
- Lack of efficient systems for managing assembly line construction in an open-air environment.
- Lack of effective tools for communicating with subcontractors.
- Lack of efficient means in the field for handling and storing large amounts of data used to manage subcontractor productivity.
Making A List, Checking It Twice
The Site Manager provides a customized checklist of areas to be inspected during the rough and finish stages of the construction process. Rough areas include the foundation, frame, and plumbing/wiring connections behind the walls. Finish areas include amenities such as carpet, flooring, tubs, sinks and cabinets.
The menu system logically follows the building flow or process of the site and then produces checklists divided by the subcontractor. The individual subcontractors are immediately notified where changes are requested. With the use of the Site Manager, problems are rectified one to two weeks faster when compared with the original manual system.
The tool also provides a superintendent with the documentation needed to control subcontractor productivity. The original method of collecting punch-list data used paper, pencil and a voice recorder. This method took days to type out hard copy reports for distribution to subcontractors. Punch list reports are created within minutes using the Site Manager's Report Writer.
The Site Manager uses the DAP Technologies PC9800 handheld computer to collect data from the field. The PC9800 scans in ID bar codes and documents all punch items listed in the CSI menu-driven system. The PC9800 handheld computer was selected because it could withstand the daily operational use in a rough, construction-site environment. The PC9800 also has an integrated laser bar-code reader and large raised keys.
The First Site
The first system was prototyped at the Carmel Valley Apartments, a Fairfield residential site in Charlotte, NC. It took six months to design the first system for installation. The most challenging aspect of the installation was overcoming the computer phobia of the end user. An eight-hour CSI certification-training program is provided for each site with additional onsite training available. This program informs the users how the tool can be used to help them perform their jobs more effectively.
Subcontractors noticed that the management was using a new tool to follow their progress and problems. This increased the quality of workmanship and decreased the problems reported. Because the handheld computer is waterproof, rain days were spent updating the punch list rather than taking the day off.
Site Manager Speeds Transfer Process
The major goal of the CSI Site Manager was to speed the process of transferring buildings to the owner on this site. After being on site for six months, the Site Manager helped turn over three buildings in one month. This set a new record for Fairfield's East Coast region.