Autodesk announces Plangrid upgrades

During this week’s Autodesk University in London (see also previous post), Autodesk announced additions to the Plangrid platform: ‘PlanGrid Advanced RFIs‘ and ‘Project Hub‘. These are said to give construction teams greater visibility regarding a project’s progress and unforeseen challenges. Advanced RFIs automates and so accelerates request for information workflows while Project Hub provides an actionable picture of key project activity in one central location within PlanGrid’s software. Together, they help construction teams to identify and resolve issues faster and keep projects on track.

Head of products, site construction, Autodesk Construction Solutions, Sameer Merchant says:

“Construction is a massive logistical challenge involving hundreds of people, and the flow of information on a jobsite can sometimes be like a game of telephone. Crucial data can get lost as it travels, whether it’s between the field and the office or between team members, and decisions then get bottlenecked. [These] innovations …, Advanced RFIs and Project Hub, provide greater visibility across a project, boost collaboration and help teams move forward faster. By automating and streamlining the flow of data, Autodesk Construction Solutions is empowering the construction industry to make decisions more effectively and keep projects on track.”

One of Plangrid’s US clients, Rob Winklepleck, general manager of West Brothers Construction says:

“On a typical project, we’re managing vast quantities of information, and we need a way to make this information manageable and easily accessible. If my team doesn’t have the insights we need, work stalls out and it can cause a domino effect on interrelated resources across the project. The new features in PlanGrid not only help speed up the building process but also show me exactly what needs to happen to move the project forward. My team is able to get a quick response to pressing issues, and I spend less time calling or walking back and forth from the trailer to the field to verify work.”

Advanced RFIs

Advanced RFIsRFI processes resolve questions arising from drawings, specifications, contracts and other construction documents that aren’t fully coordinated. According to Plangrid, ideally, an RFI moves from one person to the next: from the field to the office and then on to a design team reviewer, who provides insight and sends it back. While the flow of information should be straightforward, when the RFI process is not streamlined, it often involves multiple conversations and can take several weeks to get resolved. Information also can get lost along the way and schedules may be delayed.

PlanGrid’s Advanced RFIs automate the process and gives construction teams a visual and structured workflow to manage and distribute questions and answers efficiently and intuitively. Project members can quickly draft a question from a log or sheet and attach photos, and then track RFI progress – all within PlanGrid. Reviewers are notified and can respond by email, and answers are immediately distributed to all critical team members. Responses are also automatically added to the RFI history within PlanGrid’s platform to decrease miscommunication.

PlanGrid will continue making the flow of data on a construction project seamless. Future features will allow change orders to be efficiently managed from start to finish.

Project Hub

With 1000s of documents to track and large teams to coordinate, project managers and engineers can struggle to have a clear understanding of what is happening across a project.

Project Hub is a centralised place within PlanGrid’s platform where project engineers and managers can get a pulse of their project in real-time and take action on the most critical field operations. Via an uncluttered interface that is easy-to-use and simple to navigate, Project Hub delivers a holistic picture of all project activity, providing instant answers to questions such as: ‘What has changed on the project? Does everyone have the most up-to-date information? What tasks need to be assigned or are still incomplete?’ Features include:

  • Team update status: displays what percentage of the team is working from the latest plans and documents, to ensure all team members are on the most current set by tracking status in real time
  • Recent activity: shows a steady feed of major activities happening on the project
  • Project work: a list of tasks that helps guide users towards work that needs attention on the project

With Project Hub, managers can immediately understand risk factors in the field, such as what is at risk of complications or of not being built correctly, and act quickly to address the highest priorities.

Plangrid webinars are planned to update users about the updates (to register, visit here):

  • North America: 2 July 2019, at 11:00am PDT/ 2:00 pm EDT
  • EMEA: 9 July 2019, at 12:00 pm BST / 1pm CEST / 3:00pm GST

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