For north American customers, Autodesk has created an integration between two of its recent acquisitions. The BuildingConnected bid management platform can now push pre-construction information into Plangrid.
In November 2018, Autodesk announced its US$875m acquisition of the mobile-oriented construction management platform Plangrid. The deal provided Autodesk with new capabilities to support projects as they move into construction – not an area where Autodesk solutions had traditionally been strong (read: Construction-savvy Plangrid adds to Autodesk toolset). Two months later, in January 2019, Autodesk announced it was acquiring another US company, BuildingConnected, for US$275m. San Francisco-based BuildingConnected specialised in pre-construction processes including bid management and risk analysis, but operated almost solely in the north American market.
Push to Plangrid
Today (13 August 2019), for its north American customers, Autodesk has announced it has integrated BuildingConnected bid management solutions with PlanGrid technology. The integration allows construction project managers to automatically push design and pre-construction files from BuildingConnected to PlanGrid, saving time, reducing errors and further enhancing the cost savings associated with using both platforms. With this integration, Autodesk says project managers can also easily connect field workers with project planning and estimation workflows used throughout the building process.
Integrating BuildingConnected with PlanGrid solves a major problem for project managers, who typically use the same designs, plans, estimates and other documentation during pre-construction as in the construction phase. Historically, managers needed to manually transfer these files and documents into field collaboration software, a time-consuming and repetitive process that can result in missing files or data errors – and ultimately, miscommunications and project delays.
Now project managers can create PlanGrid projects directly in BuildingConnected. With a simple “push to PlanGrid” button, all project files in BuildingConnected are automatically sent to PlanGrid where they can be accessed immediately from mobile devices in the field. By transferring design and pre-construction files into PlanGrid, managers can sidestep manual project creation and ensure that accurate and holistic data is available to field teams.
Mike Mehrwin, VDC manager at US construction business CRB says:
“Successful project execution starts the moment we win a deal. Our team immediately goes into overdrive to make sure we maximize efficiency throughout the entire build process, connecting workflows and seamlessly transferring complex data from the design and planning phase into the hands of workers on the jobsite. By taking advantage of the BuildingConnected and PlanGrid integration, we’ll be able to close the gap between the pre-construction and building process and enable deeper collaboration between our office and field teams.”
Dustin DeVan, vice president, pre-construction products at Autodesk, says:
“The construction industry has struggled with transferring information from one project to another, and across the different phases of a building project. It’s easy to feel insecure about the logistics of kicking off a job when the right tools to facilitate workflows don’t exist. By reducing errors and the need for rework, this integration will help to mitigate overall project risk and help to ensure more predictable outcomes. Project managers can now feel more confident as they transition from precon to site construction.”
Autodesk has also developed other integrations including one between BIM 360 Ops and PlanGrid (owners using BIM 360 Ops can now manage work order tickets created in PlanGrid for more efficient building maintenance), and PlanGrid and Revit (users now access Revit Building Information Modelling (BIM) data, in either 2D or 3D, directly within PlanGrid on their mobile devices; read April 2016 post: Plangrid BIM launched). Jim Lynch, vice president and general manager, Autodesk Construction Solutions, says:
“By connecting our portfolio of construction solutions, we’re empowering customers to realize meaningful workflows across the entire project lifecycle, whether it’s delivering design files from the office to the field or referencing an accurate as-built during building operations. Autodesk is reimagining the construction business for the digital age, and we look forward to the positive impact this integration will have for our customers.”
At Autodesk’s Connect and Construct Summit in London in June 2019, Lynch said work was under way to merge the Plangrid and BIM 360 offerings: “they will start to merge and will become one sometime in the future. (read: Autodesk’s Plangrid and BIM360 technologies to merge). Efforts were under way to devise a single interface to access the BIM360 and Plangrid functionalities. Lynch added it was important to show existing customers that their past investments are sound for the future. However, work to internationalise the BuildingConnected offering would take a little longer – BuildingConnected will not be launched in EMEA until next year, 2020.