There are just too many pieces to think about... tasks to complete, people to coordinate, conducting visual inspections and even creating photo documentation to document construction progress and events daily.
Superintendents have to snap photos and record information as they conduct visual inspections or to document field conditions that hinder progress or might create issues down the road. Project managers and other management staff are continually riding their tails to take photos and to file and organize them properly. It is this second part of the process, photo organizing, that makes the task even more painful. Especially when having to do it manually at the end of a grueling day or even worse, at home. Uploading and organizing photos to digital inhouse or online photo storage system makes the overall task of visual inspection and photo documentation very cumbersome, inefficient and time consuming.
Too Many Tools and Steps Take Too Much Time
To get it done right, the best way to organize photos would mean including context of each photo and relevant information together with the photos. Hope is that they would be easy to find in the appropriate location in the company’s system like Microsoft's Sharepoint or Egnyte, the hybrid cloud solution that combines cloud and on premise storage and access.
To complete the task of visual inspection and documentation with photos, Superintendents use multiple tools. They may use a digital camera, a smartphone or tablet to snap photos and capture information with pen and paper or some other notes or forms solution. Later (if at all), in the trailer, office or at home, they then organize the photos and reports, transfers them to the appropriate inhouse or online photo storage location, and maybe even use additional tools (word processing, e-mail) to ready the photos and information for future use.
Mobile Technology and Automation to the Rescue
86% of GCs now use their phones on site while 69% of mobile workers in general already snap photos on smartphones and tablets. In other words, Mobile technology is already penetrating and taking over the field heavy industries including Construction and General Contracting in particular.
The missing piece for getting the most out of Mobile when it comes to site photo documentation was a solution to make the process easy to complete.
In a case study done by Rob McKinney of J.M Wilkerson Construction (Rob is also known as the ConstructionAppGuru) Rob inspected a wing of a floor of one of his buildings the old way. It took him 94 minutes to capture 6 photos per unit for 18 units, transfer them to the system, and associate information with those photos in Word. Rob decided to look for a better way and to see if there was a mobile photo organizing software or a photo organizing app that could do some of the organizing work for him and simplify the task and automate the process end to end. He found it in FotoIN.
Unlike big Project management solutions like AutoDesk360 or blueprint management solutions like PlanGrid and Bluebeam, FotoIN focuses on photo documentation and delivers the best of breed photo organizer solution that addresses all the key pain points Construction Superintendents and subcontractors experience when it comes to photo documentation. FotoIN mobile app enables easy capture of photos and associated information with its photo tagging capability, as well as automated filing, organization and transferring files to Sharepoint, Egnyte, Box and Sharefile.
Save More Than 30% of Time in Visual Inspections and Photo Documentation
Rob took FotoIN for a spin on the exact same wing and floor, and took exact same photos and collected the exact same information with FotoIN. This time it took him 54 vs. 94 minutes or 30%+ less time. With FotoIN he snapped the photos on his iPad, tagged each photo appropriately, annotated key points right on the photos, captured comments and then FotoIN did the rest by syncing photos and information to the right folder in his cloud storage (Rob uses Egnyte, Box, and ShareFile depending on the project). Not only is all this done automatically from the site and nicely organized to the right location in storage, but Rob also benefits from being able to easily find any of the photos he may later need by doing a simple keyword search since all the captured information with the photo is actually embedded in the photos.
Just like Rob, any Superintendent and team member tasked with photo capturing and organizing can avoid unnecessary time waste, and ultimately reduce all the unwanted types of costs on a project (rework, tear out, disputes,warranty, quality, safety and even legal). Additionally, productivity and efficiency on site are increased and both site team and management are happy with having less headaches and more time to do their real job - build.