A new feature from a construction communication software automatically produces a daily report at the same time every day, compiled from the field notes of superintendents, foremen and subcontractors.
“To stay an extra hour at the end of the day to compile your observations that you might not accurately remember, is silly,” says Chad Falgout, a general superintendent Abbott Construction, Seattle, who has worked as a super for 20 years. Falgout uses the new daily-reports function from the FieldLens, New York, as he walks the job site. He says he makes 10 to 20 observations during his 8- to 10-hour days, and every one takes him about 30 seconds. He snaps a picture or writes a note about a conversation and shoots it into the FieldLens cloud.
Every day at 4 p.m., these notes and the notes from any other foreman or subcontractors taking part combine into a daily report and are printed out.
“It’s like six or seven sets of eyes out there that work for me throughout the day,” says Falgout.
The superintendent says his company still requires daily reports in Microsoft Word format, so now he just copies the FieldLens daily report, pastes it into word and hands it over. The beauty, he says, is that it’s in the same format.
“We stumbled into this completely,” says Doug Chambers, FieldLens CEO, about the new feature. Chambers says he thought it would be nice to build a printing feature into the software, and then his users started utilizing it for daily reports.
“So we built a whole new report format that looks like a daily report, and at the end of the day we output a traditional daily report that the industry is used to,” says Chambers. He says FieldLens is trying to work with its users so they can post all the info in real time and don’t have to sit in the trailer and regurgitate it all at the end of the day.
Falgout points out another benefit. Changes can be made to Microsoft Word based field reports long after they’re made, says Falgout, but FieldLens reports are unchangeable.
“If you were ever to go to litigation, you have the document right there and you can’t manipulate it in the future. It’s the gospel,” he says.