A web-based construction-management platform optimized for an iPhone's screen size and mobile ergonomics is coming out on Nov. 1.
"It was born out of complete and utter frustration," says Don Speedie, president of Sparks, Nev.-based Fluid Contract Manager, about what provoked him to create his iPhone-inspired design. When he came up with the idea, Speedie was working as a construction manager, a position he occupied for more than 14 years.
"I built it from the ground up with the iPhone in mind," says Speedie.
The design's fluidity was such a priority when programming Fluid CM that it made its way into the product's name, he says.
ENR tested the app, which handles all the paperwork on a jobsite, including preparing, issuing and signing off on contracts, subcontracts, change orders and billings. Its web-based platform also handles RFIs and submittals.
Though many programs offer the same services in the cloud, Fluid CM's usability is what sets it apart.
If a window is resized on a desktop screen, the interface instantly remaps itself to fit. On large screens, it almost looks oversized, with big icons on a clean background and white space galore. When working on an iPhone, the design shrinks and rearranges but remains easy to navigate.
The app offers messaging in a blog-comment format, indefinitely retaining all site communication.
"There aren't a whole lot of settings," says Speedie. He says he kept the functionality simple to allow for quicker ramp-up time and a lower learning curve for new users.
The service costs $99 a month for unlimited user seats and up to five active projects; $299 for 15 projects and $499 for 50. Unlimited project space is available, but pricing varies.