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Technology Evolved

Technology is rapidly changing — the way we do business, the way we work in the field, the way we train, and the way we interact with clients and partners. In the construction industry, it’s no longer sink or swim when it comes to technology — it’s simply evolve and leverage what you do have to create efficiencies that result in smoother projects for all involved, from the office to the field.

Born out of the need for a central place for documents and drawings so multiple parties could access them, MMC Contractors has discovered how integral Bluebeam Revu can be to project success. Estimator Addison Weis explains how the team began to uncover the various capabilities of Bluebeam. "Awhile back, we had a project that had mass amounts of information being transmitted between four different parties, and everyone had a hard time deciphering what information was the latest. After we realized that the Owner, engineer, and general contractor were all coming to us to find out what the latest and greatest documents were, we recognized there was a need for a more efficient way to keep the information organized. Thus, we began to explore all that Bluebeam had to offer," he said.

Through this exploration, the team began to uncover that not only could Bluebeam offer a central place to keep the most up-to-date documents, but it also resulted in saved time in the field and streamlined the process, changing the game for MMC Contractors as a company and for clients who work with us. "This technology has cut a lot of time and steps out of the document control process, which ultimately results in getting the most recent documents to our field personnel faster. It also saves time and money by not having to print all of the drawings to update multiple hard copy sets every time there is a revision," said Estimator Josh Garcia.

Using Bluebeam in new ways and integrating it with other technology has changed the way Project Manager Jennifer Midkiff works with her team in the field. "Every time there was a revision, we would have to print and collate everything and send hard copies out to all our field guys. It would typically take us two days to update the sets — it now takes us one hour. It makes it much easier for us to adapt any time there is an amendment to our documents and allows us more time to perform the work."

Flexibility on the job is crucial to success at any level — both in the willingness to adjust to the typical project changes and to improve as technology does. "It’s really just about exploring what we have, and what we found is that Bluebeam is a much more powerful tool than any of us realized," said Garcia. "We are constantly learning different ways we can use it and integrate it with our other tools to work smarter as a company. What started as a better way to convey our capabilities to the client has now become something we use to better ourselves."

Tech-Savvy Training

As technology changes, it is one thing to embrace it, but it is another to ensure every team member both understands and uses it efficiently. MMC Contractors has identified a fringe benefit of streamlining processes through the use of technology — a bolstered training program.

Jennifer Midkiff, along with the Best Practice Group, a group comprised of team members from nationwide offices to exchange ways to improve as a company, has helped with the effort to train MMC Contractors’ field staff. "It’s been great. We didn’t have a formalized training program for our field workers regarding technology, so through our Field Technology Best Practice Group, we developed a training class that walks iPad users through all the features of Bluebeam Revu. The class is interactive, which is great because our team can learn by doing instead of being lectured," she said.

In addition to the class, the group held a "Train the Trainers" session, so each member could train the staff in their respective offices. "It is imperative that all our staff is trained on the technology; otherwise, we would not achieve the efficiency we have seen so far across the board," said Midkiff. "I am excited to see how technology and our training program evolve in the future."