Running a business 25 years ago looked a little different than it does today. Binders, notepads and pens were office staples, and contractors relied heavily on paper plans to complete work. One such commercial electrician company based in Idaho Falls, Idaho, opened its doors to the public in 1996.
It is clear that times have changed since then—so much so that the family-owned and operated business is almost entirely paperless now. They no longer communicate via email on-site, and since ditching paper forms in the field, they’re saving 2–3 hours per person each day. Now, all the electrical contractor needs on-site is an iPhone and Fieldwire.
Going paperless with Fieldwire forms
“The ability to have custom forms built into Fieldwire has allowed us to get closer to our goal of becoming a completely paperless office,” said Steven, business manager of the Idahoan electrical contracting company. “Using Fieldwire’s custom form builder, our team can either build digital forms from scratch or customize one of Fieldwire’s existing forms all from the same platform they’re already using to manage plans, tasks and punch lists on-site.”
“Fieldwire took our project bid template and turned it into a custom form. This way, we can track all our bids through Fieldwire, making our estimating team far more efficient,” Steven said.
In addition to reducing busy work, Fieldwire’s custom forms have improved the electrical contractor’s stakeholder relationships on various projects across the state.
“With the custom forms, we are able to provide better project documentation to our customers and other contractors,” Steven said, “which eliminates a lot of unnecessary communication about project details.”
Saving 2–3 hours per person each day
Prior to using Fieldwire, the company spent spent 25% of their day manually building forms and reports.
“Before we could even start a project, I’d need to manually type up a project handbook; it never felt like there was enough time for that,” Steven said. “Then, during the project, the field team had to fill out daily reports and submit them to the office manager, who then had to upload the reports onto a computer to complete the entire process. It was very time-consuming.”
Now, using the Fieldwire app, this process takes only a few minutes. Contractors in the field can instantly log daily reports—site details, weather conditions, schedule delays, materials used—from any mobile device. Once submitted from the field, the office manager is notified in real time and can approve the form with the click of a button. “I would say we’re saving 2–3 hours per project manager per day on Fieldwire. This boosts productivity in a way that I had never imagined,” Steven said.
This also allows them to run a crew of over 55 field workers with only four full-time office people. The amount of office overhead has been cut in half by the ability to quickly navigate and manage projects through Fieldwire.
Increasing transparency for improved collaboration
In addition to the efficiencies gained, the organization’s management has increased transparency across the entire company. The office team is more involved in projects now and know what’s going on in the field without actually being there and can answer questions more quickly.
For Steven especially, who spends most of his time in the office, the ability to collaborate on plans from anywhere, at any time, has been a huge time saver. “If I’m in the office and have a man in the field, we can scale a set of drawings together despite being in different locations,” he said.
Through the use of reporting and a customized project note tasks, a weekly report is sent to each different general contractor for their specific project. By attaching the required project documentation within the project task, on-site safety, schedules, change orders and RFIs, they are staying more on top of every project and coordinating with the general contractors much more efficiently.
Building the next generation of electricians
Fieldwire’s ability to connect dispersed construction teams enabled the electrical contractor company to ditch emails in the field. “We no longer use email to communicate between the office and the field; that’s now done in the Fieldwire app,” Steven said.
Everyone at the electrical contracting company—from the young ones in the field to the oldest guys in the office—is using Fieldwire with ease and confidence. As a result, Steven said, “I am always recommending Fieldwire to other contractors in the area. There really is no other software like it.”
About Fieldwire by Hilti
Trusted by electrical contractors worldwide, use Fieldwire to complete projects on time and on budget by giving your team a collaborative field management platform. Our mobile-first platform provides the most up-to-date drawings, real-time progress tracking and communication on any device. Learn more at https://www.fieldwire.com/trade/electrical-contractor-software