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Stanley Black & Decker Acquires Buildup

ENR: Project Management App Buildup Acquired by Stanley X

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In a surprising shift for a traditional tool manufacturer, Stanley X, the innovation division of Stanley Black & Decker, has acquired Buildup, a project management platform used by general contractors and trade workers for punchlists, inspections and other tasks. The value of the acquisition was not disclosed.

The acquisition is the first for the tool maker’s new tech-focused unit. “We’re digitizing things on the construction site,” says Justin Saeheng, head of construction technology at Stanley X. “This acquisition allows us to better align to our current customers and provide more than another hammer, tape measure or drill.”

Founded in 2015, Buildup offers a field-focused project management app, which coordinates and tracks the thousands of small tasks to be done on a jobsite. It allows for quick communication between stakeholders and field personnel, and also has photo documentation and annotation functions. The app also features automatic English-Spanish translation, with other languages planned for future updates.

Buildup project management platform
Buildup’s mobile app allows building trades to zero in on specific tasks as needed. Images Courtesy of Buildup

“We’re trying to save time out in the field—make sure the field and the office are on the same page,” explains Stephen Haskin, CEO of Buildup and the new general manager of Buildup at Stanley X. He says that while Buildup has an API link to Procore, many of its customers are coming from spreadsheet-based methods of tracking work-to-complete tasks and inspection punchlists. “There are people who swing hammers who also are having to go fill out reports and spreadsheets; it’s not a good use of their time.”

Buildup has seen use among general contractors that are looking for ways to get their field personnel the task lists they need on large, complex projects. Hensel Phelps, general contractor for the Harvey Milk Terminal 1 project at San Francisco International Airport, has been using Buildup to coordinate the thousands of work-to-complete tasks that need to be performed by building trades as the project nears completion.

“On a lot of projects you get to the end and you have this endless list of things to do,” explains Andrew Cameron, Hensel Phelps project manager and team member on Terminal 1. On complex projects, a spreadsheet can be hard to navigate for trade workers just coming on the job who don’t know the site layout. “We had our engineers go to the site, take the issues and create records in Buildup, then tag it to the model or drawing,” says Cameron. “They can then assign it to a specific person, so the electrician or painter knows exactly what they need to do.”

Cameron says Buildup has had a high adoption rate among field personnel at Terminal 1, which he attributes to the smartphone-based interface and the ability for field workers to document their work and get quick responses to their requests for information. “[As the GC] we are there to guide this project, but it can be so difficult to get the right information to the right people,” says Cameron. “With this app we were truly able to crowdsource what needed to be done. Rather than go to the next item on a spreadsheet, I can open this app to see what needs to be done in this area where I am standing.”

Haskin says Buildup has no immediate plans to change its pricing model. According to Saeheng, Stanley X plans to further expand into the construction technology space. “This is a new area for us, stepping into the construction software space. But it’s just heating up—there’s a lot of under-digitized opportunities in construction.”

Stanley Black & Decker Acquires Buildup

Stanley Black & Decker Acquires Construction Software Company: Buildup

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Stanley Black & Decker, a world leader in the tools and storage business, today announces it has acquired Buildup, a task management, punch list and inspection software company. Buildup joins the STANLEY X Construction Technology portfolio. The mobile-first application approach of Buildup complements and extends the existing web-based offerings from STANLEY X Construction Tech such as OneConstruct, a first of its kind collaborative scheduling software for the construction industry. This acquisition expands the prowess of STANLEY X Construction Technology to jobsite collaboration for task management, inspection, documentation markup, and communication.

“We are excited to welcome Buildup to STANLEY X as we expand and grow our construction technology capabilities”, said Michael Keogh, VP & President of STANLEY X. “Collaboration is central to construction, and Buildup’s collaborative platform aligns well with our existing vision and strategy. We are certain that a partnership between our collective teams will create growth opportunities and deliver extraordinary experiences to our customers.”

“Buildup extends our current OneConstruct offering into a collaborative trade solution, and it will certainly accelerate our efforts in improving construction productivity on job sites”, adds Justin Saeheng, Head of Construction Technology at STANLEY X.

Stephen Haskin, CEO of Buildup expresses that, “The Buildup team is excited to join STANLEY X and the Stanley Black & Decker community. We firmly believe this strategically aligned business will help Buildup, OneConstruct, and STANLEY X grow our customer base and product offerings.”

Buildup was designed with construction, development, and real estate professionals in mind, providing an easy-to-use collaboration tool for task management, punch list, and inspections. The mobile-first application allows users to document conditions, request action, and communicate in the built environment. On a recently completed ~$70M+ multifamily project, Buildup helped users close out tasks 44% faster than in previous projects. Buildup also improved project schedule completion by 7% and helped achieve up to 80% less tasks and punch list items during the final closeout. Improved collaboration and communication save time, costs, and headaches for all parties in construction and renovation.

About Stanley Black & Decker and STANLEY X Construction Technology

Stanley Black & Decker is a global diversified leader founded in 1843 with more than $14 billion in revenue. The company is powered by 53,000 employees in more than 60 countries. Stanley Black & Decker is a provider of engineered fasteners and equipment, infrastructure engineering equipment, hand tools, power tools and related accessories, electronic security solutions, and healthcare solutions.

They operate the world’s largest tools and storage business and the world’s second-largest commercial electronic security company. The company’s iconic brands include BLACK+DECKER, Bostitch, CRAFTSMAN, DEWALT, FACOM, Irwin, Lenox, Porter Cable and STANLEY. Stanley Black & Decker is a company for the makers and innovators, the craftsmen and the caregivers, and those doing the hard work to make the world a better place.

STANLEY X is the innovation business unit of Stanley Black & Decker. STANLEY X’s mission is to create new sources of growth for Stanley Black & Decker and to lead disruption in its core industries. At STANLEY X Construction Technology, we are building product ecosystems that solve critical pain points in the construction industry.

Please visit our official website for more information about us: www.stanleyblackanddecker.com. You can also visit www.stanleyx.com to learn more about our innovation and STANLEY X offerings.

About Buildup

Buildup is a task management, punch list and inspection software that helps improve product quality, reduces costs and shortens construction timelines. Used by owners, developers, GCs, subcontractors, architects, third-party consultants, and property managers, Buildup ensures that everyone is “on the same page” and projects are completed on time and on budget. To learn more about Buildup, please visit www.buildup.co.

Buildup Help Center & Best Practices Guide

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Buildup Help Center & Best Practices

Are you new to Buildup? We’ve put together numerous articles and a Best Practices guide for new users. We’ve created an FAQ section from our support team and composed articles with easy to follow instructions for all of your Buildup questions.

You can find advice and answers, including helpful videos from the Buildup team here:

Let us know your feedback! We’ll continue to update content as we develop new features and receive more feedback. Is something missing? Have more questions? Let us know, and we’ll answer your questions!

 

 

How to Reconcile Construction Project Schedule and Field Progress

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One of the main challenges of construction managers is reconciling construction project schedule and field progress.  As a construction manager, you have your schedule, your QA/QC inspection checklist, your punch list and work that is going on in the field.  There are different parties working on different aspects of the project, and as the construction manager, you need to make sure you’re able to make sense of what is going on in the field versus your planned schedule — it is critical to tie in the day-to-day activities on the field and the big picture. However, bridging this gap has always been a challenge for construction managers due to the following common issues:

  1. Schedule and actual information are disconnected – the schedule is in MS Project, Primavera, or printed on the wall, but it is not a fluid document that is updated regularly.  As a construction manager, you need to be on top of things and make sure you know if you are on schedule or behind. But if the schedule is not updated, you have no real live source of figuring out your project status.
  2. Supers and PE’s don’t see the big picture – you have progress going on in the field but it’s a pain to type up the information, send out report, make phone calls and do follow ups.  On top of this, the schedule needs to be updated regularly. Because of so many moving pieces and too many details, Supers and PE’s are not aligned with the big picture. And because you, as the construction manager, are constantly going back and forth with different parties, it’s easy to lose sight of what is going on in reality in terms of your timeline.
  3. Dependency on QC inspections – you have to spend a lot of time tracking people and you are dependent on inspections and the people on the field.  You need to make several phone calls just to figure out what is going on.
  4. Poor executive visibility into projects – there is a lot of back and forth that happens in the field that don’t make it up to the executive level.  While you are doing all that back and forth, your overall project schedule is getting delayed. This loss of information in real time heavily affects the project progress and timeline but the execs are not in the know until it’s too late.

In order to better understand project progress, it is critical to bridge the gap between the schedule, QA/QC and field progress, making sure they are aligned.  It helps to have a system that connects scheduling tools, QA/QC and punch list where everything is updated.

Having a system that connects scheduling, QA/QC, punch list and field progress will give you a better and clearer picture of project progress and how each piece is tied to another.  With the help of a suitable system, here are some simple and useful tactics that will enable better reconciliation of project schedule and field progress:

  1. Ensure that your project schedule is updated with real time information, daily or at the very least, weekly.  When the schedule is not updated, serious delays happen because you would have to go back and figure out what is going on.  Having a regularly updated schedule also propagates more effective and efficient weekly meetings.
  2. Update punch list diligently so you are aware which issues are getting closed out and how fast the issues are getting resolved.
  3. Avoid double/ triple data entry.  It is a tedious exercise to do things again and again.  Having a system helps avoid redundant work has compounded effect on efficiency and productivity.
  4. Be prepared with the details.  When your schedule and punch list are both updated with real time information, you have all the details you need and you don’t need to spend a lot of time preparing for meetings.  All you need to do is print a report. If things are not marked as completed, you will probably need to go back several weeks, do some digging or making phone calls, in order to figure out when things were completed.
  5. Communicate well with teams.  Lastly, having updated schedules and punch list allows you to communicate well with all your team members, ensuring that you are all on the same page in terms of what has been done and what needs to be done.

Looking for ways to better reconcile construction project schedule with field progress?  Book a demo on Buildup’s new Schedule Module today.

Strategies to Improve Communication In Construction Projects

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Communication, or rather, miscommunication, has been one of the biggest problems of project managers and project engineers in tracking project progress and ensuring that construction projects are completed in time.  According to a survey of construction project managers, communicating with subcontractors was one of the major challenges of their job, particularly during the punch list process.  In addition, other challenges related to communication include proper and thorough documentation, lack of clarity on completion of tasks, time spent going back and forth between the jobsite and the trailer and lack of clear and transparent communication between the jobsite and the trailer.  

Once issues arise because of miscommunication, it usually takes days or even weeks to resolve, something that can become very expensive in terms of time and money especially in the construction industry.  During the closeout process in one multi-family construction project, it was found that there were no kitchen islands in all of the units because of a miscommunication. In order to fix this problem, they had to rip out the floor costing 6 weeks of delays and hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Another project had a parking lot design change which was not properly and effectively communicated. This resulted in re-doing the entire parking lot, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and additional weeks of delay.

There is nothing worse (and more common) for a construction project manager than to get to the site and find that the work was either not done or done incorrectly.  

There are some strategies that effective and efficient construction project managers have adopted in order to improve communication and therefore keep their construction projects on time:

  1. Documentation, documentation, documentation.  The more you can document with photo evidence and paper trail, the better off you are when you deliver to management.  Typically, in large-scale construction projects, 30% of the data gets lost by the time units are turned over to management.  There is a lot of back and forth on “he said, she said” and without documentation, this is a project manager’s nightmare. The better you can document EVERYTHING and each and every issue, when issues were opened and closed, allows you to prepare yourself for situations where there is potential conflict on what needs to be done and what has been done.  Documentation allows you to resolve issues without straining the relationship with your developer.
  2. Manage the workflow.  There are typically hundreds of issues to send to each trade, and it is often unclear which of the issues should be prioritized.  Furthermore, additional steps, such as making a phone call and explaining what needs to be done is often required. It is critical to communicate the priorities and focus subcontractors and GCs’ time on the most important tasks.  For example, if there are 50 tasks to be done, an effective project manager would prioritize the 20 most important tasks today and focus on the other 30 tomorrow. There are tools that help prioritize these issues and communicate with your subs and other project team members.
  3. Track and measure issues and activities of your construction project.  This goes hand in hand with documentation. When there is documentation, you can look back, track and measure.  You can see average close time, which issues caused the biggest delays, which subs were efficient, where can you improve.  Again, having a reliable and easy to use system that enables you to log and document everything will empower you to also track and measure everything.  
  4. Find ways to automate reporting.  Instead of spending hours each day trying to put together reports for your weekly meetings such as subcontractor meetings and the like, effective project managers find ways or systems that can help automate reporting issues.  If you can send automated reports to your subs before the meetings, it helps everyone prioritize the most important tasks to focus on for the next week.

One of the project managers of an Avalon Bay 600-unit multifamily project in Chino Hills recently adopted these four strategies.  Previously, they were using pen and paper, text messages, emails and other manual means. They were spending 4-8 hours a week on phone calls and emails, going back and forth with subs and tracking issues.  They transitioned to using a jobsite collaboration platform, Buildup, which allowed them to automate a lot of tasks, manage their workflow and prioritize, document practically most everything and track and measure all issues and activities, especially with regard to their punch list and close out process.  Because of ease of use, they were able to get up to 50% of their subcontractors on Buildup, which made managing the punch list process all the more easier.  They opened more than 1,000 issues during the closeout process and found issue resolution significantly faster, so much so that they were able to release the project 2 months earlier than expected!  In addition to using a mobile platform for issue resolution, another key takeaway was that the more you are able to get your subcontractors on board, it helps drive the process and improve the rate at which you close issues and move the project forward.  

To learn more about Buildup, request a demo here.

Collaboration Between Procore & Buildup Made Easy Through Procore’s Open API

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This content on the collaboration between Procore and Buildup was originally posted on the Procore blog.

Buildup is a jobsite collaboration platform that streamlines communication between owners/developers, general contractors and subcontractors. Buildup is used by up to 70% of subcontractors for issue management, and yields a 44% faster closeout time, compared to when subcontractors are not involved in the project. From the time of its inception, Buildup has been on a mission to help the construction industry become more efficient and productive by enabling collaboration between all construction technology stakeholders.

In order to help our customers become successful, it was critical to understand their needs and pain points. Early on in the product life cycle, we found that most of our users were also using Procore. In addition, Procore and Buildup had a lot of synergies and worked very well together, the former widely used in the back office and the latter in the jobsite for collaboration and issue resolution. If only our customers could access data from both systems, it would make construction stakeholders work faster and more efficient. This was the primary reason our development team prioritized developing an integration with Procore – made simple through Procore’s open API and AppMarketplace.

The integration has been long awaited by customers of Buildup and Procore. “We are very excited that these high quality vendors of ours are working together,” said Rolando Jaime of Millcreek Residential Trust. “We use both of them and now we have seamless access to our construction project management and our issue management, where we are able to collaborate and communicate effectively.”

Benefits of the Buildup and Procore integration

Our customers gain three main benefits with the Buildup and Procore integration:

  1. Setup and onboarding is significantly faster because Buildup automatically pulls data from Procore, eliminating the need for double entry into each system.
  2. The integration makes using construction technology so much easier for customers, as the same data is available on both platforms.
  3. Set up with synced accuracy is done in a matter of seconds versus days.

How the integration works in 5 simple steps:

  1. Simply select the “Import” button to connect to Procore and find the list of projects in Procore.
  2. Select project to be imported from Procore.
  3. Select subcontractor information to import.
  4. Select users to import.
  5. Review information to be imported and select “Import.”

For more information, visit the Procore Marketplace or www.buildup.co.

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