It has been said many times that knowledge is power. And it becomes an even more powerful tool to deliver value for our clients when placed into the right hands, at the time and place it’s needed most. Today, knowledge is enabled by technology, which has become central to nearly everything we do. Visit any of our offices, and you’ll see our associates accessing volumes of information, from customer input, to project plans, to drawings and everything else, directly from a sophisticated network of servers and connected devices. Now our teams working on our construction sites can access that same network of information electronically by a newly-developed, innovative suite of tools we call Opus FFT (Field Focused Technology).
The components of Opus FFT are enabled by a network in a box on our job sites. Gone are the days of relying on paper drawings and project plans printed in offices and carried to and on job sites by superintendents. The information is now available on demand on computers in site trailers and by superintendents’ tablets. “Our tablets have given us much more flexibility,” said Al Budenski, senior superintendent for Opus Design Build, L.L.C., who is currently working on our Oxbō site in Saint Paul, Minn. “The remote use of the tablet allows us to bring up different information when we are out on site. We no longer need to carry the full set of plans or even the numerous sets of shop drawings we need to refer to on site.”
Because the information is synched automatically with our office network, it’s immediate, completely accurate and up-to-date. In addition to improving work flow and processes internally, it brings value to our external colleagues by streamlining communications and coordination of construction activities, and to our clients by supporting a better experience and timely, outstanding results while also mitigating the risk of errors or rework.
While it is a fairly simple concept, deploying technology to field sites involves many moving parts and fastidious processes. Because every project is singular and has a unique set of requirements, it is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Different project sites require different solutions. With that in mind, FFT was designed flexibly.
Connected directly to the Opus network, FFT provides a portal of information accessible on the job site. Often located in the site construction trailer, it is a central, electronic location for viewing the most up-to-date drawings, project information, field bulletins, and safety videos and information.
Not only does this make work more efficient for our field associates, it also makes onsite meetings for site personnel and clients more effective because the large screen monitor displays drawings in large format. “Having this technology in the meeting room of our trailer has been great for our onsite meetings,” Budenski said. “With all the information we need to access and for all of us to view and discuss drawings without crowding over one set of paper drawings has increased our efficiency.” Additionally, the technology also makes it possible to view 3D models, better communicating aspects of the project.
We were founded on innovation; initiatives like FFT are byproducts of our ongoing commitment to continuous improvement. It’s in our DNA. Advanced field technology has increased productivity and efficiency and ultimately impacts client experiences with excellent results. This is how we operate – always innovating for the benefit of our valued clients and partners.
Above: Field Focused Technology on display (1); Al Budenski views three screens in his office in the construction site trailer (2); and is joined by associate project manager to view plans on the main screen (3).
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