Customer Story: Plant Construction Improves Efficiency with Drone Surveys

Plant Construction improved their project management, reduced costs, and made effective use of their data with TraceAir's cloud-based platform.
Doyle Drive Phase 3 Rehabilitation in San Francisco, CA
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About Plant Construction

Plant, an award-winning construction company based in San Francisco, has long been known for its innovative approach to site work management. They have proven the ROI that results from applying the most appropriate technology to meet challenges in their construction processes. Plant’s team is unwavering in their commitment to quality and performance, and their brand is built on their dedication to being exceptional.

The Challenge

The construction industry requires intense collaboration with multiple stakeholder groups and external contractors. As such, Plant required administrative tools that support their workflows and encourage collaboration between often disparate teams.

Plant often undertakes road work and dirt work as part of their contracts with clients, such as on the Doyle Drive Phase 3 Rehabilitation in San Francisco, CA. This requires working in inaccessible regions where data gathering is challenging. As with any business that relies on accurate data, it is vital that such data is also accessible to the right people when they need it. Plant's project management teams commonly need to respond to client queries that require historical data. For example, when certain elements of a build occurred, to get the up-to-date time and cost estimates, and more.

Plant required a comprehensive site management system to simplify administrative challenges, improve data quality and retrieval, and support collaboration between the diverse teams that comprise the stakeholder groups and subcontractor groups in construction.

The Solution

Access to the inaccessible

Plant's team initially decided to implement TraceAir because they were attracted by the opportunity to save time and manage projects remotely using weekly drone aerial site surveys. This drone data collected and collated vital information from a site that would normally be challenging and expensive to obtain.

Accurate data gathering

The project management team was thrilled when they realized the benefits TraceAir offered. Not only did they see cost savings by leveraging drone data in place of data collected with traditional site surveys, but they also discovered that the data was extremely accurate, leading to more accurate decision-making. Hard as an experienced person may try, estimating square footage of bumpy ground from flat plans, or by eye on-site, is a non-trivial task. TraceAir's 3D perspective both simplified and improved the process.

The ability to have a real-time photo of what your site conditions are, no matter how big or small the site is, is incredibly valuable. It's really beneficial for logistics, tracking patterns, coordinating how resources are moved around the site, and being able to communicate with everybody when things are changing."

James Elliott, Project Manager, Plant Construction

Instant access to historical data 

James Elliott is impressed by the efficiency gains from collating all the historical data into one intuitive dashboard. "One question from a client could result in hours of pouring through daily field reports and looking at photos and maybe not even finding the photo of what you need," Elliott said. "The ability to pick dates to go back in time gives me a very quick way to answer a lot of different questions.”

Picture perfect presentations

TraceAir’s dashboard can be shared with any stakeholder. This allows everyone involved to be working from the same data source — improving collaboration.

“The picture is more accurate than looking at the plan,” said Elliott. “TraceAir's collaborative shared view means that things go a little faster because everyone is looking at the same screen”.

The Outcome

Plant is now in complete control of its project data and able to track its projects’ progress via TraceAir’s intuitive platform.

They are able to:

  • Retrieve accurate, current, and historical data from weekly flyovers
  • Respond efficiently to client queries
  • Accurately calculate stockpile volumes and usage rates
  • Create accurate estimates of off-haul volume requirements and costs
  • Remain agile in response to real-world site conditions and able to keep their clients fully informed

Plant has enjoyed a substantial ROI by using TraceAir — saving time and money that would otherwise be committed in the field. In addition, the sophistication of the surveys is such that their estimates are significantly more accurate than those provided by on-site teams. Their early estimate on time saved on administrate processes alone: up to 1 workday per week.

I’m mesmerized by the engineering complexity and beauty of the process of converting the designs into functional spaces. A powerful blend of people’s creative ideas, brutal economics rules, laws of physics, and construction people’s skills and expertise makes this industry so unique. It’s incredibly cool to be a part of this process and contribute to empowering people in it.”

Maria Khokhlova, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer

Construction marketing has always been a challenging and highly rewarding career path. Now that I’m in construction technology, I enjoy communicating how adopting new solutions can drastically increase efficiency for construction teams.”

Samantha Burns, Head of Marketing

I really enjoy being a part of the construction tech industry. It’s exciting to see ideas such as drones and automation that once were very futuristic now be an everyday reality that helps people and businesses. As a creative person, I find it empowering to work in a space that embraces out of the box thinking and going against the grain.”

Katie Larrimore, Marketing Specialist

My favorite part about working in the construction industry is listening to customer stories and being able to provide tech solutions to make their job easier. No two divisions are the same, and it’s rewarding to be able to connect and help clients solve their unique challenges here at TraceAir! I am eager to hear new challenges and look forward to the tech solutions down the road that TraceAir will create based on the needs of our clients.”

Jordan Wojtowecz, Account Executive

The construction technology industry is constantly changing and I love being a part of that evolution. I get to speak with a diverse group of land developers and acquisitioners who are integral parts of the home building machine; making their lives easier is so rewarding.”

Lauren Schaefer, Business Development Representative

I find it thrilling to be part of an industry with so much room for innovation and growth. Every day I am given the opportunity to speak with and learn from best-in-class homebuilders. At TraceAir, it’s incredibly rewarding to watch great minds come together to make construction a more collaborative and effective industry.” 

Kyra Ketch, Market Development Representative

Built environment impacts our lives on so many levels and the significance of what we do as an industry inspires me every single day. Our shared responsibility for the fragile nature we transform keeps me laser-focused on innovating sustainably. And I am beyond grateful to do so alongside the many amazing women leaders and professionals of TraceAir!” 

Alena Petrova, Product Manager

I've always been fascinated by how so many construction projects are so unique and individual, though the construction processes are the same for all of them. It is awesome to be a part of and to see how choosing to use sustainable materials, taking into account environmental factors, applying innovative engineering ideas and using digital technology make construction better, smarter and faster.” 

Olga Rollins, Operations Manager

I enjoy seeing the projects come together, each project is so different and presents a multitude of challenges that take real teamwork and collaboration to overcome. I love working with my clients in the construction industry and helping them utilize powerful tech tools to help their projects run smoothly.” 

Isabella Knori, Customer Success Manager

I’m particularly interested in the ever-evolving use of spatial data to inform decision making at all stages of construction. The increase in innovation and application, of both vector and raster data products, is really fascinating.” 

Cari Ruffino, Operations Manager

I worked at construction sites for 9 years and I can tell you that it’s so inspiring to see how your efforts grow into real objects. I was a surveyor and I saw all construction processes with my own eyes. The construction industry adapts to the technical progress so slowly, Traceair makes this process better and faster. It's why I like our company - it drives construction to the next level. We are on the way which turns the dreams of our clients into reality, and our dreams too.”

Olga Razina, GIS Specialist & Customer Success Engineer

Throughout the past  5 years in cartography & GIS, I have observed how technologies and automatization are making the industry better and faster. I find inspiring bringing this into construction to make the industry even greater! Humans are everywhere, everybody needs place, construction grows. TraceAir shows that we are able to reach our designs faster with drones help and to enjoy the process using platform, maps, tools, etc. Join us!”

Vera Lugovskaya, GIS Specialist

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