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.

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