A large construction, engineering, and inspection firm needed a more efficient and collaborative means of delivering a $1 billion, multi-year Design Build bridge upgrade.
The CEI Firm is using HeadLight’s Fieldbook app to collaborate between the office and the field via real time data access, to digitize and streamline workflows, and to improve their partnership with project Owners.
The CEI Firm recouped over 2.6k working hours in one year—equivalent to more than sixty five thousand dollars in productivity gains. They are also benefiting from real-time data access for all stakeholders and have reduced project claims to “virtually zero.”
The Full Story
A large construction, engineering, and inspection firm was selected to deliver a $1 billion multi-year Design Build bridge upgrade and connecting roadway improvement. The new bridge would allow the Owner to improve safety, provide better opportunities for moving people and goods throughout the region, increase capacity to meet future demands, and spur greater economic development opportunities. Originally built in the 1950’s, this bridge had safety issues, high maintenance costs, and couldn’t accommodate modern larger ship sizes. The project encompassed replacement of the existing bridge and reconstruction of portions of highway and crosstown expressways.
Well experienced with Design-Build projects, the Firm understood the key to success would be the ability to collaborate, provide transparency, and share decision-making with the project owner in real-time. They realized they needed to transform their inspection processes from paper-based to digital. Additionally, they wanted to reduce the administrative burden of the project by using technology that supports the progress-based payment approach that is typical of Design Build. As such, it was vital for project leaders to equip teams with the innovative technology configured to Design Build workflows to do their very best work.
To deliver the project on time, on spec and in budget, the firm wanted to:
- Provide visibility from field to office
- Reduce administrative burden
- Ensure data integrity and consistency
- Increase inspector productivity
“Multiple people can see what happens without being on the jobsite.”
– VP Program Management, Engineering Firm
Because of the collaborative nature and scale of Design Build projects, firms and contractors need to capture and share more information than they typically would on a standard, Design Bid Build project. Additionally, most legacy Construction Management systems are bid or line item based and thus do not support the progress-based payment approach that is the basis for most Design Build projects.
The Firm was also aware that rolling out new technology requires updating workflows and sometimes shifting mindsets; they hoped to avoid the delays that can sometimes accompany shifting processes and incorporating new technologies.
HeadLight’s Fieldbook application provided the firm’s teams with a single source of truth while meeting the project configuration demands of a Design Build delivery type.
With a user-friendly design and intuitive workflows in the Fieldbook app it took just two days to implement with inspectors on the jobsite; by the third day, they “never looked back,” reported one program manager.
- Empowering collaboration between office and field stakeholders via real-time access to rich project data
- Reducing administrative burden by using our technology that is designed to support progress-based payments
- Helping the Firm transparently partner with project Owners thanks to HeadLight’s data integrity and consistency
- Facilitating collaboration among teams in Design Build projects by offering real-time updates
- Digitizing and streamlining report approval workflows for inspectors
Notable time-savings, collaboration via real-time data sharing with project owners, and subsequent ROI are perhaps some of the most significant outcomes the firm has experienced. The Firm estimates that, over the course of 2022, they recouped over 4.5 hours of drive time and administrative time per report. Given that the project included over 580 reports in 2022, this amounts to more than 2,600 saved hours and productivity gains of more than $65k per year. They’ve seen efficiency gains in the following ways:
- Inspectors: Each inspector saves, on average, 5-10 hours per week through the elimination of drive time and completing paper reports.
- Professional Engineers: Hours of hand work is eliminated weekly by exporting sheets of data on contractors, labor and equipment directly into excel. Each PE saves approximately two hours per week.
- Owners: Stakeholders have real-time visibility on project progress and can quickly communication when questions arise.
Activity on the new bridge is moving at an impressive pace. As construction proceeds, the firm anticipates it will continue meeting its goals of enhanced productivity, efficiency, and collaboration with the help of Fieldbook. In turn, they anticipate efficient completion of the major bridge upgrade—and a dramatically improved bridge that will provide both safe transportation and improved aesthetics to the surrounding community for years to come.
“Portal access to HeadLight allows the Owner to self-serve, avoiding unnecessary back and forth. For example, if the Owner has a question or needs more detail on an observation, it can be resolved in a single day.”
– VP Program Management, Engineering Firm