Quality Control with BIM 360 Field (part 2 of 2)

Michael Reuter

Architecture and Engineering, All, QAQC, BIM 360, BIM 360 Field, BIM360, Construction, Field 0 Comment

Last month I did a post about gathering information for Quality Assurance / Quality Control & how it really revolutionized the way I managed & organized my data (it can be viewed here).

This month I'm going to talk about how BIM 360 really saved me a ton of time by reporting on the data that you collect

The Old Way

Before BIM 360 Field, I used an Excel file & a marked up 11x17 floor plan as a QAQC reporting tool. It was cumbersome - the data was extremely difficult to sort & custom reports required a ton of extra work. Also, the company responsible, location data, description, pinpointed location (on a floor plan) were in 2 separate reports, so I had to essentially pull double duty whenever updating my QAQC report. It took forever & was confusing & somewhat unhelpful to my team. I was looking for something - ANYTHING - to improve this process.

With BIM 360 Field

With BIM 360 Field, my process greatly improved. I was already gathering the information in the field, but BIM 360 Field allowed me to put it all in one place, organize it neatly, and sort & filter it quickly. The pinpoint functionality allowed me to locate each item effectively & the color coding status was easy to understand.

All of that was great, but the REALLY GREAT thing was the Reporting Function: every time I used it, I saved myself atleast 30 minutes. What would take me 30-60 minutes without BIM 360 Field (depending on the amount of data I collected in the Field, how many custom reports I needed to create, etc.), now took less than 2-3 minutes. Furthermore, I could save the report for later use, schedule it to go out at a specific time (I always sent them out the night before our Weekly Team Meeting, Sub Meeting & OAC Meeting), and I could even setup a distribution list. It was a huge time-saver & it's something that I loved about the software. Essentially, it was the difference between me going home at 7pm or going home at 5:30pm.

But it didn't just save me time. Before I used the Reporting function, my process was all out of whack because I had to focus more energy on creating a report & reporting the information than I did on solving the problems in the Field. And even when I was done with my self-created report, it was not what the team needed.

I always heard the same things from my subs: "I don't know where that is or what it's talking about" was one of the most consistent things I heard when discussing my old report. I had to spend extra energy explaining the issue to the sub. I also heard, "that's not my issue, that's (some other subcontractor)'s problem" all the time, so I had to go back & revise, and redo. It just wasn't working.

But because of the Reporting function, I was freed up to discuss the issues with my team. Once I setup my reports, I was able to quickly take an unmanageable list of 300 Discrepancies to 200 in less than a month, and within 6 weeks the list was cut in half - less than 150. Instead of creating a report & managing it, I could solve problems with my teams. Because every issue was clearly labeled, located, pinpointed, and assigned to a subcontractor, the arguments over where & what it was & whose job it was to fix went away. The frustration among the team went away & they started to trust me.

Best Practices

Before we review our four essential scheduled reports, let's discuss best practices for creating reports.

1) Sorting & Filtering are all-important. Always think about who you're giving this report to - is there any information that won't be needed? Great! Filter it out & shorten the report.

2) Utilize the Recent, Saved & Scheduled Reporting functions. Save a report you consistently use & use it as a template. If you want to constrain the results of your report to a certain amount of time, but want to capture the same information in it, save your report. BIM 360 Field lets you save the report so that you can quickly come back to it later.

3) The Scheduled Reporting function is a huge time-saver.  I always sent out my reports on the day prior to my Team, Subcontractor & OAC meetings so that everyone could review all relevant items before the meeting. They could possibly even walk & resolve the issues before the meeting. Reference the image below - you can customize just about everything you'd ever want to with a scheduled report: when & how often it runs, who it's sent to, what each recipient gets in the report & even what is said in the email message that's sent to your distribution list.

4) Utilize the Extras

Reference the image below. Choose where you want your attachments to appear & how big they'll be. I always suggest including comments, additional properties & even signatures. And most importantly, utilize your pushpins. I always put them first because it lets people know quickly where the issues are. They can review the details later.

Whenever I setup a new jobsite or implement a new team, I always setup four reports: the AE's Observation Report, the GC Open Items List, the OAC Ready to Inspect List & the Subcontractor List.

Subcontractor Issue List

I always setup the Subcontractor Issues List on every project that I implement. I make sure to sort the list by company & create a page break whenever the subcontractor changes. I do this because it essentially creates a list for every subcontractor to work from, and it's all in one report (rather than 50). And with the "also send each company 's users a report of only their issues" functionality in the Scheduling function, it limits the list to only the issues that each subcontractor is responsible for.

And even if all of your subcontractors aren't actively participating in BIM 360 Field, this is still a great report. I always printed out one copy, and because of the Page Break functionality, I stapled each sub's list together & put it in their project mailbox, and they knew to go get it prior to the Weekly Subcontractor Meeting. They would return a marked up copy to me after they walked the issues & I would input their info. It really sped up QAQC on my job.

Click here to review a sample report.

GC Open Issue List

The data in this report is identical to the Subcontractor Issue list, but the data is presented differently. Instead of being sorted by company, it's sorted by location. I set it up this way because when the GC walks the site, he goes from floor to floor. This allows him to easily walk the site - the pushpin functionality lets him prioritize & plan out his walk - he can go in the order of where he is walking (East to West, North to South, Top to bottom, etc.). This report really sped up the review process for me when I was working QAQC because I didn't have to switch between pages to review items.

Click here to review a sample report.

OAC Ready to Inspect List

This report is similar to the GC's list, with one exception: the data is filtered to only show the items that are Ready to Inspect & have the potential to be closed out this week. I always gave this to the Architect or Owner's Rep prior to the OAC so that we could discuss it during the meeting & then walk it after the meeting. This streamlined version of the GC report allowed the AEs to focus just on what was ready.

Click here to review a sample report.

AE's Observation & Discrepancy List

The final report that I create is typically for the Architect / Engineer / Owners Rep. Typically, you will get an Observation Report each week from the Architect that looks identical to the "Details" Report in BIM 360 Field. I coach the Architect to use this report rather than create it because it saves them time & it automatically inputs all of the Observations & Discrepancies into the system - speeding up the QAQC process. They can always send the PDF to themselves and upload it to their back-office software for reference as well.

Click here to review a sample report.