ICT Tracker Release 1.2.1 Update

Exciting news! Release 1.2.1 of ICT Tracker is now available for download on the App Store. This release includes a number of improvements, new features, and some back-end changes. It is important that you update the app to take advantage of this release and continue working with your existing projects.

Major new features include:

Updated Status Option: You can now select and apply more than one extended status at a time.

Updated Systems Screen: Shows project level and project name for reference when using the app.

Free Flight Updates:

  • Added True-Plan VIew button
  • Updated selection tool palette to show only Lasso and Linear Selection Tools
  • Renamed the Manual Positions Tools Palette to be the Zoom Tool Palette
  • New Location for the Zoom Window Tool
  • Added cache refresh button to refresh models that do not cache correctly
  • Added zoom/pan speed slide bar to control speed of controllers

Revit Grid extract tool: Added option for 3D column grid for reference that displays a tool tip of the column grid value when selected

Revised Custom Status to Extended Status: Allows user to select from defined list of statuses to standardize data options for better reporting

Select Multiple Extended Statuses: Allows user the option to select and apply multiple extended statuses at a time

Updated back-end data to resolve status issues

You can watch a short video here of the new updates.

IMPORTANT: The update is at 11:00 PST on 7/22/20. It is important that you upgrade to the newest version on the App Store prior to using it again after 7/22/20.

Myths and Facts About Innovation in Construction

Inventors of new technologies often claim their scanning or artificial intelligence software can replace construction professionals on the job site.  Despite the widespread use of BIM, drones and laser/photo scanners, the question is, “Why do construction companies still send project team members into the field with highlighters and paper drawings to track project status?”

The exciting innovations you are seeing in construction technology can often help, but do they solve the issues you have on the job site today? Those of us with field experience look to use practical knowledge to best apply tech solutions that have a direct impact on construction productivity and quality.

We have outlined some of the information you may be hearing and what is true and/or certainly what you need to question: 

MYTH 1: WE CAN TRUST BUILDING INFORMATION MODELS AND THE DATA IT CONTAINS WITH FULL CONFIDENCE OF ITS ACCURACY.

Fact 1: Building models and their data are far from perfect. Designers and Detailers are under pressure to produce deliverables fast, sometimes with incomplete or uncoordinated data and layout. Some models are produced with elements that look the part just to generate the typical 2D plan drawings required for construction. The accuracy and LOD (Level of Development) of models are always in question even though they are being used for construction purposes.

MYTH 2: LASER SCANNING/PHOTOGRAMMETRY OR 3D CAMERAS CAN GIVE YOU FIELD INSTALLATION STATUS.

Fact 2: True with a caveat. You can verify as-built conditions with a visual confirmation of an element’s placement from imagery collected by scanners/cameras. However, those scanning technologies can’t fully automate the data collection process for tracking completion status as they rely on linking to the original model data for intelligence (see Myth 1) to sort out permanent vs. temporary elements or non-modeled elements for association.

Hidden elements, such as wire pulled in conduit or layers of drywall and non-visual statuses such as connected or sealed, tested vs. inspected vs. QC’d, for instance, can only be identified by field personnel with knowledge of the installation.

MYTH 3: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) CAN GIVE YOU FIELD INSTALLATION STATUS.

Fact 3: Once again from design to installation to FM, AI can expedite some processes that help automate and expedite some functions, such as design iteration. However, field personnel see the conditions on the jobsite and use their intelligence and experience to make logical decisions based on known and unknown factors.  

AI is a growing technology that can help expedite and support project tasks, but it is still evolving for daily practical use on a busy jobsite.  

Innovation that works today

As stated earlier, with all this innovation, why are project teams still using paper and highlighters?

To accurately track the placement and completion status of elements, technology can assist the project team who would otherwise resort to manual verification of completion status. 

One technology that combines the best of computer modeling and human experience is ICT Tracker. 

HERE ARE THE FACTS OF HOW ICT TRACKER DIFFERENTIATES FROM OTHERS TO OVERCOME THESE TECHNOLOGY SHORTCOMINGS:

·         Fact 1: ICT Tracker has an automated process to condition your models and correct for variances in software and human factors, while confirming the data used is properly formatted to streamline field tracking and improve reporting.

·         Fact 2: ICT Tracker allows the user to track elements and apply custom statuses to track the many phases of an installation for earned value and apply cost codes or activity IDs to these elements to synch back to your ERP software.

·         Fact 3: ICT Tracker aids but does not replace human interaction to simplify the data collection process and provide data rich reports that confirm status at all stages of construction.

To streamline field productivity tracking using intelligent data to generate powerful real-time reporting, we invite you to see a demonstration of ICT Tracker.

New ICT Tracker Update Announced

Exciting news! A new version of ICT Tracker is now available for download on the App Store. This release includes a number of improvements that require you to update the app before you can continue working with your existing projects. 

Major new features include: 

  • Custom System Statuses: You can now import a CSV file with custom statuses to use within your project.

  • Enhanced Cost Code Support: Each custom status can be associated with a cost code for detailed tracking.

  • Procore Integration: Statuses can be associated with Procore cost codes, enabling status updates in ICT Tracker to populate Procore’s Field Productivity reporting. You can view more on the Procore App Marketplace.

  • Simplified Level Structure: You can now set a single custom level for your project to simplify organization.

IMPORTANT: It is important that you upgrade to the newest version on the App Store prior to using it again after Monday, November 25, 2019. Any previous files based on the old app will no longer work after that date.

What’s in it for Me? (Known as WIIFM and Pronounced as whiff-em.) The Importance of Field Productivity Training

I read a great article by Ron Roberts that was written back in April 23, 2009, is still relevant today. Ron uses the abbreviated phrase “WIIFM”, where he outlines all the reasons why your field should do productivity tracking. The interesting part is how he outlines all the obvious benefits, but the process he writes about is trying to simplify the process to minimize field time. He states, “You must make recording the data easy. The easier the data is to record, the more likely your crews and foremen will record it accurately.”

He then goes on to talk about paper forms and the process. Forward the clock almost 10 years forward and we now have an easy process that is much more accurate than any paper or .pdf forms. Enter ICT Tracker as a simple solution that uses your existing fabrication models and an iPad to get instant real data from the field to benefit your project management and estimating groups.

He also lists the obvious benefits to the field foreman and company that performance reporting provides:

  • Better work. “It keeps us from blowing bids.”

  • Job security and more hours. “It helps us grow the company.”

  • The thrill of victory. “You will know when you’ve beaten the goal.”

  • Better planning. “Good data lets us set realistic schedules.”

  • Realistic performance standards. “Good data lets us set performance goals that are fair and reasonable.”

  • A foundation for performance based bonuses. “We can share the profits when you beat the budget.”

So if you are ready to take the next step and improve you company’s productivity tracking process, watch our video or register to see a demo of our simple solution to improve your process.

A Marriage of Labor and Productivity. How to Avoid Going to a Counselor When There May Be Problems.

There is a great report that just came out from Dodge and Autodesk on Key Performance Indicators for Construction. As you know, we are passionate about measuring and tracking performance on the job site and knowing how your project teams are performing on a timely basis can make all the difference in overall production and scheduling. Per the report, Labor Production was referenced as one of the “Magic 7,” which are the seven key process indicators that companies say are especially useful to interpret overall performance.

I was most interested in the section on labor production as that is where our product ICT Tracker app can have immediate impact. Per the report, “When it comes to top factors decreasing labor productivity, more trades (68%) point to poor schedule management.” This comes from not knowing your field status for percent complete. As I see it, without a tool like ICT Tracker it is hard to accurately and efficiently track field production and percent complete in a timely manner.

I’ll be sharing with you other points from this report in future blogs.

Learn more about ICT Tracker here or better yet, schedule a demo.