Streamlining Communications Between Field and Office Teams with DroneDeploy

How the construction industry is using drone technology to stay connected

Sat Feb 15 2020 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

On any construction site, time is of the essence. Since over 60% of construction projects finish behind schedule, stakeholders are continually looking for ways to streamline operations and save money. With so many people involved in a project at one time, it can be difficult to keep workers informed while also communicating with owners and subcontractors. DroneDeploy fixes these issues by centralizing project maps into one app that’s easily accessible across teams. Regardless of your location, in the DroneDeploy app, users can track progress, take measurements, adjust designs, and conduct inspections.

Tools for Construction

DroneDeploy has features specifically tailored to the construction industry, making it easy to monitor project timelines and team task statuses. The Cut/Fill Elevation Tool allows users to compare the elevation of their map to an earlier version using heat map visualization. Since a subcontractor will likely perform earthmoving, GC’s must make sure the correct amount has been transferred, and that the final result matches the plan design. Because budgets are built based on the amount of earth moved, accuracy is paramount.

An added benefit is the Project Design Plan Overlays, which compares users' site progress against the original design plan. By overlaying design plans with the most recent map, contractors can make quick adjustments to identified issues, ensuring projects are completed on time.

This feature is also often used to discover objects not originally accounted for in the design plan, like boulders, utility lines, or hanging tree branches. Users have the flexibility to upload manually in-app with a PDF, PNG, Shapefile, or bring in a design plan utilizing the integration with Autodesk BIM360 or Procore.

Sharing Cross-Functionally

When sharing project data with owners who don’t necessarily require exact measurements or plans, consider a more simple, visual overview of the project, such as using Progress Media, which can include Videos, Panoramas, or a Photo Report. These tools still provide a birds-eye view of the project, but with enhanced viewer perspective - similar to Google Earth, it’s as if you’re actually on the job site, instead of looking at a map from overhead.

All of these tools are shareable across stakeholders. Using the @Mentions or Annotations devices in the Inspection Workflow, workers can tag and assign individuals tasks to complete, or notes to review. All communications update in real-time, so when someone comments back or finishes an assignment, everyone can monitor this progress. Commonly, the Inspection Workflow is used to identify issues during project inspections or logistics checks.

Coupling Inspection Workflow with Measurements, contractors can quickly determine site logistics to ensure the appropriate equipment can be used on-site, and perform precise analyses for quality assurance purposes.

Administrative Integrations

DroneDeploy’s App Market has a full ecosystem of partners that can be integrated in-app to optimize construction processes. Some of the most popular construction document management tools like Egnyte, Bluebeam, Procore, and PlanGrid are all integrated with DroneDeploy software. Trigger map layer exports from DroneDeploy into any of these software tools to enable comparisons with change orders, blueprints, and punch lists.

Real Use Cases

DroneDeploy customer Stiles Construction saved 4 hours per week on job site analysis checks using Design Plan Overlays. By spot-checking issues with drone technology, Stiles saved $2,500 per project, resulting in additional subcontractor work becoming obsolete. Jose A. Rivera, Director of Operational Excellence, stated that workers also loved the Procore integration and visual documentation of each project.

Are you interested in learning more about how DroneDeploy can aid in your construction projects? Read our customer success story on Roger’s O’Brien Construction, or sign up for a free trial.


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