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The New Photo Capture Feature in Bluebeam Revu 12 February 25, 2014

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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When adding photos to PDFs, you can quick run out of real estate on your document. Bluebeam has addressed this limitation with their Photo gallery capture feature now available in Revu 12.

Your photo gallery can attach to any markup so use it with Punch symbols, cloud existing jobsite conditions, callouts of project milestones inside walls before you drywall, etc. It even lets PDF receipients view and download photos if they want to. Watch and learn:

If you haven’t tried Bluebeam Revu in your contracting firm, you can now by downloading a 30 day free trial now.

If you already own Bluebeam but don’t have annual maintenance let me help. Email Me Your Contact Info and we’ll get you upgraded and enrolled today.

Construction Photos and Long Term Records Retention January 14, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in archiving, Construction Industry - Software, records retention.
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Construction photographs are collected on every one of your projects. For years we’ve taken pics with our digital cameras and smartphones, but the challenge has been how to organized these. A file of jpeg1, jpeg2, etc taken at jobsite X on a given date really doesn’t help if a legal claim crops up a few years from now. Sometimes making heads or tails of what and where on the jobsite a photo was taken renders the photo practically useless unless…

You know about Threshold from 383 Studio, a better way to document, photograph, organize and send photos right from the jobsite. Here’s a quick video overview:

What makes this app unique isn’t that it’s easy to use, quick to annotate photos or even that it has a mobile App. What get’s me excited is that there’s a way to export you photos to you content management system for long term storage. All the other Apps I’ve seen lock you into an annual contract for you to have access to your photos once the project is completed. While Threshold has this Archiving option they also offer, as Google likes to call it “data liberation”.

As a long-time proponent of a paperless office, The export function allows you to download the photos with some of the meta data into file folders. What this allows me to do is generate a deliverable of all construction documents and photos to the project owner in a neat as-built package. The Content Archive function of Construction Imaging can consume folder structures into its enterprise content management system effortlessly making these two solutions a great fit.

To be upfront on disclosure, I have business relationships with both Threshold and Construction Imaging. This unique pairing really can deliver the goods and I’d be happy to discuss just how this marriage can work in your construction firm.

If you think you want to take Threshold for a spin, use “Hagen383” to get a 10% discount www.thresholdcm.com

Construction Photography Best Practices April 11, 2012

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software.
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Construction Photography Best Practices using TechnologyConstruction Firms often use photos to showcase their work. It’s a visual testimonial to the expertise and capabilities of the contractor and their team. It’s also a great way to capture before and after transformations, but there are many uses for photographs in the Architectural, Engineering and Construction industries. Since a picture’s worth a 1000 words, when it comes to construction technology, best practices reach far beyond marketing.

Photographing Construction Milestones
Sharing progress with the owner is paramount to relationship building with the construction project owner. Whether you use Sharepoint, a project management system like Corecon’s Team Portal or just email a few pictures each week of the milestones you’ve reached, each photo can reassure the owner that things are moving ahead smoothly. This is especially important when the owner is not local.

General Contractors are also using milestone photos to reduce risk. MultiVista, a national firm, captures visual as-builts indexed according to your architectural drawings. Using photos and videos of your project progress, documentation includes that of subcontractors, before work is hidden behind walls, buried in concrete or above ceiling tiles. All photos are date, time and position stamped making them a deliverable to the project owner. In cases of component failures the interior progression photos can limit your rework scope.

Turning Photographed Project Problems into Solutions for Clients and Marketing
Explaining a jobsite problem verbally often just can’t capture the whole story. Using photos to clarify site conditions can help. A great example of this is from Arizona Repair Masons/ Arizona Ramjack who have won awards with their submissions of site conditions, equipment used and product solutions (helical piers, soil grouting, etc). They make their projects into Case Studies and Blog posts (http://dewcraig.wordpress.com/). Their photos help explain technical problems to their clients, document helical pier placement to engineers and showcase the capabilities of their project crew to address project complexities and challenges.

Daily Log Photos
Often documenting field events are part of the daily log process. For some this involves daily capture of employee time, Job Notes, voice recordings and site photos with one solution, AboutTime. Leveraging your site supervisors and project managers mobile devices streamline this process and make the data transfer back into your construction accounting, project management and imaging systems seamless. Photos capture and document progress well, and with smartphone GPS capabilities can further validate accuracy, reduce costs and risk.

Project Punch Item Pics
The construction punch and back check has been a time consuming and often frustrating process causing delays and embarrassment. Tablet PCs and mobile devices can make this faster and smoother. The Bluebeam Punch process is visual, mobile and easy with options to add photos to clarify the exact issue the inspector wants addressed, improving communication and eliminating confusion.

Facilities Maintenance Photography
Photography is not limited to stills. Videos are great for building walk-throughs and facilities maintenance instructions. Overlays of as-builts can offer a peal away feel to seeing the entire building infrastructure. Whether using technologies like MultiVista, Bluebeam, or similar solutions, the impression made with the owner will keep them loyal to your AEC firm.

Job Experience, Proposals and Your Company Website Photos
Each project team employee member should have a resume to showcase their experience and allow the content to be dynamic enough to address the special needs of a project for a specific owner proposal submission. It’s also important to keep your content fresh on your website as it is often the first place an owner evaluates a contractor. Smart construction marketing blends all this with the lead and business development process. Rather than having marketing and business development silos, working in concert can produce a best practices result and Cosential CRM, offers just that. Making photos interactively connected to update proposals, bios, web pages, blog posts and other applications keeps everyone up-to-date and on the same page.

Visualizing with Augmented Reality (AR)
If you haven’t seen augmented reality yet let me recommend you watch a short video on the Worlds Largest AR Marker for ideas. With Google Glasses arriving earlier this month, the ability to record the experience of the wearer may soon become a streaming window of project work. When IBM and EMC discuss Big Data it’s the video, 3D and 5D BIM along with high resolution photos that eat up storage. Document imaging and content management will become a high priority and cloud storage, distribution and retrieval will make their way to every contracting firm as the sheer volume of photographs becomes unwieldy to manage one photo at a time.

All these technologies can help a construction firm be more productive. That’s why I founded Hagen Business Systems in 1996. We’re hear helping the construction industry be more successful everyday and represent or recommend these systems frequently. If you are interested in any of these technologies, please call or Email me. I promise to connect you with the best people.

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