Based in California, Axis Building Envelope Design (ABED), is a full-service architectural firm providing envelope design and implementation services for new and existing residential, apartment, multi-family commercial, mixed-use, industrial, and retail building structures since 2010.

Photo credit: Axis Building Envelope Design (ABED)

Their services include:
– Design
– Quality Assurance
– Construction Administration and Management
– Investigative services
– Owner’s representation

In short, Axis is a growing architectural and engineering firm managing envelope design and implementation projects for residential and commercial clients and focusing on high-quality standards. They have 80 employees.

An example of their significant development projects is a major research lab called Genesis Marina in the Bay area, where the Axis team has been involved from the ground up, handling below-grade waterproofing, all the design and inspection, and overseeing project quality assurance. Another notable project is the Oakland International Airport roofs and storm drain systems. They and also involved in many innovative affordable housing projects in the Bay area.

3 Use cases:
– Reporting
– Issue tracking and ticketing
– Communication

The primary challenge Axis faced was the time it took to produce [inspection] reports which could take up to 60 days. This was a critical issue because reports are the primary client deliverable but also because the delay in providing quick and accurate reporting was hampering follow up actions. As a workaround, the Axis team had to manually create intermediate follow up action lists which added to their workload. What’s more, they had to manually track these actions using emails, excel spreadsheets, and other systems [then “teams”].

Keeping control of task tracking across 60+ projects at any given time with hundreds of open items would not be manageable over time. And to get visibility on a project, it could take days to peruse reports, emails and more.

Real-time tracking, visibility, and reporting were essential for supporting Axis’ growth and maintaining their high-standard service levels. To achieve this, the company recognized the need to scale their processes and enhance staff productivity.

[Note: Axis was previously using PlanGrid (an Autodesk product) which, despite its benefits in issue tracking and communication, failed to meet their critical reporting needs. Their reports, essential for client deliverables, were taking up to 15 days to complete, significantly hampering efficiency.]

When Axis was looking for a plan-based ticketing system that could produce high-quality reports, they looked at several solutions (including PlanGrid and Fieldwire) but could not find a match to meet their needs until PlanRadar. PlanRadar was a revelation because it was purpose-built for the construction use cases, it supports custom applications, and it could be used by non-contractors.

With PlanRadar, an eight-hour inspection is reduced to five. I can visit the site, record observations in real time, and spend a bit more time for thoroughness. Once done, the project manager takes over for the final review. It streamlines our workflow significantly.

With all plans and tasks at hand, PlanRadar helps Axis manage complex projects, speed up issue resolution with instant context, and streamline operations and reporting.

With PlanRadar, Axis achieved:

– Reduced report completion time from up to 60 days to just a few.
– Quick creation of professional-quality PDF reports without any additional work.
– Improved project management with real-time updates and progress tracking of hundreds of open items.
– Customizable categories aid in systematic checkpoint inspections, promoting repeatability and assist in team knowledge and training over time.
– Organizing teams providing necessary context for ticket resolution including precise floor plans, and locations.

This PlanRadar step-by-step approach, allows Axis to support team members of varying expertise levels in conducting high-quality field inspections, even off-hours. This ensures that inspections are as thorough as those done by senior personnel, facilitating reviews and follow-ups for consistent quality and support, regardless of when the work is done.

Implementing PlanRadar has been integral to Axis’ rapid growth and continued ability to deliver high-quality services, even as they scale. They’re exploring further implementations in the second half of 2024, expecting even more streamlined operations and enhanced collaboration.

Axis is planning to expand PlanRadar’s use, integrating features for broader collaboration with watchers and subcontractors. It will accelerate the feedback loop, allowing actions to be directly assigned to watchers and subcontractors that they can see in the app and navigate to the location of the issue interactively rather than going through paperwork manually.

Kevin Moultrie, Sr. Waterproof Consultant says, “It is on our roadmap to utilize the watcher features and subcontractor features to facilitate direct communication within the app.”

This will be a win-win as it will significantly increase the workflow productivity of contractors and watchers, who must juggle multiple projects as well.

In the future, Axis’ hopes to be able to offer a single point of reference for all things waterproof.