We didn't know it at the time, but we made Raken for Noah Anderson-Davis. A project superintendent with Elkins Construction, he has been in the industry for over twelve years, a project superintendent for eight years, and a Raken user for four years. Our primary goal at Raken was to create the fastest, easiest to use reporting solution for construction workers in the field, and Noah fits that description to the letter. We recently caught up with Noah and asked him what his thoughts were on what we built to see if we were really answering the needs of actual construction superintendents.
Superintendents Spending Too Much Time on Daily Reports
Of course, before we could build something to help there had to be a real need- in this case, a problem with the construction daily reporting process. There must have been because Noah had tried just about every method to get his reports done quick. "I've done everything from Microsoft Word to handwriting papers," says Noah, "when I didn't avoid doing it, dailies would take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half, especially if you collaborate with subcontractors. I was frustrated that there wasn't an easier way."
He brings up a number of good points which should be especially useful for project managers wondering why their sites are struggling with report compliance: using outdated or non-specialized software to capture daily report information leads to superintendents either avoiding them altogether or spending up to an hour and a half filling them out, which often leads to inaccurate entries and more mistakes.
How to Do Construction Daily Reports in Less Time
Eventually, Noah admits "I was ready to try anything different" and found Raken. The first thing he noticed was how easy it was to use. "The documentation with Raken is extremely intuitive," he says, "I didn't find it intimidating at all, it was very easy to pick up. I think the app is great for the older guys who maybe aren't as computer savvy." But being a pick-up-and-go solution wasn't the only thing that drew Noah to Raken. Shortly after he started using it he discovered that he was saving a huge amount of time on his daily reports. "Raken has prompted questions that you can customize to be project specific, and now my daily reports take twenty minutes tops."
A Raken daily report guides the superintendent through the work logs, survey, time cards, and other field reporting workflows they are responsible for and makes entering data quick and easy, transforming a process that used to take an hour and a half into one that takes twenty minutes, without sacrificing any of the valuable information daily reports are meant to gather.
Settling Construction Disputes Fast
Beyond shaving up to an hour of his paperwork, Noah has seen other benefits from using Raken, namely settling disagreements or disputes on site. "I've used Raken in disagreements with building inspectors on if they were or weren't there on a given day," says Noah, "now all I have to do is pull up Raken and say 'according to my daily log, you were here.'"
Being able to settle disputes quickly has helped make Elkins Construction a more efficient place to work, and customers have taken notice. "The professionalism that Raken generates with its PDF daily report definitely helps the business" Noah observes, talking specifically about Raken's feature allowing superintendents to email their daily reports to project stakeholders at the end of the day right from the app.
In the end, however, the highest praise he gave was when he noted: "the documentation and retrieval of information in Raken make my life really easy." That is exactly why we made Raken, to improve the lives of the guys working in the field. It's great to know that for this seasoned superintendent, we were successful.
To find out more about Elkins Construction, visit www.elkinsllc.com or call 904-677-4610.
You can also download the full case study here.