David Ingram had a reporting system in place for over 24 years. It was the same system that he had when he first started in the business, and it worked for a long time. It centered around an 8x11 paper journal. As he walked the site he would jot down what was happening in his notes, and then build out his daily report at the end of the day from the information he gathered. While this might sound pretty standard for most of the superintendents, foremen, or PMs out there Ingram came to a realization one day: he was spending hours after work filling out these daily reports, and there had to be a better way. So he went looking.
Why Pen-and-Paper Construction Reports Don't Work
The realization came to Ingram when he took a good, hard look at his schedule. "I'd get home and be writing stuff out, minimum an hour, usually two, sometimes three," says Ingram, "I'd also transfer accounting and time card info and sometimes I'd be done at nine o'clock at night. First, I'm writing it in my journal, then I'm typing it into the program, then I'm typing my own words into the invoice program."
Ingram's story might seem familiar to many of our readers, but it also demonstrates one of the biggest problems with using a pen-and-paper process- redundancy. If you look closely at Ingram's process he captured the information first in his notebook as he walked the site. Then he had to write that same information out again when he got home into a professional daily report. Then, in the case of accounting and time card information, he would copy the same information again and then once more into an invoice. And if that weren't enough "at the end of the week I would send (the report) to stakeholders."
While so much redundancy was definitely a time-suck for Ingram, it comes with other dangers as well. Manually copying information from one medium to another is a perfect opportunity to accidentally hit a wrong number, leading to accounting or time card discrepancies from one record to another, which could be a major headache later on.
Of course, all of this is assuming that the reports were done in the first place, which at three hours each is asking a lot of an already busy superintendent.
Raken Streamlines Construction Administration
That's why Ingram decided to do a little shopping around for something to help. Speaking of the search, Ingram states "I tried a couple other programs, trying to figure out what would be the best. What I noticed with Raken is that it had everything I wanted in a daily reporting app."
For Ingram, he was looking for something that could speed up communication between him and his partner. With Raken, he says, "I can send reports to my partner quickly: I don't have to give him an update during the day or at the end of the week because he's on the daily report automatic mailing list. Every night when an email goes through, he sees what's happening. Sometimes when we're working across the country he'll see a photo in Raken from the site that day and call the site to ask about what he's seeing in the picture right then."
According to Ingram the communication between the field and the office has never been smoother, which has allowed their company to grow without having Ingram making reports in his house until late at night. "I don't have to spend more than ten minutes at my laptop looking at the pictures in Raken to know what's happening on site, not the multiple hours I was doing before."
Ultimately, saving time was the most valuable thing Raken could do for the Maurice Agrillo General Contracting company, and it's a value that the organization experiences day after day. "Raken has streamlined the administration process of our company" Ingram states, and to us, there is no higher praise than taking care of the paperwork so the guys in the field can get back to doing what they do best. In the case of Maurice Agrillo, it's making some of the most amazing custom homes and renovations in the San Jose region, and we couldn't be prouder to play a part in their success.
To find out more about Maurice Agrillo General Contractors, be sure to check out their San Jose construction projects.
You can also click here to download the full construction app case study.