ConAppGuru: FieldLens App Review

by ROB McKINNEY, ConAppGuru

Originally Published on July 6, 2015

FieldLens App Review

What is it…

FieldLens is a web based platform for communicating issues to team members on construction projects. FieldLens (FL) offers mobile apps for Android and IOS Smartphones, the app will also work on tablets too. The website allows users to create projects, create custom fields, and view reports. The platform is Integrated with Box, Dropbox and Google Drive for document uploads and file syncing. Last week the team released a universal App for Tablets! Now you can use FieldLens on your iPad and it looks and works great. No more stretched out screen!

What it does…

The idea is simple, project team members use the mobile app to document issues and share them with team members by posting to the project folder. Issues can be assigned to individuals for accountability and tracking purposes. This is a two way process between the General Contractor and the Trade Contractors. This is one unique feature of FL, most platforms are inherently designed to be run in the top down format. By this I mean that in most cases apps for construction are used by a General Contractor to tell a Trade contractor about an items to correct. For example, a Superintendent may find a Trade Contractor employee working on the top step of a ladder. This safety issue must be documented appropriately by the General Contractor, in the top down management approach.

But what if a Trade Contractor finds a missing guardrail at a elevator shaft doorway! How can that Superintendent tell the General Contractor about the hazard in a quick and efficient manner to document the hazard and have it corrected? The beauty of the FieldLens platform is that it allows users on both ends of the spectrum to document items and assign responsibility for correction.

Core Features:

  • Create Issues (Observation, Safety, or Deficiency).
  • Add a attachment, photo or video to Issue.
  • Tag Issue by category (Observation/Task, Safety, or Deficiency).
  • GPS data details for Issues.
  • Weather data details for Issues.
  • Crew time tracking (Keep track of how many companies and employees worked on you project site today).
  • Search Issues in app by Filter ( Open, Resolved, Closed, Follow Up, Unread, or Past due).

Use Cases:

Daily Report: FieldLens will allows users to move away from paper or Excel based approach at documenting project activities and actions items. Rather than using the “Green Book” for documenting a daily report, or an excel spreadsheet for generating a punch list, or an email chain to manage safety items Fieldlens users can now in one mobile platform accomplish them all.

Safety Communication: FieldLens allows users to track site safety items through the platforms. If a project Safety Coordinator finds aa unsafe action or condition they can create a item (attach a photo, video or attachment to it). They can then assign the item to the responsible company for correction. On the website users can create custom labels and tags for items such as (PPE: Hearing Protection or Quality: Flashing).

Free Software?

This past January CEO and Founder Doug Chambers made a bold decision. He called BS on the construction software industry! After speaking with several Subcontractor representatives about the hassle of working with multiple platforms associated with multiple General Contractors he had an idea. Why should the trades be continually forced to pay for use software that was not meant for them? Why should a Electrical contractor have to pay for entering data into a data base that only benefits the General Contractor? It is difficult at best for a trade company to sign up and keep up with multiple software deals for all of the companies that they work for.

So why not offer a new option to the trades? Why not allow a Mechanical Contractor to view and respond to items assigned to him by a General Contractor in FieldLens for FREE? If the Mechanical Contractor wants to use the awesome tools built into FL then they can pay for them. But if they simply want to meet their contractual or project requirements, then a trade can create a FREE account and reply to the items. There is even an option to reply by email if a. Company does not want to join the world of Apps and Mobile Devices.

Rob McKinney is a construction risk engineer at Atlanta-based XL Catlin, and is the founder of the construction information forum, Construction App Guru. With over 14 years of industry experience, Rob is the chairman for the AGC Georgia Technology Committee, board member for the AGC of America IT Forum and has written for publications such as Constructech, The Construction Specifier, AEC Magazine, Engineering Industry News, and more).