Weston Homes

 
 
 
Weston

This Home Counties property developer needed a mobile app that allowed their site managers to keep a photographic record of site progress by identifying individual properties and cataloguing their construction status in detail on a regular basis.

Refractiv used a variety of Google Apps technology to develop a solution that not only delivered a comprehensive photographic archive but also cost and time savings for the company and improved collaboration across the business too. 

The Big Picture

logo-weston-homesEssex based Weston Homes is a residential house developer who at any time typically has between 15 and 25 ongoing projects, at varying stages of construction, a number set to increase as the business has significant growth plans.

In order to track the day-to-day development of construction projects, it is vital to maintain an accurate and comprehensive record of build progress, particularly where delays or disputes are concerned. The company needed to keep a photographic record of site development by identifying each individual property, along with its stage of construction, the date, time and any other relevant supporting information.

As site managers are exceptionally busy, the app needed to be kept as simple as possible, enabling images and data to be uploaded automatically to a web or cloud application from where HQ staff could review them and take any necessary actions. Over time, this photographic archive will also be used in a number of other useful ways including training, legal matters and supporting the work of the company’s customer services team.

The Smaller ChallengesSmaller-challenges

  • Internet access at project sites can be intermittent so the app needed to work offline.
  • Site managers could only spend limited time and effort on this work,
    so the upload process needed to be as seamless as possible.
  • Site managers are required to optimise their time on site,
    so the app needed to be very straightforward to work with.

The Smart Answer

Refractiv developed a simple Android app which enabled site managers to quickly and easily add information about the site, plot number, stage of construction, notes etc. and then take a series of photos.

Once connected to WiFi (typically upon returning to the site office), images and data were then automatically uploaded to Google Drive, part of Google Apps for Work, which has been deployed at Weston Homes.

Refractiv also developed a web application to provide a platform with quick and simple access to the photos taken on site. This application is used by the Construction Development team – and potentially other teams working on the construction projects – to identify any potential issues with the ongoing works. It is also used to record construction progress throughout the development process. Additionally the photos can be used to assist with quality control as a complete visual history of all work undertaken is recorded.

WestonHomesApp

The mobile application – selecting the site, plot and stage before taking photos

Site

The web application allows users to filter the results by Site, Plot, Stage and Date to quickly locate photos of interest.

Site photos

Different views of the data are available to suit the individual user’s preference.

Zoom

Images are click-to-zoom:

FSV

With full details available, including GPS coordinates if the device supports it.

Master site data

Back at head office the Construction Admin team use Google Spreadsheets for their day-to-day work, so that was the natural choice to manage the lists of sites and control user permissions.


The Net Result

  • Site Managers now spend more time walking around the site, visiting individual plots every day, helpingSA-WEston
    to highlight potential issues early.
  • A consistent record of the quality of work is maintained, even when that work is covered up by the construction of subsequent phases.
  • Photos can provide key information that allows customer services operatives to resolve any issues more effectively, enhancing customer service levels.
  • The Construction Team and other stakeholders within the business can review progress on all sites every day without the need for excessive travel.

All of these factors have had a really positive impact on the business overall.

Refractiv’s Smart Answer has delivered cost and time savings, improved business processes, collaboration and mobility across the company and in doing so has helped facilitate the business’s continued success and future expansion.
If you want to find out how a Smart Answer might work for your business click here