News

How the cloud has transformed building projects

21st February 2017

Netplot produces massive increase in the accuracy and efficiency levels of document management in the construction industry.

Whether it is a single new-build property or a whole development of fifty houses, a major renovation, or conversion of an existing property into a single or multiple dwellings, the most important document for the project is the official planning permission. However, if you are involved in property development, whether as a developer, architect, project manager, site foreman, plumber or groundworker, you could put up a strong case for site and building plans and drawings being of equal importance. In reality, one without the other and the project won’t get off the ground, literally and metaphorically speaking.

We don’t really need to tell you of the critical nature of these plans. What we will say though is that if you haven’t been involved in a costly situation where an update has been missed, an outdated drawing has been used by accident, or you’ve been held up while you wait for updated drawings, you haven’t been involved in property development for very long. It is rarely a case of ‘if’ but more a case of ‘when’ such an event will occur.

There are plans for each and every trade, and plans for each and every stage of a project. Even for a small-sized project of say a development of five houses, while at the beginning there may be 20-30 plans, by the end of the project, you can easily triple or quadruple that number. If that development is for 20 houses, you should recognise the problem even more clearly. Then, even if they miraculously do get put away after use, plans often end up in the wrong drawer of the plan cabinet, while after a few weeks they will usually become virtually indecipherable thanks to the volume of amendments, scribbles, sketches, muddy fingerprints and coffee cup rings on them!

Whether it involves time and/or materials, each and every mistake made on a building site costs money, and someone has to pay, whether it is the developer, or the subcontractor. Until recently, mistakes have simply been an ‘accepted’ part of property development. So, to eliminate so many of these mistakes, isn’t it time your building drawings caught up with the technological revolution as well?

Well, that is exactly what we have achieved for you here at Entwistle and, as a consequence, we are delighted to see our proprietary system, Netplot, being adopted in building firms throughout the UK.

What Netplot does

In the simplest of terms, Netplot provides an easy-to-use digital platform where all project documents are put in cloud storage, from where they can be easily accessed using a tablet, or smartphone, by any and all persons working on a specific construction project.

What Netplot achieves

Netplot takes advantage of all that is good about digital technology and brings it to the construction industry, substantially improving levels of accurate communication. In providing digital copies of all building plans, the savings on time and money are massive for everyone involved. From the developer, architect and engineers, to the tradesmen on the ground floor, everybody benefits, and efficiency increases across the board.

Practicality

When tablets first appeared, they were seen as precious and far from indestructible. Perhaps that is why it took longer for the building industry to embrace them – it was hardly seen as the ideal environment for fragile high-tech gadgets. Today, tablets are more robust, and protective casings mean they can be taken anywhere and used in all conditions. This also means that every contractor on site has immediate access to the information they require.

Improved communication

Speed and accuracy of information transfer can greatly affect the bottom line on any construction project. With Netplot, any updates to building plans and drawings can be instantly forwarded to those people the amendments affect. Whether or not that person is on site, they will get an update. No longer do you have to spend half your day trying to track someone down to advise them of a change if they failed to attend an important site meeting.  

Improved oversight

From a project manager’s and site foreman’s point of view, knowing what tradesmen are up to is the hardest task. With Netplot, you also get a complete audit trail of events. Every time anyone logs into Netplot and accesses a document, a record is made of that event. For a project manager, this is a huge time-saving element of the programme. To be able to double-check that each and every person on site is 100% up to date with all project amendments now takes five minutes instead of half a day.

Cost saving

On any building development project the bottom line is going to be profit and any return on investment (ROI) critical. Investing in Netplot will prove to be one of the best investments you make for any project. In increasing efficiency, and reducing the number of costly errors, Netplot more than pays for itself, time and time again. Once you’ve used our system and compared the results from previous projects, you will quickly see why Netplot is so effective in reducing the number of ‘wasted’ man hours and also costly project errors.

Entwistle offers you more with Netplot

Here at Entwistle, we recognise that you need a system that will work for you from day one. The last thing you need is another time-consuming task before you even get your project off the ground. That’s why, as part of the Netplot package, we will not only upload all your documents and drawings so you don’t have to, at the end of each and every project, we will provide you with a fully archived database in CD format so you have a complete record of the fully audited project.

To find out more about Netplot, and to discuss how easily it can be integrated within any construction project, just give us a call here at Entwistle and we will be more than happy to explain just how simple and effective it is to operate.