Improving Construction Inspections with FinishLine Software

Key Improvements

  • QA/QC Documentation
  • Time Savings
  • Report Distribution

Benchmark Construction Company, Inc. was established in 1985 and is headquartered in Brownstown, Pennsylvania. They focus on several construction markets: commercial/specialty, healthcare, higher education, and senior living. Benchmark sets and achieves high standards of service and performance in the construction industry. We spoke with Sam Van Cleve, Director of Quality Control at Benchmark about how he uses FinishLine Software.

Before FinishLine

Like many construction companies facing the complex task of managing numerous punch list items, Sam previously used a paper and pencil method. This old process required written documentation during inspections, having an administrative assistant type it up, reviewing for errors, then sending issues to the responsible parties. The old method was time consuming and a solution was needed.

New methods in actions

We spoke with Sam about his experience using FinishLine during a mockup walkthrough at a large-scale hospital addition. The goal of the mockup walkthrough was to critically review the patient rooms which were constructed and outfitted to be fully functional, demonstrating the final patient rooms in detail.

Numerous stakeholders participated in the mockup walkthrough, including architects, nurses, facilities personnel, and the design team. Sam knew he needed to quickly and effectively note punch list items and questions from the participants during the walkthrough.

Saving time

Sam used FinishLine to create his quality control plan for the interior portion of the project. A variety of details were noted, ranging from grout joint types, height of hand sanitizer dispensers, and vinyl flooring choice. Sam also used FinishLine for documenting unanswered questions and comments such as the final location of a sharps container and other pending details.

Sam mentioned as the walkthrough began, “You could see the project managers writing things down on papers...but when they saw how fast I was taking notes (in the FinishLine Pro app), they stopped using their legal pads and asked if I could send them the information and I said, ‘no problem’…I can get it to you in about an hour.”

When Sam compared his current FinishLine punch list method to his old methods on a similar project type and size, he estimated it took him just one day to complete his inspections and punch lists with FinishLine compared to weeks spent on similar project walkthroughs. Using FinishLine has saved Sam countless hours and weeks of work, noting that “you’re saving a lot of time” and FinishLine “can save days.”

"...when they saw how fast I was taking notes (in the FinishLine Pro app), they stopped using their legal pads and asked if I could send them the information and I said, ‘no problem’…I can get it to you in about an hour.”

Custom reports

After documenting pending items and questions from the walkthrough, it was time to issue reports. Sam wanted to reconfigure the report layout and verbiage prior to sending it out to the team, so he called Tom Orr at FinishLine Support for assistance. Sam then made the modifications he needed. The custom report feature in FinishLine allowed Sam “…to essentially give them the minutes from the meeting at the mockup within about an hour.” He was also able to include photos from the walkthrough.

Walkthroughs with numerous players can be stressful, but using FinishLine streamlined the process. Sam shared that the design team “… was impressed and they liked it (FinishLine) because they would bring up a question or concern in the patient room and I would pinpoint the question they were asking, like the color of vinyl flooring for example.” Being able to accurately document items and distribute such issues was crucial to a successful walkthrough.

“To use the iPad and come back (to the office), sync it up and send out the reports is pretty impressive.”

Closing remarks

It should be noted that such projects require a team effort from stakeholder, inspectors, and subcontractors. Sam mentioned the positive reaction from the subcontractors and tradespeople stating, “Once they became familiar with FinishLine, they really appreciated it, because you can pinpoint the exact location of the issue on a floor plan, attach a picture to it…and they know exactly where to go with the room number and everything.” Sam has used other types of construction software in the field, but he mentioned nothing compares to FinishLine. Overall, Sam and his team have been pleased with the efficiency and overall positive impact FinishLine is having on projects.

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