General Contractor JOHNSONKREIS Solves Workflow Woes With Bluebeam Revu
“You’ve missed the boat if you don’t use Revu from project start to project finish,” says JOHNSONKREIS’s Project Manager, Brett Richardson. Rendering Courtesy of JOHNSONKREIS Richardson joined the general contracting firm in 2013 and immediately set out to introduce his new team to his favorite PDF-based collaboration solution, Bluebeam Revu. Having used Revu for many years, he was confident it would help the company solve their workflow challenges by helping them digitally manage their projects in each stage, from preconstruction estimates to punch.
JOHNSONKREIS, founded in 1992 and based in Birmingham, Alabama, primarily constructs high-profile worship spaces and hospitality, commercial and institutional facilities in the region. The entire firm, as well as its individual employees, has been honored with estimating, project management and superintendent accolades. To keep their industry-recognized streak going and remain competitive, they had been discussing how to improve their efficiency and productivity as Richardson came on board with Bluebeam Revu in his toolbox.
The team had been unsatisfied with their current processes: most notably, marking up multiple shop drawings over and over for numerous plan sets, as well as attempting to decipher information from scanned documents and handwritten scribbles. On top of that, their takeoff and estimation solutions were cumbersome, and they wanted to find a faster way to get updated drawing sets into the field. The team was looking for a ‘one-stop-shop’ solution while also acknowledging that the program could not have a steep learning curve if there was hope for company-wide adoption.
Once Richardson demonstrated Revu to his new JOHNSONKREIS colleagues, they were interested—but it was Revu’s intuitive interface and online learning tools that helped the team feel comfortable with the solution very quickly and led to its faster-than-average adoption rate.
JOHNSONKREIS now streamlines their processes from start to finish with Revu
- Takeoffs and Estimation: Creating Custom Columns in Revu for various items, which can be exported directly to their estimates, saves the team enormous amounts of time while budgeting or reviewing changes.
- Digital Design Review: Taking notes in design review meetings is no longer a dreaded task. Instead of having to copy and duplicate markups on dozens of plan sets, they are now instantly captured in a single master digital document set.
- Instantly Sharing Updated Information: Using Bluebeam Studio, Revu’s integrated cloud collaboration solution, the team shaves weeks off their project timelines by getting immediate answers to essential design and budgeting questions from project partners. Project partners can jump into real-time collaboration Studio Sessions, regardless of where they are located, to comment on the same PDF at the same time.
- Field Work: The JOHNSONKREIS team and their superintendents leverage Bluebeam Revu iPad to give them instant access to linked and operable sets on the go. RFIs and potential change orders are now immediately addressed right from the field.
- Punchlists: JOHNSONKREIS is also using Revu iPad to take their punch process mobile and digital, saving them from the laborious process of deciphering handwritten notes for dozens of documents once they are back in the office. This, in itself, has saved hundreds of work hours
- O&Ms: JOHNSONKREIS has begun creating a fully hyperlinked digital O&M to hand over to the owner upon project completion. In addition to saving truckloads of paper, Revu is also helping to significantly improve facilities management for their clients.
“Instead of having to sit down and sketch something out with pens and highlighters, comments and directions are saved and crystal clear,” said Richardson. “You become the note-taker in meetings by default because you have Revu, which saves you three or four hours of not having to go back and retype notes.” JOHNSONKREIS has finally found a single, simple solution that can keep up with them at every stage of the project. “We can put everything into Bluebeam Revu, and it’s done. Communicating to people exactly what we want has become so much easier,” he added.
Richardson is proud to say the JOHNSONKREIS team is much happier now with Revu. Their success has even inspired their project partners to adopt Revu for their own processes. He now considers JOHNSONKREIS’s architectural, facility management and estimation partners among the “evangelized.”