Last week the #ConTechTrio interviewed Doug Chambers (FieldLens) at the Builtworlds CEO Tech Forum in Chicago. The focus of the interview was the background of Mr. Chambers, the history of FieldLens and the future of the platform.
Mr. Chambers previously worked in the construction industry as a Project Manager for 11+ years. The idea for FieldLens was born out of his frustration with the traditional paper based workflows such as RFI’s and punch lists. He was looking to solve the problem that he was dealing with everyday, communicating issues between teams. He started FieldLens to build out his idea and quickly learned how difficult building technology can be. The focus of FieldLens is communication about issues, items, and directives on construction project sites. The platform provides users with a way to post items that they have observed around them. The company has now grown to 40 employees and roughly 40,000 users on the platform. The App is being used on large complex commercial contractors, small residential contractors and even non-profit groups to manage construction projects in the Unites Stats, Europe, South America and Africa.
Mr. Chambers explained that (FieldLens) is effectively a communication platform for construction projects. It is a platform that allows users to share items occurring around them such as safety issues, punch list walk or defects in real time. Management back in the office can see the items that are shared on FieldLens immediately. One of the main goals behind the app is to break down the walls of communication between internal and external teams. Users can post photos, videos, and comments to a project. The software behind the platform aggregates the data to provide project metrics. One of the recent updates is the incorporation of plan files into the platform (LiveLayer). Users communicate issues on top of the plans via a post (Safety Hazard, RFI, Punch list item, etc.).
Mr. Chambers went on to elaborate that the historical industry constructs such a the paper based RFI process have been reimagined in the App experience. FieldLens has created a way to ask questions and receive answers in real time, with an audit trail to review in the future if need be. Smaller companies do not see to be beholden to the older workflow methods. New App users can work in a unstructured communication platform to speed up response times to questions.