PlanHub (www.planhub.com, 561/656-4701) is cloud-based pre-construction plan room and bidding software for commercial construction trades. Dashboard views can show blueprints, plans, bid dates, and other construction project information on commercial construction projects, filtered based on your trade and coverage area, with biddable projects posted by location and your service area. You can also view projects posted by general contractors out of your network.
According to PlanHub, the majority of projects are new commercial construction and tenant retrofits and renovations, along with public government projects, including schools, fire stations, parks, libraries, and police stations, and a small component of residential homes and multi-family complexes. An average user signed up for 100-mile radius might, notes PlanHub, expect about 20 bid opportunities monthly, more in a high density area and fewer in a low density area. An RFI Center allows subs to ask questions, the answers to which can be kept private or shared with other subcontractors.
Pricing: free for general contractors to post projects. Subcontractors start with a free trial and then can upgrade to the annual Premier plan, scaled according to milage. That plan includes online bid submission to all bidding GCs on a project under invites, a daily summary report, and noting of contracts awarded to GCs, along with contact information. The Subcontrator PlanHub Premier mileage package also includes a recently launched (October 2020) three-tool suite, Bid Navigator encompassing PDF Blueprint Scanning, Bid Calendar, and Competitive Analytics.
The PDF BlueprintScanning features an OCR Reader supporting search of all project PDF files, blueprints, and specs by keyword. The Bid Calendar tracks project invites in one place, with the ability to sync due dates with their preferred calendar and access to project details from the calendar. Competitive Advantage Analytic gives instant visibility to viewed and downloaded projects and the number of companies bidding on them.
PlanHub partners with STACK estimating software (see November 2019 column) and with eSUB (www.esub.com, 888/520-3782), cloud-based construction software tailored to the workflow of subcontractors, including HVAC, and centered on construction project management and field data collection, which can be used by subcontractors with winning bids submitted through PlanHub to organize and track projects from the field to the office.
eSUB’s scheduling tool provides critical path scheduling, with visualization of task dependencies, progress, and relative timelines, and allows viewing of schedules by day, week, month, or Gantt chart, and tracking of jobs by crew member or the entire team. The timecard management module provides time card tracking, with options of individual punch in/out, foreman entry, and kiosk, and notifications of action taken on the timecards (approved, rejected, needs to be signed, comments added, and punchout reminders).
With the eSUB mobile app, users in the field can track and update labor and material job costing and utilize a range of project management capabilities, including handling of submittals, purchase orders, change orders, issue tracking with daily reports, equipment rental tracking, pay applications, meeting notes, and correspondence.
A project management dashboard can, on a single screen, show the job costs, contract details, change order requests, data reports, RFIs, submittals, and milestones in a choice of views (tabular, pie graph, chart).
Fieldmagic software for HVAC (www.fieldmagic.co) is a scalable cloud-native multi-tenant field service and asset management platform which addresses customer relationship management, quotes, compliance checklists, GPS tracking of vehicles, resource management, time and material tracking, and finances including T & M tracking, invoicing and reporting.
Fieldmagic’s quoting engine supports drag-and-drop of line items and groups. Quotes, including those for maintenance, are savable as templates and you can attach product data sheets as pdf files, along with additional stored or one-time documents. Project management can utilize Gantt chart templates delineating tasks and milestones and their dependencies.
Scheduling capabilities include auto-location of jobs to technicians, auto-setting of preferred visit time, and the ability to attach standards and assets checklists.
The recurring jobs with asset inspections automatically provide inspection checklists filtered based on the current inspection cycle of your HVAC assets. If you find any faults in your inspections, you can select the appropriate products to repair the fault from the mobile app and these can be converted into a quote with a single click.
The solution, which integrates with Quickbooks Online and Desktop, Xero and MYOB, includes a mobile app that facilitates technician access to today’s tasks, upcoming tasks, and overdue tasks as well as to scheduled preventive maintenance jobs and lists of assets to inspect. The GPS leverages a smartphone’s built-in mapping apps.
With the mobile app, technicians can filter assets by location and update key asset attributes such as ratings, fixtures, mounting types, temperature, while carrying out inspections, and can track start/stop times at jobs and attach materials to a job from an existing product catalog or attach receipts for one-time purchases.
The mobile app can capture images and signatures onsite. Once a technician marks a job as completed, an invoice can be generated in the office based on T & M or original fixed price quote. Recurring invoices can be emailed automatically to a customer or queued for review. The app has true offline access, giving the ability to log time entries and materials and inspect assets offline.
Report types include asset summary, job service, and year-to-date summary of service work and quotes provided. You can configure visual reports and save to your dashboard for easy access to real-time data and up-to-date business performance
Fieldmagic provides native email integration and archiving with Office 365 and Gmail, with email messages grouped by threads visible in the associated site or customer record.
Pricing: per user per month and number of features available to that user. Free trial available.
Patti Feldman writes articles and web content for trade magazines and manufacturers of building products. She can be reached at [email protected].