My First Few Months In Construction Tech - A StructionSite Story | StructionSite

My first few months in construction tech

August 2, 2019

Yumi Totani

In February, I joined StructionSite as a customer success manager. I joined not because I have a background in construction, or because I knew someone at the company. I was drawn because as someone so far removed from the construction industry, I could quickly grasp the problem the software was solving. People needed a faster way of documenting and a more intuitive and contextual way of organizing those photos. Just weeks after starting, I got my boots on the ground, visiting a job site in Chicago feeling anxious and a little unprepared. I went through walking one of our customers through Videowalk™, bracing myself for something to go wrong. None of that was necessary since I was not only met with friendly faces but more importantly, a glitch-free experience. Wow, it really is that easy. 

Best Practices from the Job Site

I have been in client-facing roles for the entirety of my 8-year career and have spent the last few immersed in SaaS (software as a service), working for a data visualization and analytics startup. That product was looking to solve a very complex problem in a very fragmented environment and I dealt daily with frustrated customers, unable to do what we had promised them. While I’ve found StructionSite to be so much simpler and easy to use, when something does go wrong, I would argue that this frustration feels more urgent and tangible. To hold a camera in hand, on a job site and not be able to take a photo, or for the sync to be painfully slow that you can’t use the photos you just took in a meeting that starts in a few minutes. Over the last few months, I’ve been keeping an inventory of these bugs and enhancements for our product manager, along with what has been working for our customers. Here is my top list of best practices from my most successful customers:

  1. Make it a habit. The biggest hurdle I hear about nearly every day is that there isn’t enough time in the day and no one wants to do it. But, I think we can all agree on the importance of it, and the little bit of work upfront will always pay exponentially when a photo is needed. So, create a schedule for yourself or others. With Videowalk™, the capturing doesn’t have to take long. Can you fit 30 minutes into your Friday afternoon schedule?
  2. Take advantage of our integrations to keep it as frictionless as possible. Procore, Plangrid, SmartVid, Navisworks. It doesn’t have to feel like another program to learn and manage. 
  3. Make it foolproof. This goes for every part of the process. Set up an internal resource portal with our videos and help articles for any new users. Mark up your drawings in Bluebeam before uploading, so people know exactly where they are to take photos from each week. 
  4. Talk to me! I want to hear from you –  what you did over the weekend, what your favorite beer is. Oh, and you can ask me questions about the software, too. We want to know about what’s working, what’s not working, and what things would look like in your ideal StructionSite world. 

Solving the Puzzle, with industry help

While I’m still far from an expert in construction technology, I’ve had an opportunity to learn from some of the best – we pride ourselves on intimately understanding the industry’s greatest challenges and have found our space in solving a small piece of the puzzle. From builders to PEs, to contech veterans, I sit in a very small minority who are not from the industry. My sincerest gratitude to our team and customers who have patiently worked with me as I continue my learning in the construction space. I truly believe StructionSite to be one of the critical tools in a construction professional’s workflow and it feels good to know that we are leading the efforts in more comprehensive documentation practices, and ultimately a safer and more efficient workplace.

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