Omega Construction needed a way to get better, more timely and more consistent data from its project sites. Specifically, accelerate the completion and processing of daily logs while elevating the quality of input data. Sought to replace Excel spreadsheets with more versatile, efficient, and easier to use mobile forms.
With GoFormz, Omega Construction digitized their project daily logs so they could be instantly populated with highly accurate project data based on Drop Down menu selections. With real-time access to completed daily logs, back-office employees could significantly streamline the processing of log and payroll data, saving several hours each week.
Since 1975, Omega Construction has provided pre-construction and construction services to a variety of industries, including hospitality, retail, industrial and distribution, historic preservation, and commercial.
Omega Construction superintendents are responsible for collecting a large amount of project information while on the job site. “Part of their responsibility is to submit a daily log report, which includes which subcontractors were working on the job, what work was completed, the weather, and if there were any issues or change orders,” explained Greg Marshall, Chief Financial Officer for Omega Construction. “Prior to using GoFormz, we had been using Excel spreadsheets, so we had our superintendents using tablets to fill out these fairly cumbersome Excel spreadsheets, which was not ideal and a source of frustration for our superintendents.”
When relying on Excel spreadsheets to capture project data, job site teams struggled with the inefficient process. Entering data into spreadsheets from a tablet was awkward and completed reports would need to be emailed to office-based project managers. Adding to these frustrations, manual data entry errors resulted in additional work for payroll teams, who were responsible for resolving these inaccuracies before accumulating the data and uploading it into Omega’s accounting software.
Recognizing the need for a more modern, streamlined approach to job site data capture, Omega Construction began its search for a software solution. “We were trying to find a solution and had been looking for a couple of years,” Greg detailed.
Eventually, Omega found GoFormz, which they quickly discovered met their needs. “We were able to get our daily log and a few other forms set up quickly,” Greg recalled. “We had very few complaints about GoFormz, and I was expecting a lot. We rolled out [a different software solution] years ago and there were complaints for years.”
The Omega Construction team quickly realized the benefits of digitizing their daily logs, especially when leveraging Data Sources pulled from their ERP software. Originally, daily logs were around eight to nine pages long, featuring ‘yes’ or ‘no’ checkboxes for specific log items. If the ‘yes’ checkbox was selected, an accompanying text field would need to be completed to provide further context. The need to have accompanying fields for each checklist item bloated Omega’s daily logs, making them far lengthier than they needed to be.
After digitizing their daily logs with GoFormz, Omega could now make these additional text fields dynamic. “Now, there is a basic informational page with a checklist of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions, and if you check ‘yes’ it makes another part of the form visible, prompting further data entry,” Greg explained. “It’s really boiled it down to a much smaller form.”
This functionality has been so successful for the Omega Construction team that they are now expanding the functionality to their other checklists, including safety forms, equipment reports, accident/injury checklists, and more.
To further streamline the completion of daily logs, Omega Construction connected their GoFormz mobile forms to their Data Sources pulled from their ERP system, so that data could be used to populate form fields based on data entry using Drop Down menu selections. “We tried to eliminate as much data entry as possible, so from the very beginning we set up data sources that are exported from our ERP system,” Greg explained. “There are Drop Downs for the project number, the project name, and address, the subcontractor list, the list of Omega employees, etc.” Once a selection has been made from a Drop Down, corresponding form fields throughout the form are instantly populated with highly accurate information – accelerating the completion of daily logs, while improving the quality of data and protecting the integrity of Omega’s data sources. “Now, all the superintendent has to do is find the name of his project in the Drop Down list and GoFormz pulls in the rest of the information. It allows them to prefill a large portion of the information, which cuts down on data entry and prevents us from having invalid information. We don’t have to worry about spelling a subcontractor’s name incorrectly, or not putting the name in at all, because they can only pull from the subcontractors on that specific job. It helps validate the information, which is critical for payroll.”
With their daily logs and other critical checklists digitized, forms completed in the field, the daily logs can now be instantly accessed by the office-based management and employees, once submitted. “Each time a daily log is completed in GoFormz, it gets emailed to the job’s project manager and to our payroll department,” Greg explained. “We were able to create a report in GoFormz that accumulates the payroll information collected in our daily logs and export it to Excel, which we then import directly into [our payroll system].”
This workflow is far more efficient than Omega’s highly manual payroll process before digitizing their forms, which was often made even more time-consuming by inaccurate data entry. “[GoFormz] has saved us on manual data entry errors. Before GoFormz, our payroll employee would have to take the information from each log and manually input it into our accounting software. We’ve now streamlined that process, which saves us several hours a week.”
The ability to run reports across captured data has also helped project managers precisely identify and isolate key data points. “We also have project managers who, now that they know how flexible GoFormz is, want to extract other data from the daily reports,” Greg detailed. For example, a project manager recently wanted to know the rainfall totals for a specific job site, over a specific period of time. With GoFormz, they were able to isolate the necessary data for the job site within a report, eliminating the need to sort through countless documents. “Instead of going into each of the daily logs and Excel spreadsheets, we can just download it all from GoFormz and do whatever we want with the data.” This has saved Omega Construction teams significant time. “There has been a lot of flexibility and a lot of hidden time savings, both on the frontend and in our backend processes.”
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Omega Construction team realized they would need some method of ensuring job site visitors were regularly screened for COVID-19 symptoms and exposure. “We were considered essential in every state, and we wanted to keep working, but we had to do it safely. So we wanted to have some documentation that everyone coming onto our sites had been checked.” These checklists can be easily generated from tablets on the job site, and prompt visitors to answer CDC-provided screening questions.
Digital forms and data capture have enabled Omega Construction to save several hours a week, due to accelerated data entry, elevated data quality, and streamlined back-office processing. Real-time access to captured data has also helped to improve Omega’s business agility. “We’re acting quicker on critical things like our injury reports and accident reports. Because GoFormz is easy to use and can be completed quickly, we’re getting information quicker, no question about it,” Greg emphasized. “I used to have to email our guys an excel form or a Word form to fill out, which takes them a while, it’s so much easier with GoFormz.”
The flexibility and accessibility of GoFormz mobile forms were especially notable for Greg, who had experience with in-house data capture solutions from his previous employer. “We spent literally hundreds of thousands of dollars developing something that wasn’t as good as what GoFormz has.”
Omega Construction is now working to further automate the storage and organization of job site photos. Currently, photographs captured within image fields are dynamically routed to project-specific folders within OneDrive, alongside Daily Logs. Omega Construction is in the process of extending this automation so that images are also saved directly to their server, simplifying access for office-based project management.