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BW Sessions: FieldLens

BW Sessions: FieldLens

by Karl Sorensen

Project superintendents are construction’s unrelenting field generals. Marked by thick-skinned resilience, larger-than-life personalities, and an unwavering commitment to their troops, they can often dictate a project's success or failure. But with the increasing complexity and broadening scope of today’s interconnected building processes, an almost-unsustainable level of technical responsibility is falling on the squared shoulders of these crusty veterans. 

It is this same group of 'old schoolers' who never fail to surprise FieldLens CEO Doug Chambers. “I’ve been receiving ‘thank you’ letters from project foremen and superintendents on sites all over the country,” he notes with obvious pleasure.  “A good superintendent (or foreman) is the difference between a good job and a bad job, and our software is helping secure that positive end result for these guys.”

Started in 2011, FieldLens is a New York City-based mobile, software company that specializes in a field-level information collection and dissemination database that helps superintendents digitize and automate workloads. With over a decade of project management experience, Chambers left the field himself in 2009, frustrated by the industry's persistent communication and coordination inefficiencies. He returned two years later with his own solutions. 

How Does it Work?

“In short, we are the Twitter of this industry,” explains Chambers.  “It’s the dissemination of everything all day long, keeping all stakeholders informed regardless of geographical boundaries.”

FieldLens utilizes a mobile application platform specifically catered to construction management personnel on a given project. Throughout the course of the day, these individuals can manually log photographs, observations, notes, assignable actions and other jobsite metrics to create a shared newsfeed of relevant information. Time traditionally expended by superintendents on daily reports, subcontractor chasing and observations is now eliminated. With the new-found free time, they can shift focus to big-picture project strategy.  

As one superintendent in Texas attests on the FieldLens website: "It gives me back five hours each week that I would have spent tracking down people to understand where we stand on issues."

What does FieldLens hope to achieve

"Right now, we're an information gathering platform," says Chambers. "Our goal is to build insights and analytics that will be impactful for the field, but then (also) for the parent company, as well. We're excited for the future of construction technology and expect to see more tech companies with open attitudes accepting the challenge of solving industry problems."

Adds another VP of Operations from a North Carolina roofing contractor, "(FieldLens) is a tool so many of us in the industry have wanted for a long time."

Not long ago, Chambers himself felt that same need... and acted on it.

You would be a good candidate for FieldLens if you…

  1. Are a foreman or superintendent on a mid- to large construction site;
  2. Manage architectural, engineering or construction operations and need intelligence from the field
  3. Own one or more construction projects.



Karl Sorensen

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