Innovation doesn’t always have to be complicated or expensive. Sometimes, it’s about applying proven technologies in new ways to increase efficiencies. Our retail design department has been doing just that by taking Surface Pro tablets on architectural surveys, which are usually done using paper floor plans.
Dustin Bailey, architectural technician in our Williamsport retail design department, explains that a typical architectural survey requires over 70 sheets of paper. “We used to print small sections of the floor plan on each piece of paper. It would take us an hour and a half in the office just to get ready for a survey,” said Dustin. “Using the tablets helps us to save time, and the cost of paper and ink.”
Using tablets has streamlined the process. “We used to take our papers to the site, keep them in a central area, then run back to where we kept the papers to get the right section of the floor plan to record the measurements,” said Dustin. “Now, we can load floor plans onto the tablet and record dimensions with a stylus. There’s no more running back and forth.”
The tablet allows users to zoom in on floor plans, helping them to depict the building as accurately as possible to create complete construction documents.
“It saves us a lot of time,” said Dustin. “Not only time in the office before a survey and time in the field, but when we return from a survey, whoever is putting together the floor plan doesn’t have to sift through a pile of papers to piece everything together.”
Dustin estimates that in addition to the hour and a half saved in survey preparation, using tablets saves up to an hour of time in the field, and an hour or more once the measurements are brought back to the office.
“That might not sound like a major savings,” said Dustin. “But when you multiply that by 80 stores a year, like we do for some clients, it really starts to add up.”