Even as other industries adopt technology to improve productivity and make them more efficient, there are some like construction that are still locked into old, mostly manual processes for project management. A startup called Fieldwire wants to change that, with a mobile-first collaboration platform that is targeted at construction workers.
Fieldwire is made up of a website and mobile app that enables project managers and foremen to create a list of tasks and rank them based on priority. As things change, they are able to very quickly reorganize those tasks, which helps to make workers more productive.
Some industry estimates suggest construction workers on site only spend about 30 percent of their time building, Fieldwire co-founder and CEO Yves Frinault told me. The rest of the time is spent on prep work or waiting for instructions of for materials to be delivered.
Fieldwire is designed to make them more efficient by making sure the foreman and workers in the field know what they need to do next at any given time. And if construction workers happen to encounter an issue, they can document it and things can be put back in motion more quickly.
By offering a mobile app, Fieldwire enables workers in the field to be able to keep up to date, rather than having to relay information back and forth by phone or walkie-talkie.
Like some other SaaS collaboration tools, Fieldwire operates on a freemium model for getting teams signed up. The first three users on a team are free, and then the company charges $20 per person per month for greater control and premium features.
But new projects pop up all the time, and the number of team members can vary for each of them. As a result, Fieldwire is finding that more and more of its clients are agreeing on a certain number of seats and signing up for enterprise licenses.
The team is made up of Stanford and MIT engineers, but Frinault said he decided to found the company after he spent summers on construction sites during his high school and college years. He realized that all technology for construction was used before the project started, but there was nothing to help manage projects while in process. So he set out to build it.
The company has raised $1.1 million in funding led by Trinity Ventures and Bloomberg Beta, and now has a team of six. It’s hoping to use some of its funding to support its sales efforts as it looks to bring more clients onboard.