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Enhancing Construction Planning via Technology

A leader in several markets, Layton brings honesty, integrity, and innovation to the construction industry—focused on building things right.

Touchplan helps just facilitate everything. Think about how we set up our office trailer. It was built around the TVs. That’s something that never used to happen but now that is where we would get everybody in the room and review the construction in Touchplan.

Joseph Neyman, Project Manager

Layton, a nationally recognized construction company, wanted to enhance its construction planning by moving to construction planning software. The company was working on a $46 Million, 100,000 SF expansion to a hospital and wanted to move its pull planning and Lean processes into a digital space.

The team was working with trade partners who were familiar with pull planning, so the transition to construction planning software was a smooth one in that they were all able to pick up Touchplan quickly.

About halfway through the construction, the Covid-19 pandemic began to emerge. The construction project team could no longer meet in person and had to start working via conference calls and video meetings. Usually, remote sessions would not be effective for efficiently planning a project of this size and scope, but since the team was using Touchplan, the work continued almost seamlessly.

“With Touchplan, we were able to continue our meetings remotely instead of being face to face,” said Layton Project Manager Joseph Neyman. “The team had Touchplan on their computers, and we could see the live plan movements. We could go through each trade at a time. Making it a great way to coordinate with all the trades simply. I don’t know what we would have done otherwise.”

The other benefit to the Layton team in this particular situation was Touchplan’s ability to limit risk by anticipating problems before they might happen. Utilizing Touchplan required the trades to plan out their work and dive into specifics regarding time, staffing, and materials needed. If it didn’t align with the schedule, it would foster a discussion.

“What is great about Touchplan is that it forces what can be difficult conversations to happen while there is still time to react and game plan,” said Neyman. “It lets you see what everyone is thinking and where the problems may arise down the road, which also helps reduce risk on the project. That constant live feedback from all team members inputting their information into Touchplan is a time saver.”

Keeping the Client Informed.

The client on this particular project was very forward-thinking and liked to get ahead of the learning curve, and was all for Layton using the Last Planner Process® and specifically Touchplan. This construction project was one of three pilot programs and required that regular progress reports be delivered to ownership related to the construction. The information would allow the owner to see and understand the construction process. Since the Layton team used Touchplan, it made extensive reporting much easier.

Neyman added, “The client wanted regular reports so they could better understand the construction process. Instead of having a full-time person update spreadsheets or take pictures of a sticky board, it was effortless to print out reports on whatever metrics we wanted in Touchplan. That allowed us to focus on the building.”

Trades On Board from The Beginning

While Touchplan was a requirement for this particular project, all the trades jumped on board from the very beginning and were rather eager to learn how to use the software. Many trades began using Touchplan beyond what was required for the project because it added value to their company planning. So instead of just showing up to meetings and trying to make updates, they were thinking ahead.

“Trades were coming to meetings having already spent several hours planning in Touchplan,” said Neyman. “We noticed some trades would even update every day or two or even use it for their workforce planning, so they could report back to their respective offices.

Taking The Tech to Other Projects

Layton has begun using Touchplan on other projects as it fits well with the company’s commitment to Lean and pull planning in a digitized space.

One, in particular, is a 25,000 SF renovation of an emergency department. The team on this project is committed to using Touchplan, and the software fosters communication and collaboration.

“What is great about Touchplan is that our trade partners know that once they have promised the work, they own it,” said Layton Assistant Project Manager Kevin Gillespie. “It is a big help with the trades and our superintendents to keep everyone in the room on the same page.

Touchplan has allowed them to track significant milestones, and they are on track to finish phase one of this project by June. Since this is a phased project which means work on the next phase can’t begin until there is sign-off, Touchplan is ensuring that any challenges are being addressed as early as possible to avoid delays.

“Moving into the next few years of this project, Touchplan allows us to get ahead of things and helps us understand how long it will take to get something approved and do the work,” said Gillespie. “Touchplan allows us to finish an activity sooner to move on to the next one.”

By using Touchplan, the Layton team has been able to work more efficiently and better communicate with their entire team, which has moved their Lean planning and execution to a new level.

Our relationship with Layton Construction has produced some mutually beneficial results, including:

  • Better coordination with trades on-site and remotely
  • Early identification of potential issues thus reducing project risk
  • Easy reporting to the client so they could understand the construction process
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