During This Case, You Will Learn How Touchplan

  • Kept the project team aligned via a common digital platform
  • Helped with the challenge of managing non-traditional construction
  • Satisfied Lean planning needs with the ability to add constraints

Headquartered in New York City, New Line Structures is a full-service construction management firm that utilizes the latest construction software and strategies to solve all kinds of challenges.

The firm was recently engaged to take on the construction of a major adaptive re-use development project. This 1.2 million square foot project will transform a historic warehouse into a modern, lively workplace in New York City.

A project of this size and scope that combines historic restoration (facade renovation), construction in occupied spaces, demolition, and new construction would need to be managed meticulously. The project is unlike the typical, repetitive high-rise building construction, and thus it requires detailed and custom planning for each phase. For these reasons, the team at New Line decided to bring in Touchplan.

“A project this large requires a lot of subcontractors on the site at any one time,” said Frank Parker, Lead Superintendent for New Line Structures. “Collaboration is key, and all workers’ schedules need to be aligned. Touchplan is keeping the subcontractors on target as they create schedules for their work.”

The detail of work and alignment that Touchplan is providing on the project ensures that work is on schedule, keeping the overall mixed-use development on track for timely completion.

“Touchplan helps us keep the subcontractors on time with their tasks, and they have to speak to a delay right in front of us,” added Parker. “When they say they will be done in two days and they end up being late, it is easier to flush out the reason right in the meeting using Touchplan.”

The trades on the project are becoming proficient with Touchplan and are putting their tasks into the platform. The New Line management team has seen more thought being put into tasks as they are entered into Touchplan. Subcontractors put more thought into material acquisition, workforce (crew size), to be “Make Ready” for each new milestone.

“What’s great about Touchplan is it’s an enhanced version of a whiteboard. The trades relate to that and pick up how to use Touchplan after just a 15-minute intro and start putting in their tickets, which saves a lot of time for PMs and Supers,” said New Line Project Controls Engineer Nicolas Torres. “Trades can be hesitant with technology, especially with a high learning curve. With Touchplan, the trades jump right into it, enhancing communication and collaboration. Trades also see a value in how they manage their people as they look into it for themselves.”

Staying On Task, On Schedule and Safe

As work continues on the project, it is always a concern that work could fall out of its planned sequence. Oftentimes this could be due to a lack of close collaboration amongst the trades. Expectations must be set early and be clear. Touchplan allows New Line and everyone working on the project to stay aligned on the project and ensures that necessary collaboration is happening each day. This level of coordination also helps reduce unnecessary risk on the project.

“The ability to use constraints within Touchplan to add potential roadblocks is a great feature to manage delay risks,” said Sal Bousleiman, Director of Project Controls for New Line Structures. “Touchplan allows our various teams – project managers, BIM coordinators, and project supers – to collaborate on the same schedule so that nothing is missed during the planning stage.”

Touchplan has also enhanced the conversation around safety at the project. The software platform fosters discussions and awareness of potential safety concerns, which can be addressed in planning meetings.

Our relationship with New Line Structures has produced some mutually beneficial results, including:

  • Keeping project management and subcontractors aligned weekly by having a common digital platform where all users can contribute to the scheduling model.
  • Using the constraints within Touchplan to add potential roadblocks and better manage delay tasks.
  • Fostering a collaborative planning environment where everyone tries to meet their promises and be more transparent.
  • Satisfying lean planning needs with the ability to add constraints, track promises, and report on metrics such as PPCs and root causes for delays.