If you ask Aaron Wagner or Nicholas Krey about the old days of building and design, you’ll likely elicit a groan or at least an eye roll. Wagner talks about laying out massive drawings on huge tables and carrying around binders the size of a small child. Krey remembers 18-hour days filled with pointless repetitive tasks.
Krey was in the field as a project manager and preconstruction lead while Wagner worked as an architect. Now the two are colleagues at U.S. CAD, where they work together to replace antiquated processes with modern solutions so owners, subcontractors, and other project stakeholders can harness the power of technology to improve outcomes and profitability.
U.S. CAD is one of the nation’s largest full-service technology consultants for architecture, engineering, construction, and owner (AECO) clients. Krey, Wagner, and their 120 colleagues—stationed in 15 major metropolitan cities—connect companies with Autodesk construction solutions, services, and the other software, hardware, and training they need to design and build successful projects in today’s complex and competitive industry.
After logging 16 years in architecture, Wagner joined U.S. CAD as a technical specialist to identify the right software solutions for each client’s projects. Now, as director of Autodesk construction at U.S. CAD, he’s helping general contractors and the like communicate with their workers and manage every aspect of each job to deliver the high-quality results the industry demands.
“I’ve seen good and bad approaches in the industry and I’m passionate about our offerings because everyone is busy,” Wagner says. “We can improve their workflows so they can spend their time performing work with less time devoted to tasks like critical data entry, retrieval, and compliant record-keeping.” Their goal is to simplify the process with a higher level of reliability.
U.S. CAD helps owners and general contractors take control of their data by adopting Autodesk Construction Cloud solutions. These technologies streamline their workflows and provide project data from the design’s early stages to completion and handover with configurable and shareable dashboards. As a result, collaboration and productivity are enhanced, and errors are minimized.
Wagner says that with these pieces in place, clients own their data. “We’re helping our clients use powerful tools to digitize and standardize everything,” he says. “Our clients no longer have to worry about conflicting outdated information because everything is in one place.” In addition, the single source of information drives quality and efficiency, ultimately leading to financially successful projects.
For companies that create many projects, standardization and centralized data are critical. Products like Autodesk Build (formerly BIM 360) allow all stakeholders to access drawings from the cloud while project managers can track change orders, reports, and other records in real time. Additionally, owners and contractors can use the software to assign tasks and collect data with automated reminders built in. The feature helps users uncover problems early and eliminates the time-intensive task of manually following up with vendors, subcontractors, and other key partners.
While some industry veterans are hesitant to invest in technology, U.S. CAD clients see results at every turn. “As the leading technology partner in the AECO space,” Krey says, “we bring direct benefits to our clients every day. Our goal is to show how software as an investment can pay off at every stage of their workflow.”
During a project, each team member has access to the same information, as every drawing, report, photo, and file is stored in the BIM 360 cloud database. This creates a complete project record that goes to clients at completion, ensuring operators have the exact information they need to keep their facility running well into the future.
These issues are especially important for U.S. CAD’s healthcare clients, where good data handover impacts quality, safety, and patient care. For example, Wagner recently implemented measures at one of the nation’s largest healthcare providers. Before turning to U.S. CAD, the client had a water break onsite.
With poor, decentralized records, it took the administrator two weeks to locate the shut-off valve. In the meantime, the company had to relocate vulnerable ICU patients to a temporary facility. With Autodesk and U.S. CAD solutions in place, the client has a reliable data structure and is enjoying other benefits, including improved issue tracking and better business insights.
Wagner and Krey are passionate about their work at U.S. CAD and about helping clients because, coming from the field, they understand the industry’s challenges. “There can be thousands of sheets of paper for a project, and if you’re not working with a system like Autodesk, you’re never really sure if there’s a new update somewhere on a USB drive or the back of a napkin,” Krey points out. “Each time you make a decision, there’s a chance that you’re basing it on outdated information.”
Construction clients that Krey and Wagner work with have seen the light. But when margins are razor-thin, others in the industry can be drawn to the status quo. Still, Wagner says his team is in place to help clients understand the real value in implementing the latest tools. “We have real solutions that pay for themselves time and time again, and we are the right partner to help people leverage those solutions in the right way,” he explains.
Wagner knows that U.S. CAD puts another tool in a contractor’s tool belt—and contractors are at their best when they use the right tool to get the job done.
About U.S. CAD
U.S. CAD is a leading provider of architecture, engineering, construction technology, and consulting services. Founded in 1999, U.S. CAD is an Autodesk Platinum Partner delivering BIM and AEC software, training, support, and production and reality capture services for organizations of all sizes for better project outcomes from conception through construction. Its mission is to help clients win more, produce more, and achieve more.
To learn more, visit uscad.com.