As-Built Services
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PPM’s Newest Office Launching in Seattle July 2021

PPM is Seattle bound! We’re excited to announce all-new As-Built Surveying Services coming to Seattle July 2021

If you’re an architect, designer, or construction professional in Seattle, we look forward to being of service as we launch our newest regional office and provide precision As-Built Surveying resources to The Emerald City! This means all new field measurement resources to support remodel projects including 3D laser scanning, CAD drafting, and BIM modeling – all to get your remodel projects off to a great start while freeing up your valuable time for design and production. Read on to get the scoop on why we chose Seattle as our newest hub and what we look forward to bringing to the AEC community of the Pacific Northwest.

If you haven’t worked with PPM in the past, here’s a bit about us we think you’d like to know.
For more than 19 years, PPM has been providing As-Built Surveying services for the AEC community in three major markets – Los Angeles serving all of Southern California, the Bay Area serving all of Northern California, and Washington, D.C. serving the Mid-Atlantic region. We also survey and draft large-scale As-Built projects on a national level and Multi-Site national programs for retail brands. While we often serve the Seattle area, our resources have not historically been as vast as they’re about to be!

A Q&A with our President Andy McFarland on all-new As-Built Survey services in the Pacific Northwest

What about Seattle’s architectural community led you to choose this Pacific Northwest region?

Andy: We chose Seattle as PPM’s next regional office for a variety of reasons. First, we have seen a lot of interest in our services for many years from the local architecture community there. Seattle is one of our highest regions in the country for website traffic and As-Built quote requests which tells us there is a great need and we have an opportunity to make a big difference for architects there. As a result of these requests, we’ve been fortunate to develop lots of great connections with AEC firms in the area and look forward to deepening and expanding those relationships. Second, the demographics of the Seattle area in terms of population, incomes and home values are all very similar to our existing regions in California and Washington, D.C. We believe these conditions will lead to a similar demand for the professional, high quality As-Built surveys that PPM provides and big benefits for the AEC community. Finally, Seattle is just a really cool place to live, work, and visit! Not coincidentally, there is no shortage of PPM employees that are volunteering to help with our Seattle launch.

What will this new regional office mean for the AEC community in Seattle and surrounding areas?

Andy: Architects, engineers, and construction professionals choose to work with PPM because we offer a consistently high-quality As-Built product, along with unmatched customer service and a stringent process that they can rely on for all of their remodel projects. Our goal is to streamline the process, making it quick, easy and affordable to obtain the existing conditions CAD or BIM drawings that you need to get your projects started on the right track. We like to call this a “Worry Free” As-Built survey.

What are you most excited to offer architects, designers, and construction professionals in the Seattle area?

Andy: We survey all types of buildings, but our specialty is Single-Family homes. Over our 19 years in business, we have surveyed over 8,000 residential properties. I’m excited to deliver a streamlined process that is fast and affordable and ensures incredibly accurate. We offer a level of expertise and service in the SFR remodel market that architects won’t find anywhere else.

How will services be different when the new office opens in comparison to what PPM currently offers in the Seattle metro area?

Andy: Although we have been completing As-Built surveying projects in the Seattle area for more than a decade, we will be able to greatly increase our services by opening a permanent regional office in the area. We will have dedicated local staff to offer quick assistance with proposals, project management, and on-site field measurements. In addition, with this office, we’ll be bringing our 3D laser scanning technology to the Seattle market. This means faster turn-around, heightened accuracy, and more 3D As-Built options, such as Revit models.

What cities around Seattle will PPM serve?

Andy: Our typical service area is about a 100-mile radius from our office. So, in Seattle we will cover all of the surrounding cities including Tacoma, Bellevue, Kent, Everett, Renton, and more. We will travel as far as Portland or Spokane as needed.

When does PPM plan to open the new office and when will new As-Built Surveying services be available?

Andy: We have just begun the recruiting process to find a Regional Director to lead our Seattle office. We plan to make a hire in April, and then officially open the office in July after a few months of training. But in the meantime, we are offering our As-Built services in the Seattle area now! We have several local survey contractors that we work with, and we are also traveling to Seattle regularly from our California offices to handle projects in the area.

Who will lead the Seattle office?

Andy: We are looking for a dynamic, energetic and positive leader to head up our Seattle Office. Extensive experience in the architecture industry is required, as well as strong communication, customer service, and project management skills. Someone who is motivated to grow the region, lead a team, and provide great service. Know anybody that might be interested? Please encourage them to apply here!

While PPM is excited to bring more technology and capabilities to the Seattle area, we will continue to serve the region with our surveyor network. To receive a quote on your next remodel, addition, or preservation project, visit us here. For general questions, please call 1-855-AS-BUILT or send us a message here.

STAY POSTED ON OUR SEATTLE LAUNCH

To stay informed about our upcoming launch and the arrival of new services, fill out the form below.

About PPM

At PPM, our goal is to help set you and your project up for success from the start. While we are dedicated to tried-and-true process and deliver consistently accurate plans, success is not just in the numbers – it’s a feeling of trust, confidence, ownership and teamwork. Our team is committed to Core Values that drive our business and our clients’ success. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

Do you have an upcoming project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about our As-Built Survey process?

1080 565 Andy McFarland

4 Ways 3D Laser Scanning Is Changing Your As-Built Customer Experience

3D Laser As-Built Surveying in the Information Age

At PPM, we work closely with architects throughout the country and know the demands of the job. We get it. You’re busy, you’re under a deadline, you need the most accurate As-Built survey possible, and you want it to be completely “Worry Free.” Believe us. We’ve been in the business for over 18 years now, and we understand what you need in an As-Built survey whether you’re starting a home remodel, moving your business to a new location, or renovating the guest rooms at a large hotel.

It’s this understanding of our customers’ needs that has been one of the primary catalysts for the adoption of 3D laser scanning into our As-Built surveying process. For the first 14 years in business, we did everything manually with tape measures, laser distance meters, sketching boards, and good old-fashioned problem solving. But within the last couple of years, as this technology has developed, we decided that laser scanning is the best way to enhance your As-Built surveying customer experience. How are these handy 3D laser scanning gadgets helping us help you? Let’s dive into it.

1. Decreased Time On Site, So You Can Get Back To Your Day

3D laser scanners have dramatically reduced the amount of time that our surveyors need at the job site to capture all the necessary As-Built information. Take the example of a typical 2,500 square foot single family home – the type of project we survey just about every day at PPM. It used to take one of our surveyors around 5-7 hours to gather all the measurements and information we needed for this type of project. That’s an entire day of us at you or your client’s residence, measuring every inch of the building. If you’ve ever had workers inside your house for an entire day, you know that this can be somewhat obtrusive and often requires you to plan your entire day around the worker’s schedule.
Now, with 3D laser scanning, we’ve cut our time in the field dramatically. A project that used to take us about 7 hours in the field only a couple of years ago, today takes maybe 1 to 2 hours (for a typical residence or small commercial building) using a laser scanner. This means that we can get in, get what we need, and get out before you or your client even figures out what they are having for lunch. You can get on with your busy schedule, or just relax in your house without a stranger hanging out all day. Although, I do think we make pretty decent house guests.

 

3d-scanning-technician-at-work

On location with one of our 3D scanning specialists. Our laser scanners work well in both small and large spaces.

2. Millions of Data Points = We Can Accommodate Any Request

Another big advantage of using a 3D laser scanner for As-Built surveying is the amount of information that is gathered. Before laser scanners, we had to pick and choose the measurements we would take and the information we could capture based on the scope of work requested by our client. If our client wanted an As-Built floor plan and reflected ceiling plan (RCP), we would only gather enough data to complete these 2 plan types. Now with the laser scanner we can digitally capture everything visible in your house or building with incredible precision. This means we know where every wall, window, door, ceiling beam, light fixture, cabinet, and piece of furniture is located in the building.

This information gathered from your property by the 3D laser scanner contains millions of data points that we use to create your finished As-Built deliverables. The big advantage for our customers in capturing all this data is the flexibility that it provides if more information is needed. For example, what if our customer decided after the field visit that in addition to the floor plan and RCP, they need some interior elevations and a section drawing? Previously we would have had to return to the building to take additional measurements – requiring additional time to schedule a second field visit, and an additional inconvenience to the property owner. With laser scanners, we already have all of the data we need to create these additional As-Built plans, so we are able to accommodate these change order requests quickly and keep the project moving. It’s what we do best!

 

Roof Top View By 3D Scanner

Our 3D Laser Scanning team can produce As-Built surveys of a variety of different building types.

3. Complicated Structures are Now a Breeze

It’s hard to overstate how much more precise our AutoCAD and Revit deliverables are now that we use 3D laser scanners. We have always been extremely accurate, recording individual measurements to the fraction of an inch and employing multiple redundancies and other As-Built best practices to ensure a quality product. But, to be honest with you, there’s just no equating what can be done with tape measures and simple electronic measuring tools compared to what we can do with 3D laser scanners.

No matter how many measurements we took back in the good old days, we simply couldn’t have collected as much information about your building as a laser scanner can. For a simple building with basic geometry, it might not make too much of a difference. But for larger structures and more complex architecture such as curved walls, vaulted or arched ceilings, and non-standard angles, laser scanners provide a whole new level of precision and detail. This increase in total accuracy becomes even more critical when we are creating a comprehensive 3D BIM model from the data captured in the field. This benefit to our customer is yet another reason why we’ve decided to adopt this technology with so much passion.

Happy-customer-shaking-hands-with-PPM-surveyor

At PPM, we take great pride in making sure that our customers are comfortable and satisfied with all phases of our service. With the faster location time afforded by 3D Laser scans, our customers are even happier.

4. You Tell Us What You Want And We’ll Deliver

If I haven’t made it abundantly clear already, 3D laser scanning allows us more flexibility to tailor our deliverable to your needs. Because we have so much data gathered for your As-Built survey and because this information is accurate, complete, digital, and portable – we have a wide variety of options for our clients when it comes to the As-Built information we provide.
The 3D “point clouds” generated by a laser scanner can be worked with either in 2D or 3D. Our 2D AutoCAD drawings and 3D Revit models can be created exactly to your specifications and are always designed with your project’s best interest in mind. This means that our customer service and project management outreach is more important than ever. We have a dedicated staff whose primary purpose is to find out exactly what you require, and then create a deliverable that will make your job infinitely easier. Another new option is to deliver the raw data (the point cloud) directly. For those that know how to work with it, the point cloud is an extremely detailed “digital twin” of the building and can be delivered as soon as the day after the field work.

3D Laser Scanners – Good for Us and Great for You!

So, as you can see, 3D laser scanning has really improved the As-Built customer experience in many different ways here at PPM. We are beyond excited to see how this technology will continue to revolutionize our business and provide you with the best As-Built service possible.

Now that you know how 3D laser scanning can improve your customer experience for your remodel projects, I hope you’re as excited about these new developments as we are. Reach out to our team with any questions you may have. We’re here to support your next remodel project!

About PPM

At PPM, our goal is to help set you and your project up for success from the start. While we are dedicated to tried-and-true process and deliver consistently accurate plans, success is not just in the numbers – it’s a feeling of trust, confidence, ownership and teamwork. Our team is committed to Core Values that drive our business and our clients’ success. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

Do you have an upcoming remodel, addition, or historic preservation project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about our As-Built Survey process?

1080 565 Andy McFarland

Meet Colin Lenkeit: Multi-Site Program Manager

PPM Profiled: Meet Colin Leinkeit
Multi-Site Program Manager

15 years ago, Colin Lenkeit applied for the position of “Measurer” with PPM. He was hired to perform measurements and draft landscape site plans for landscape architects. This entailed sketching residential and commercial landscapes, taking measurements of onsite features and utilizing AutoCAD to create accurate site plans. What appealed to Colin about the job? “I’ve always been a hands-on person. I enjoy being outdoors and like challenges involving numbers, calculations, or the need to put together a plan for a situation. The job description fit the bill perfectly!” says Lenkeit. Today, that position would be called “Surveyor,” and the Surveyor position at PPM would soon evolve to an As-Built Building Surveyor where Lenkeit and our team would parlay their meticulous surveying and drafting skills into a new realm. With advanced training and new technology, this became the focus with the growing demand of As-Built building plans by architects in Southern California (our first service region).

Today, you’ll find Colin at our Long Beach headquarters deep in processes and systems managing a much larger scope of work. Our business has evolved from a tiny team of landscape “measurers” to a nationwide company who provides “Worry-Free” As-Built survey and drafting services to residential and commercial architects as well as big brands with hundreds (sometimes thousands) of locations across the country. PPM booked its first Multi-Site program with a large brand in 2009 providing Floor Plans and Reflective Ceiling Plans to 47 pharmacies across California. These pharmacies were purchased and rebranded to CVS stores, and our team would provide the As-Built plans their architects would use to design the new interiors. Today, Colin manages programs with hundreds of locations across the U.S. Having been a surveyor and drafter himself and having touched so many roles and processes at PPM, Colin is the perfect person to manage our largest programs for our biggest clients with ease.

The day to day

Gone are his days of site visits and drafting. You’ll find him focused at his desk communicating between calls and emails with our clients, surveyors, and drafters. Whether it’s discussing a new program with a client, gathering information to provide accurate quotes, working with site contacts to organize and schedule field work, or communicating with surveyors with the information they’ll need to ensure their work goes off without a hitch, most of his days are spent in communication, and as his title eludes, program management. Holistically, he’s the driving force that ensures each program runs smoothly and every person involved in the process is organized, informed, and delivering on time with complete accuracy.

Supporting our clients

From first inquiry to final deliverable, Colin is the key point of contact for our Multi-Site clients. Having a single, knowledgeable point of contact who knows every step of the project and process is a key benefit for anyone handling the program management from the brand side. Rather than dealing with multiple people in our organization, Colin is a quick call or short email away from a swift answer and timely update. He’s proactive about communicating the program as it moves through the process, and is hyper-focused on high-quality As-Built plans that are delivered on time and according to schedule; especially when dealing with high-volume programs where Colin could be managing the surveys of up to 50 locations per week. Any way he can support our clients is Colin’s way!

For Colin, the most rewarding part of the job is whenever we’re really able to make a difference for a client. “I know our As-Builts are helping many clients, but occasionally you get into situations where you can really help a client out or make a big difference in their project overall, and it feels great being a part of that.”

Supporting the PPM team

Having touched so many roles at PPM over most of his career, Colin is the perfect person to ask for advice, direction, or tech-specific questions. There are a lot of years of knowledge around our industry inside his head, and he’s always happy to lend a helping hand to his fellow team members.

The direction of As-Builts

Having seen As-Built technology evolve from good old-fashioned tape measures (which still come in handy) to lidar lasers to 3D laser scanning, Colin sees a push for more 3D laser scanning in the architectural industry. “At this point, I think it’s only a foregone conclusion that in the future, barring any other disruptive technology, almost all As-Builts will originate from laser scan data.” PPM has surely seen this change and continues to grow and evolve with the latest laser scanning tools. We hope to see an even bigger shift in this direction for our nationwide clients in the years to come.

Fun facts

While many of us at PPM are used to seeing Colin anchored to his desk, hard at work, he’s a pretty interesting guy outside of these walls with lots of hobbies. Before we let Colin go, we have just a few fun questions to learn more about the man behind our Multi-Site programs on a personal level.

Where can you be found when not at work?
Usually somewhere working with my hands, traveling/exploring, or cooking.

What are your three favorite hobbies?
I’ve found I can pretty easily fall down a rabbit hole and get interested in lots of things – there’s so much out there! But my top 3 would have to be anything automotive/motorsports related, snowboarding, and cooking/gardening.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A fireman

Arctic or desert?
Somewhere in between – but hopefully somewhere that gets snow!

Road trip up the west or east coast?
West Coast

Pizza or tacos?
Tacos

Camping or Glamping?
Camping

Trips and travels – spontaneous or planned?
Both – When we travel, we like to plan a lot but then take every opportunity to be spontaneous once we get going.

Night owl or early bird?
Used to be a night owl, but now I’m more of an early bird.

Cookie Dough or Neapolitan ice cream?
Not even a contest – does anyone actually like Neapolitan?

Breakfast for dinner or dinner for breakfast?
Breakfast for dinner

Big thanks to Colin for sharing more about his work as our Multi-Site Program Manager and life outside of PPM! For more team profiles and behind-the-scenes, stay tuned on our blog!

About PPM

At PPM, our goal is to help set you and your project up for success from the start. While we are dedicated to tried-and-true process and deliver consistently accurate plans, success is not just in the numbers – it’s a feeling of trust, confidence, ownership and teamwork. Our team is committed to Core Values that drive our business and our clients’ success. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

Do you have an upcoming Multi-Site program or remodel project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about our As-Built Survey process?

1080 565 Andy McFarland

PPM’s Newest Office Launching in Washington, D.C. Summer 2020

PPM’s Newest Office Launching in Washington, D.C. Summer 2020
An Interview with Our President Andy McFarland

In September 2019, our President Andy McFarland made the long-awaited announcement that our next regional office will open in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C!  Summer 2020 will be the expected launch date. In an interview with Andy, he laid out the key factors for choosing D.C. and how PPM plans to bring value to architects in the Mid-Atlantic region.

For more than 18 years, we’ve partnered with architects and designers to provide As-Built Survey services they can rely for complete accuracy and a great start to every remodel project. For architecture firms, these services contribute to a more efficient process and peace of mind in knowing they have a full set of accurate As-Built plans they can trust for every renovation project.

“It’s our mission to champion our AEC clients and help them streamline and scale their business to reach their goals as a firm,” says President Andy McFarland. “We do that by delivering As-Built drawings and models created to their standards and specifications. Among other benefits, it means more time with clients, more time re-imagining the perfect space, and the ability to take on more projects.” 

Of all the major cities in the U.S., why D.C.?

Andy: We’ve been looking at this for a while knowing we wanted to expand and serve more of the AEC community nationally. D.C. has great demographics: a large population, strong home values, lots of remodel activity which were all things that were successful in the Bay Area and Los Angeles. And, there’s a lot around D.C. It gives us the opportunity to serve Northern Virginia, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and even as far out as New York City potentially. We think it is a unique opportunity for the architecture industry there because we have not seen a lot of As-Built service providers like ours in the area. We think we have a really great chance to help the AEC community in a way they haven’t seen before.

What are you most excited to bring to D.C.?

Andy: Three things. I’m most excited to, number one, offer a way to streamline their process. By calling PPM, you can get complete As-Built drawings or a Revit model in the exact format you need that will fit right into your process and keep projects moving forward. Number two is accuracy. PPM takes accuracy to another level. Compared to other ways As-Builts can and are often done, the PPM process has been perfected over 18 years. This means strict scanning, drafting/modeling, and quality assurance. It also means access to a team of As-Built experts who know exactly what you need for a successful project. Third, 3D laser scanning. A physical office in D.C. means more technology to quickly and efficiently capture every angle of an existing building with a digitally replicated point cloud made up of millions of data points. Our drafters, modelers, and quality assurance teams use this data to make sure every plan/model is exact.

Is there anything else that drew you to D.C.?

Andy: The excitement, the energy and the buzz of D.C. Of course, the city has great history. They’ve also got a strong architecture community we are excited to be a part of.

With Covid-19 being a major challenge all industries face, including AEC, is there a way PPM’s services can help the architecture industry bounce back?

Andy: Absolutely. One of the big challenges architects are facing right now is the inability to keep projects moving forward the way they had pre-Covid-19. Stay at home orders have caused some bottle-necking where architects have not been able to get on site to get the field measurements they need to kickstart a remodel project. With many buildings being vacant, we’re often able to get on site and survey quickly and then utilize point cloud data to complete the project offsite. When buildings are occupied, social distancing, gloves, masks, and sanitation are being used to keep our team and our clients safe. While we’re able to measure most buildings, there are some projects we are holding on until stay at home orders are lifted. We know it’s a challenging time for all businesses, so we’ll do the best we can do to help.

Is there anything else you’d like to add about the new D.C. office?

Andy: We’re excited to get started, and despite the challenges we’re facing right now, we remain dedicated to keeping our launch date on track and being able to serve our Mid-Atlantic region. The goal is still July 2020, and we look forward to getting to know the community.

PPM is now accepting projects in the D.C. area. We’re able to survey most properties at this time and look forward to helping our AEC community come out of this challenge as strong as possible. Especially now, we are all focused in particular on one of our Core Values at PPM, “We’re in it Together.”  For quick and easy quotes, visit us here or speak with our team at 1-855-AS-BUILT.

About PPM

At PPM, our goal is to help set you and your project up for success from the start. While we are dedicated to tried-and-true process and deliver consistently accurate plans, success is not just in the numbers – it’s a feeling of trust, confidence, ownership and teamwork. Our team is committed to Core Values that drive our business and our clients’ success. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

Do you have an upcoming preservation project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about our As-Built Survey process?

1080 565 Andy McFarland

6 Benefits of Utilizing an As-Built Surveying Partner

6 Benefits of Utilizing an As-Built Partner

Whether you dream of growing your architecture firm or need a reprieve from the “busy-work” that comes with the job, the benefits of utilizing a trusted As-Built partner to lighten your load are many. In our modern world, workdays move fast with endless moving parts and lots of distractions. The architecture industry is no exception. There are client meetings, emails and calls with contractors, vendors to manage, materials to order, existing measurements to document, and so much more. Designing the perfect space to delight and inspire your clients is what drew you to architecture, so how do you optimize design time and minimize the minutiae? Utilizing an As-Built partner to survey and draft the existing conditions of your next remodel project is a sure-fire way to free up your time, so you can focus on what you do best.

Here are 6 ways utilizing a seasoned As-Built partner can bring positive, forward momentum to your business.

1) A Streamlined Process

Working with an As-Built partner allows you to streamline your workflow. Here’s a tip on getting started. Building a relationship with your project manager is a great investment. Let them know exactly how you’d like your plans, so the team can work accordingly. Your As-Built service provider can use your firm’s template as well. Once your guidelines have been established on the first project, it’ll be quick and easy to send projects their way. And, you can modify any specs on new projects as needed. Working with a team who knows exactly how you prefer your plans and who can deliver consistent As-Built input will help you work more efficiently and drive your productivity, allowing you to work smarter, not harder!

2) Increased Bandwith

There are aspects of every job that pull us away from the most important tasks on our To-Do lists. With the right As-Built partner, you can outsource the tedious task of surveying and drafting As-Built measurements while still ensuring you’re working with accurate drawings you can trust. But most importantly, you’ll increase your bandwidth and focus on imagining, designing and creating inspiring spaces for your clients!

3) Accurate Plans You Can Trust

Working with a well-established As-Built partner who has great references and has worked on an array of projects brings next-level accuracy and expertise to your toolbox. A seasoned partner has experience in a wide variety of building types and plan types, and they’re more likely to own or have access to laser scanning equipment that will help minimize time on-site. This cutting edge equipment can be expensive, but when you’re working with an As-Built partner who specializes in surveying and drafting, you can reap the benefits of efficiency and precision without the expense of the hardware.

4) Avoid Costly Mistakes

Accuracy is key to avoiding costly mistakes. When starting a remodel project, it’s important to avoid mismeasurements that could result in exorbitant budget overages and extensions to your timeline. You and your client are working on a budget you’ve agreed upon. Absorbing the cost of a mistake or explaining to your client that you’ve gone over the budget makes for a tough day on the job. An As-Built partner’s expertise will help keep your budget on track and help you maintain strong client relationships.

5) Avoid Extensions To Your Timeline

Avoid going into overtime. Whether you’re working on a home where residents are awaiting a return date or you’re working on a vacant commercial property whose business owners are awaiting a launch date, it’s important to stick to timelines. As they say, ‘time is money.’ Using an As-Built partner who can ensure your As-Builts are accurate and on time will keep your project on track.

6) Happy Clients

Everyone loves projects that run efficienty and stay on budget, especially your clients. Optimizing your process by ensuring you project remains on time and on budget leads to great client/firm relationships and can even mean repeat and referral business!

We hope you’re excited about exploring an As-Built partnership and utiziling your newly found free time. More free time can mean catching up on those CEU classes, mingling at architecture events, staying up to date on the latest design techniques, spending more time getting to know your clients’ styles, and enjoying more time imagining and creating vibrant spaces. The options are endless, but most importantly, we hope these advantages help streamline and scale your business well into the future.

About PPM

At PPM, our goal is to help set you and your project up for success from the start. While we are dedicated to tried-and-true process and deliver consistently accurate plans, success is not just in the numbers – it’s a feeling of trust, confidence, ownership and teamwork. Our team is committed to Core Values that drive our business and our clients’ success. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

Do you have an upcoming renovation project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about our As-Built Survey process?

1080 565 Andy McFarland

A Day in the Life of an As-Built Surveyor-Drafter

Meet Rogelio Medina a.k.a. Rogi (row-gee)
As-Built Surveyor and Drafter

Mornings at our PPM headquarters in Long Beach, California range between a quiet, small group to a loud, boisterous crew. It really depends on where our As-Built surveyor-drafters are stationed for the day. We greet the morning as a team in what we call The Bustation Declaration. You might be wondering, “what the heck is that?” For us, it’s a morning ritual that gets the juices flowing and pumps us up to “bust” for our clients throughout the week. Each day, a few team members “declare” what they’re working on, their core value of focus, and the week’s motivation (usually something fun and non-work-related).

It’s a special treat when our surveyor-drafters are in the office. These guys are often out on the road, battling heavy traffic, greeting our clients on site visits, and laser scanning properties to collect point cloud data to carefully draft As-Built plans for our clients. They hold a special role at PPM, because they’re usually the only team members who meet our clients face to face. When we have the pleasure of hanging out with them in our morning Bustation Declarations, we often get a sneak peek into their time in the field – from interesting houses and locations they get to visit to tricky roofs they scanned through some obscure troubleshooting technique. For them, no day is ever the same, and they play a crucial role in our success as well as the success of our clients. At PPM, we’re lucky to have incredibly talented, hardworking surveyors, and we’d like to introduce one of them to you today!

Meet Rogelio Medina, known to the team as “Rogi” (pronounced row-gee). He’s been a valuable asset to PPM for almost half a decade! In total, Rogi’s been surveying and drafting properties for five years. Coming from an architectural background, he began his career at PPM four and a half years ago and has had a front row seat to the evolving technology used to survey and draft As-Built plans. Morning “Bustation Declarations” with him are often an interesting recap of his on-site experiences. He’s usually got a good story to tell, so we sat down with him for a closer look behind the scenes of his day-to-day as a surveyor-drafter and to learn a bit more about Rogelio when he’s not hard at work for PPM.

Abby: How did you come to be a surveyor-drafter?

Rogi: I have my bachelor’s degree in Architecture, so I used to work at an architecture firm where we did CD (construction documents) for OSHPD (Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development). I would often be asked to go measure clinics and offices within the clinics. I would create the As-Builts for the new equipment to be laid out. I soon realized that I like the balance of being in and out of the office.  After I left that architecture firm, I decided that I wanted to find a job where I was not in the office all the time. I came across PPM and decided to apply for the surveyor position. This gave me an opportunity to have a job where I’m in and out of the office. And, 4 ½ years later, I’m still here.

Abby: What’s your favorite part of the job?

Rogi: My favorite part of the job is that I get to have client interactions. I like to explain our processes, and I like to show our points clouds to the client/homeowners. I really enjoy seeing their faces when they see what laser scanning technology can do.

Abby: When did you start using laser scanners?

Rogi: I began to use laser scanner with PPM. I would say about 2 ½ years ago.

Abby: How has using laser scanners changed your day to day?

Rogi: Laser scanning has changed how we work completely, from the on-site surveying to the actual drafting. In the past, we used to hand sketch. We later used to have a tablet that was paired with the DISTO (a handheld Leica single laser scanner). Before 3D laser scanners, a project would take a whole day or sometimes even multiple days to gather all the measurements needed to draft an accurate set of plans. Today, with the laser scanner, we can do a regular sized project in about 4-5 hours. The information we collect with the scan is much faster and more precise.

The drafting has also changed. In the past, we used to draft from sketches, or we used to have the DWG (digital drawing) from the tablet and finish the rest of the plans in the office using only AutoCAD. Today with the new technology that is laser scanning, we need to use multiple programs like GeoSlam, Cloud Compare and AutoCAD. PPM also had to invest in more powerful computers that could handle the needs of the point clouds. Overall, laser scanning completely changed how we do our As-Builts.       

Abby: What’s the most challenging part of the job?

Rogi: The most challenging part of the job for me, would be making sure the client understands our process to do a laser scan. We need to prepare the house before we start the actual scanning. We need to open all interior doors and most exterior doors. We need to open closet doors, run curtains, open blinds, cover mirrors and sometimes open cabinets. We also try to minimize movement within the property such as cleaning crew and/or other contractors working at the same time we are surveying, etc. I think making sure all these elements are prepared before starting the scan is the most challenging part of the job for me.  

Abby: Where do you see the industry going in 10 years?

Rogi: I think that only technology will dictate that. In a way, we are pioneers in the laser scanning industry. I can not imagine what other kind of technology we will have available in ten years, but whatever it’ll be, we will be there for it.

Abby: Working in Southern California means a lot of traffic to site visits. What do you do to pass the drive time?

Rogi: Yes, traffic is the worst in SoCal. Sometimes a project is not even that far but traffic makes it feel very far. The way I cope with traffic is singing, I sing and listen to the radio when I find myself stuck in traffic.

Abby: Love that! What are your go-to jams?

Rogi: Pop music. Whatever is popular and playing on the radio.

Abby: What’s the most rewarding part of the job?

Rogi: The most rewarding part of the job is when we get emails from clients praising our work. I like it when they say we were very professional during our site visit and when they say our drawings were accurate and easy to work with. Knowing that what we deliver to the client is accurate and well done makes me happy to work for PPM.

Abby: We all hugely appreciate what you do for PPM and our clients. Your positive attitude is always infectious, and we love having you in the office. When you have down time, what’s an ideal day off look like for you?

Rogi: A fun day off for me would be playing with my two dogs (Lilo and Sally). I love playing with them at my house, but we also like to go to the dog park. Lilo likes to fetch, so we play for a while until she gets tired. Sally on the other hand, likes to find branches to chew on, so I have to watch her most of the time to make sure she doesn’t actually eat them. I also love going to the movie theater. I like to watch movies on the big screen when they come out, but I also like to collect them. Once I buy the hard copy, I like to see all the behind the scenes material. I find it fascinating to learn how they make a movie.  

THIS OR THAT?

Games and activities are a big thing here at PPM, so before signing off with Rogi, I had to catch a quick round of “This or That.”

Abby: Which part of the job do you like best? Surveying or drafting?

Rogi: This is a difficult, because I really love both. I love being out on my feet, but I also like drafting and creating drawings.

Abby: Do you like single-family residential or commercial projects best?

Rogi: I enjoy residential projects better. They are unique and every house has a different personality in a kind of way.

Abby: Tape measure or laser scanner?

Rogi: I would have to say laser scanner because it makes odd shape buildings easier to measure.

Abby: Which ice cream would you choose? Rocky Road or Mint Chip?

Rogi: This is also a difficult question for me because these 2 are my most favorite ice cream flavors. Every time I go to Disneyland, I order a two-scoop ice cream cone with rocky road and mint chip in a waffle cone.

(I had no idea these were Rogi’s favs! #nailedit)

Abby: Cheesecake or ice cream cake?

Rogi: I would go for cheesecake. New York-Style cheesecake specifically.

Abby: Star Wars or Star Trek?

Rogi: Star Wars! Have you seen the Mandalorian? Have you seen BABY YODA? He is so cute!

Abby: Camping or 5-star hotel?

Rogi: Camping for sure. I love nature.

For more team profiles and behind-the-scenes, stay tuned on our blog!

About PPM

At PPM, our goal is to help set you and your project up for success from the start. While we are dedicated to tried-and-true process and deliver consistently accurate plans, success is not just in the numbers – it’s a feeling of trust, confidence, ownership and teamwork. Our team is committed to Core Values that drive our business and our clients’ success. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

Do you have an upcoming preservation project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about our As-Built Survey process?

1080 608 Andy McFarland

5 Key Traits of A Great As-Built Survey Partner

Whether you’re seasoned in working with an As-Built survey provider or looking for a new way to create efficiency in your workflow, there are 5 key traits to look for in a great partner. It’s crucial to ensure the As-Built partner you choose can deliver on time, has great customer service, is always professional while on site with your clients, and most importantly, delivers accurate As-Built drawings every time.

Here are 5 Tips and Tricks to Finding the Right As-Built Survey Partner for You.

1) Process

Does the As-Built survey partner have a repeatable, time-proven surveying process?

Organization and process are key to any successful undertaking. When vetting a an As-Built partner, here’s what you should consider. Can the service provider walk you through their process from beginning to end including proposals, scheduling, on-site surveying, CAD/BIM workflows, and communication with your team? Look for a process that’s well-communicated, transparent, and thorough. Does their process include steps to ensure accuracy and clarity in the deliverable? Do they ask the right questions and consider your needs throughout the process? Your As-Built provider should be able to demonstrate how they approach their craft, and why their process will yield great results.

2) Capabilities

Does the As-Built company offer all the services you’ll need for your various size and types of projects?

Consistency and continuity in your As-Built drawings are important for a smooth process. Using one As-Built partner who can provide deliverables that are easy to understand, who can follow your template requirements, and are consistent across all plan types will make your workflow easier in the long run. We recommend looking for a partner with a team of experts in all types of As-Built services including CAD drafting, 3D Laser Scanning, and BIM modeling. We also recommend choosing a partner who is dedicated to learning and working with new technology that can make your project more efficient, accurate, and timely well into the future. Most importantly, your As-Built partner should be able to keep up with your evolving needs as your business grows and changes.

3) Professionalism

Does the As-Built company represent themselves professionally in all aspects of communication and appearance?

Your reputation is important, and your As-Built partner will be the face of your company when arriving on site and meeting your clients. Look for a team you can trust will represent your business the way you want to be represented. Can you trust your partner to arrive on time, be professional, communicate their on-site process to your client, work quickly and efficiently, and leave the property as they found it? You’ve worked hard to build your reputation. Your As-Built partner should be an extension of your professional brand.

4) Track Record

Does the As-Built company have a proven track record of successfully serving the needs of architects, engineers, designers, contractors, and building owners?

It’s important to learn about your As-Built partner’s client base including who they’ve worked with, the types of projects they’ve worked on, and what their clients say about them. Look for online reviews and ask for a portfolio. Do their clients speak highly of their service and recommend them without reservation? Your As-Built partner should have positive online reviews, a large list of satisfied customers and lots of repeat business.

5) The Extra Mile

Will the As-Built company go the extra mile for you when your business changes, or your project needs something different?

Customer service is a key element in any partnership. Look for an As-Built partner who has the right team of experts to provide efficient, timely and well-communicated service. Pay close attention to a company’s core values and beliefs. Are they customer-oriented and truly care about the quality and support they provide? Should your project require an untraditional scope, will they work to meet your needs? And, will they support your project and answer questions throughout the lifecycle of your project should you need to loop back with their team? Your As-Built partner should have the type of company culture and core values that align with yours. They should be that company you want to do business with.

As the first step in the process, your As-Built survey sets the tone for your entire project. Following these tips and tricks to properly vet your As-Built partner will land you in good hands and send you on your way to a more efficient workflow, increased productivity, happy clients, and overall success!

About PPM

At PPM, our goal is to help set you and your project up for success from the start. While we are dedicated to tried-and-true process and deliver consistently accurate plans, success is not just in the numbers – it’s a feeling of trust, confidence, ownership and teamwork. Our team is committed to Core Values that drive our business and our clients’ success. We’re here to support you every step of the way.

Do you have an upcoming preservation project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about our As-Built Survey process?

1080 608 Andy McFarland

3D Laser Scanning for Historic Preservation

3 Historic Landmarks Preserved through Digital Archiving

In October of 2013, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake hit the Philippine region of Bohol. In April of 2019, a fierce fire engulfed the roof of Paris’ famous Notre Dame Cathedral claiming the spire and causing devastating damage to the roof and upper walls. Fortunately, a 3D laser scan of Notre Dame exists that serves as a digital blueprint of every inch of the exterior and interior. The scan will likely be utilized in its restoration process. Unfortunately, many of the churches of Bohol were not so lucky. Crumbling to rubble and dust, only photographs and postcards remain. As natural disasters, increased tourism, exposure to environmental elements, and lack of maintenance lend to the decay of historical buildings, preservationists and historians are adopting the use of 3D laser scanning for historic preservation – digitally memorializing and safeguarding these beloved sites for centuries to come. Here are just a few iconic historical sites proactively archived by this technology.

1. Notre Dame Under Fire. Memorialized in 3D.

On a Monday evening in April of 2019 a devastating fire tore across the roof of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France while the world watched in shock. For 9 hours, the beloved cathedral burned. Flames claimed the cathedral’s famous spire, roof, and upper walls leaving Paris in devastation as it prepared for a financial and logistical course of restorative action.

Rewind to 2015 – American Professor of Art at Vassar College, Andrew Tallon, visits Notre Dame while seeking to “understand how medieval builders erected some of Europe’s great cathedrals.” Using 3D laser scanning, Tallon digitally archived every square millimeter of the structure through billions of data points in the form of a 3D point cloud. It’s believed that Tallons scans will play a crucial role in reviving Notre Dame, but unfortunately, Tallon passed away in 2018 and will never know the impact of his work on likely the most high-profile 3D laser scan to date.

Photo Credit: Print Collector/Getty Images from Town and Country Magazine

In April of this year, French president Emmanuel Macron announced an ambitious plan to restore the cathedral in 5 years. Original construction of Notre Dame began in 1163. The famous spire was added around 1250, and the cathedral has undergone numerous changes throughout the years from revered cathedral to rundown storage facility and returned to the limelight following the famous novel Hunchback of Notre Dame. Its next chapter impatiently awaits. Although the cathedral may never be a complete replica of what once was, Tallon’s 3D laser scan gives the restoration team the best chance of restoring it to its iconic glory.

2. Tampa’s Famous Jackson Rooming House in Distress

Photo Credit: Tampa Bay Times

Located in Tampa, Florida, The Jackson Rooming House served as the only “Boarding House of the Stars” during the segregation period. Its walls housed African American superstars and famous activists whose status did not exclude them from the social offenses of the time including Martin Luther King, Jr., James Brown, Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles. During this era, the house was one of the only places for traveling African Americans to stay in the Tampa area.

Photo Credit: The Tampa Bay Times

Today, the historical 24-room house remains in need of extreme repair. Built in 1901, the house has seen its day and is under pressure from the city to address serious safety issues. With “broken windows, a sagging roof, and splintering walls, it looks as though the slightest breeze could topple the century-old structure,” says the Tampa Bay Times. The local paper reported that a team from the Tampa Bay History Center and the University of South Florida used 3D laser scanning for historic preservation to create a digital point cloud and record every inch of the two-story, 4,000-square-foot building in efforts to preserve its history. Not only will the team use the 3D digital data to create a 3D replica and virtual tour, they may also help replicate and reopen the real Jackson House to the public one day. As of late, beams have been installed to shore up the Jackson House as further plans are in discussion.

3. Belsay Castle Proactively Preserved with Point Clouds

Photo Credit: BBC.com

The fourteenth-century Iron Age hillfort castle situated in Belsay, Northumberland, England (14 miles northwest of Newcastle) was originally the home to the prominent Middleton family. Passed down through the family, it was eventually abandoned as a residence in the early nineteenth century when the family built a new Grecian-style residence on the same grounds which became known as Belsay Hall. Although an estate of this magnitude seems indestructible, preservationists have secured it’s history through 3D laser scanning should distaster or the test of time take its toll.

The medieval icon’s famous defense tower dominates the castle and was built as both a statement of family pride as well as protection from conflict and tension in this border region between Scotland and England. The tower is one of the best examples of a still-existing pele tower (also known as peel tower) – similar to a mini castle that is easy to defend. When King James VI of Scotland became King James I of England and brought the two kingdoms under union and relative peace, he decreed that all pele towers should be torn down and that the borders should be known as “Middle Shires”.

Despite the turbulent climate and King James’ ruling to remove pele towers, Belsay Castle and Hall remain a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Grade I listed building respectively. English Heritage, the non-profit organization administering the estate, undertook laser scanning of the entire grounds to ensure a digital point cloud replica. With the completion of the 3D laser scans, preservationists have ensured its history is protected against exposure to the elements, tourist traffic, and natural disaster.

Bohol Partners with 3D Laser Scanning Specialists for Historic Preservation

Bohol, Phillipines Church | Photo Credit: Reuters by way of BBC.com

After the devasting earthquake of 2013 in the Filipino region of Bohol, 3D technology specialists DigiScript Phillipines began utilizing 3D laser scanning to digitally preserve UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This digital data in the form of high-resolution point clouds, ensures historic buildings can be restored should disaster strike again. The efforts will include four Baroque churches erected during the Spanish colonial period including Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte, Sta. Maria Church in Ilocos Sur, San Agustin Church in Intramuros, and Miagao Church in Iloilo.

Proactive Protection. Digitizing History.

As the fear of natural disasters and foreseen decay weigh heavy on preservationists’ minds, the relief of 3D laser scanning plays a significant role. There’s now a solid, digitally archived backup plan. The partnership between preservationists and skilled 3D laser scanning and modelling professionals is key. Proactive planning with an As-Buit Surveying and Drafting/Modelling team you can trust ensures our century-old buildings are preserved for centuries more to enjoy.

About PPM

Precision Property Measurements is a full service As-Built Survey and Drafting/Modelling firm who utilizes 3D laser scanning and traditional measuring tools for historic preservation, home remodels, commercial properties, and national brand expansion. PPM serves all 50 U.S. states and has over 17 years of experience in capturing precise, existing building measurements.  For more information on our historic preservation As-Built services or other surveys, please reach out to us at [email protected], or visit https://ppmco.net/quote for quick and easy quotes.

Do you have an upcoming preservation project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about our As-Built Survey process?

Sources:

https://www.foxnews.com/tech/notre-dame-fire-destruction-futurehttps://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ellievhall/notre-dame-spire-collapsed

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a27210982/notre-dame-cathedral-paris-restoration-history/

https://www.dw.com/en/frances-macron-vows-to-rebuild-notre-dame-cathedral-within-5-years/a-48342036

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/travel-guide/a27118099/emmanuel-macron-notre-dame-cathedral-restored-in-five-years/

https://www.tampabay.com/tampa/laser-scanning-may-help-preserve-historic-jackson-house-digitally-at-least-before-it-collapses-20190219/

https://www.tampabay.com/tampa/laser-scanning-may-help-preserve-historic-jackson-house-digitally-at-least-before-it-collapses-20190219/

https://www.tampabay.com/hillsborough/watch-beams-were-installed-to-shore-up-the-historic-jackson-house-now-they-may-hasten-its-fall-20190424/

https://blog.hexagongeosystems.com/measure-what-you-treasure-laser-scanning-for-heritage-conservation/https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/3d-laser-scanning-heritage/heag155-3d-laser-scanning/

http://www.castlesfortsbattles.co.uk/north_east/belsay_castle.htmlhttp://www.interaksyon.com/lifestyle/2018/02/13/119744/filipino-specialists-in-3d-laser-scanning-take-a-swipe-at-preserving-unesco-world-heritage-sites/

1080 567 Andy McFarland

3 Ways to Simplify Your Merchandising Process

Competition in the retail space is fierce. Ensuring the right product in the right place, and at the right price and time is key to every retail brand’s success. Savvy merchandisers with a simplified and streamlined merchandising process have the best chance of growing sales and maintaining the competitive edge. Here’s why…

90% of information sent to the brain is visual and 95% of our decision making process is subconscious, leaving only 5% to the conscious mind. Consumers subconsciously make purchasing decisions based on the visual and organizational layout of a retail store. Merchandisers are the brains behind the revenue-driving operation. They are the analytical, strategic, design savvy professionals who carefully plan and organize the customer experience to increase store traffic and grow sales.

These key players perform a crucial role in the success of retail brands, and their jobs are not always easy – especially with quick seasonal turnarounds, high competition, and hundreds of locations from coast to coast.

HERE ARE 3 TIPS AND TRICKS TO SIMPLIFY THE REMERCHANDISING PROCESS FOR MULTI-LOCATION BRANDS

 

1. Harness Your Data

Make data-driven decisions to consistently improve sales. Plan, organize, gather, and analyze your data before you start the remerchandising process. This ongoing activity will give you the best insights for profitability in the planning phase. Determine the most important metrics and use Sales and Observational Data to drive product placement. Know which items are likely to increase sales before you place them.

2 types of important data:

  • Sales Data is data gathered from your POS system. Is there a particular wood flooring that is selling quickly? Where is it currently shelved? Would moving the flooring to an eye-level shelf or endcap help drive even more sales? Test it with a split placement. Compare your sales data to observational data to learn more. Then test the new product placement against the old product placement to get a deeper understanding.
  • Observational Data is data gathered by paying attention to shelf placement and product flow. One example of this is testing a product on a shelf versus an endcap display in half of your stores. Let’s imagine you are a floor and tile store like Floor & Decor. Take a new tile design that is expected to be popular for the season and display it in your flooring section. In 50% of your stores, display the tiles on a pop-up endcap that adds a visual “wow” factor. In the other 50% of your stores, simply place the tiles on shelves in an aisle. Combining sales data with observational data, do you see an increase in endcap tile sales that make special endcap displays worthwhile? Or, is the difference in sales marginal and not worth the extra effort? Is there a product that would be better suited for the endcap? Observational data helps you make better, more informed decisions.

Combine your data analysis into an easy-to-view report or presentation, so you and your team can reference your findings throughout the merchandising process.

 

2. Keep an Eye on the Competition

Are you maintaining a watchful eye on your competitors? You should be. You can learn a lot quickly from their product placement, fixture displays and designs, and remerchandising timelines. Documenting your competitors’ strategies over time can reveal new ways to streamline your process that you may not have already considered. It may also expose some strategies you’re better off avoiding. Make a list of your top three competitors and make a conscious effort to check in and record your observations.

Some of the key strategies you may want to note:

  • How often do they roll out new merchandise?
  • Which products do they highlight on endcaps or special displays/fixtures?
  • Which products do they place on eye-level shelves?
  • When do they run sales to clear store inventory?
  • What is their lighting style?
  • What kind of collaborations or endorsements are they running?

 

3. Maintain Up to Date As-Built Plans

Help your merchandising team stay informed of store layout remotely. Big retail brands with nationwide locations have a geographic challenge in merchandising each store to its full capacity. Teams need a clear view of the current layout of each store location to make actionable and data-driven decisions.

Does your company have a clear, up to date set of As-Built Plans of each store location?  If not, you’re likely missing valuable space you could be leveraging to highlight your best products and increase sales. Accurate Floor Plans are the minimum As-Built Survey type your team should have on hand at all times.

The most common As-Built Drawings used by retail brands include:

  • Floor Plans – Commonly used by merchandisers, brand architects, and construction professionals to plan store layout and construction
  • Elevations – Commonly used by merchandisers, brand architects, and construction professionals to plan store layout and construction. The marketing team may also leverage these plans to gather window dimensions for promotional signs and banners.
  • Reflected Ceiling Plan – These plans are, as they sound, a reflection of the ceiling. They are leveraged by marketers to understand ceiling layout when hanging promotional material from above. They may be used by merchandisers to highlight store sections and enhance the customer experience.
  • Fixture Plans – These plans provide merchandisers a better understanding of built-in and moveable racks, gondolas, and displays.

Acquiring and maintaining current As-Built store layouts for all of your locations is an incredibly valuable asset. Partnering with a trustworthy As-Built partner who can streamline your store plans nationwide can substantially save time, increase efficiency, and drive revenue.

Although merchandising across hundreds of storefronts may seem like a daunting task, streamlining your process using these tips and tricks can alleviate a lot of stress and prepare you for smart, profitable decisions and a smooth process.

Do you have an upcoming project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about Multi-Site As-Built Survey programs?

About Precision Property Measurements

PPM is the leading provider of retail As-Built survey and drafting services in the United States. We provide As-Built surveys (measurements on existing properties) including Floor Plans, Elevations, Reflected Ceiling Plans, and more to architects, designers, and contractors who are transforming retail space. We are the first step in a smooth remodel or renovation and a trusted partner among some of the biggest brands including Floor & Decor, Chipotle, and McDonald’s. Learn more about our Multi-Site As-Built services here.

Image depicting community gathering at a coffee shop
1080 567 Andy McFarland

How Unique Retail Experiences Are Successfully Fending Off The Internet

COMPETING IN AN INTERNET-DRIVEN WORLD

The Brick and Mortar Retail Challenge

It goes without saying that competing in our Internet-driven world is no easy feat for brick and mortar retailers. Amazon is now a household name and Prime members enjoy expedited shipping so swift there’s no need to ever leave the couch. It’s safe to predict that Amazon will continue finding efficiency in its process and retail experience. One-day delivery is now the default for Prime members, and the online giant is capable of one-day and same-day delivery for 72% of the total U.S. population.

Quick delivery is just one perk for online shoppers as e-retailers compete for better, faster shipping options. Consumers also enjoy easy price comparison, consumer reviews, and front door delivery of big box items that are difficult to transport from store to home. Not only are Amazon and other big box and niche retailers a click away, but they’re also serving up visually appealing advertisements that remind us of the shoes we perused for our best friend’s wedding or that sofa that would fit perfectly in our space.

So how do brick and mortars compete with online shopping and internet-driven consumer behavior? Smart brands are elevating the experience and shifting the tide. Strategic brands whose shopping experience feels less like a burden and more like an outing are developing a playbook worth following. PPM’s As-Built surveys have been the starting point for a number of retail brands looking to upgrade their customer experience and drive more in-store traffic. The first step in amplifying the customer experience is measuring your store so your architects and designers can begin reimaging the layout and experience. That’s where PPM comes into play, but first, let’s look at how some of our favorite brands have succeeded at a holistic retail experience.

Brands Who Crush The Retail Experience

TOMS, the shoe retailer famous for their Buy One, Give One model donates one pair of shoes to a person in need for every pair purchased. Since their 2006 launch, they’ve expanded to Buy One, Give One sunglasses and other retail items. But, most interestingly, they’ve reimagined three of their most popular retail locations into a space for coffee and community. “We believe in a better community,” reads their website. The coffee shop and community consumer experience aligns perfectly with their brand and brings neighbors together to enjoy TOMS Roasting Co. Coffee, live musical performances, and other community events like Ping Pong parties and clever collabs with like-minded brands. The earthy ambiance is also a great place to relax and unwind with a good read. Not only have they created a way to drive community, but they’ve also created another stream of revenue.

Ikea, the Swedish design and home furnishings company, was a pioneer in bringing experiential retail (and genius merchandising) to life. For the design-savvy or the not-so-design savvy, Ikea has done a great job at inspiring and driving purchase behavior. For anyone who hasn’t visited an Ikea, the floor layout brings customers through a maze-style showroom with bedrooms, bathrooms, living rooms, and kitchens designed with Ikea furnishings to get the interior design juices flowing.

After the showroom, the maze continues through merchandise organized by room type. Heavier items like sofas, desks, and kitchen shelves are packaged and organized warehouse-style near the checkout. Ikea’s checkout line is similar to many retailers where they stock smaller household items you may have forgotten to add to your cart. We can only imagine that those last-minute temptations are a major source of revenue for Ikea. And their retail experience and merchandising strategy don’t stop there. Their brilliant post-checkout experience leads visitors through a cafeteria and market where you can grab a quick bite of Swedish meatballs and gravy, a slice of pizza, soft serve ice cream or Swedish novelties to go. If anyone has thought thoroughly through the retail experience, it’s Ikea – a retail experience all retailers can learn from.

And then there are brands that take it to the next level. If you’ve ever stepped inside a Bass Pro Shop, you’ve experienced a truly unique consumer destination that draws more than 200 million visitors annually and may literally blow your mind. You might compare it to stepping into a wildlife museum. Each location is tailored to its region with dioramas of landscapes and wild animals – many with ponds and incredibly tall trees. The Las Vegas location has featured a mermaid swimming in a giant aquarium with live fish, while other locations boast an ocean themed bowling alley and sport fishing themed seafood restaurants. Do yourself a favor and stop by a Bass Pro Shop next time you pass one. Or, make a day out of it. It’s a retail experience you don’t want to miss.

Outside The Box

While the brick and mortar retail experience is being challenged, the opportunity for reimagination and growth is on an uprise. Consumers will travel and buy based on how the retail experience makes them feel. In the era of smartphones and endless screentime, now is the time to connect with people on the next level and remind them that shopping is an outing and not a chore.

PPM has helped brands prepare for renovations and remerchandising for over 10 years. Our nationwide network of surveyors and drafters provide measurements such as Floor Plans, Elevations, and Interiors to begin your renovation or remerchandising project right. It’s the very first, and most important step, in the renovation process. Smooth renovations, especially across multiple locations, begin with accurate, streamlined As-Built plans your architects, designers, and contractors can trust. For high-volume projects, we’re able to draft and survey 50 locations nationwide per week beginning with our signature Pilot Program. Learn more about our Multi-Site As-Built programs to begin your renovations and amplify your retail experience.

Do you have an upcoming project we can assist with?

Interested in learning more about Multi-Site As-Built Survey programs?

About Precision Property Measurements

PPM is the leading provider of retail As-Built survey and drafting services in the United States. We provide As-Built surveys (measurements on existing properties) including Floor Plans, Elevations, Reflected Ceiling Plans, and more to architects, designers, and contractors who are transforming retail space. We are the first step in a smooth remodel or renovation and a trusted partner among some of the biggest brands including Floor & Decor, Chipotle, and McDonald’s. Learn more about our Multi-Site As-Built services here.