As-Built Services
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6 Benefits of Utilizing an As-Built 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 preservation project we can assist with?

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

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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?

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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?

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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/

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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
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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.

The PPM Multi-Site As-Built Survey Process
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The PPM As-Built Multi-Site Survey Process

A NATIONWIDE AS-BUILT PARTNER WITH A BULLETPROOF PLAN FOR MULTI-LOCATION PROJECTS

Ensuring accuracy, speed, and service on a larger scale

Renovations across multiple locations require careful planning and a well-developed process. At PPM, we bring a team of professionals who ensure your success through a carefully designed Multi-Site As-Built Survey Process. We make sure your program’s architects, designers, and contractors can begin renovations, upgrades, and re-merchandising with As-Built plans they can trust. Worry-Free, every time.

When working on Multi-Site programs, we take a strategic approach to completing a few locations to begin what we call a Pilot Program. Our pilot program typically includes three to five locations, which gives us, and our clients, enough information and feedback to make sure we are delivering exactly what our client’s need, including the drafting specifications and standards, the scope of work, and scheduling protocols for all projects. Here’s a look into our carefully crafted Multi-Site process that ensures your project begins and ends with communication and accuracy, on time, and on budget, every time.

1. GATHER PROGRAM DETAILS

The first step in any Multi-Site As-Built survey program is to fully gather and understand your objectives, As-Built scope, number of locations, timeline, and any other important details we should know. Your dedicated project manager works closely with you and your team to stay organized and communicate your project each step of the way. He/she will also be available for any questions you may have.

Gathering Program Details

2. CREATE PROGRAM DOCUMENTS

After we fully understand your needs, we create and confirm the written scope of work, checklists, CAD template, and other project deliverable guidelines. This step ensures each program location is delivered to your exact specifications.

Creating Program Documents

3. ASSEMBLE SURVEY TEAM

Based on the program requirements, the team will include your dedicated program manager, surveyors, drafters, Quality Assurance staff, and executive support. Team members are carefully paired with your project based on their expertise in your needs.

Assemble Survey Team

4. PILOT PROGRAM

Up to 5 pilot locations are surveyed, drafted, and delivered. Communication and feedback are gathered from the client to confirm any final revisions to the scope details and deliverable preferences. Pilot locations allow us to take our time on the first few and get detailed feedback from our clients, ensuring all program details are answered and confirmed before ramping up to full capacity, at which time we’re able to survey and draft up to 50 locations per week.

Pilot Program

5. FINAL REVISIONS AND TRAINING

Based on the results of the pilot surveys, scope documents and templates are updated as needed, and the entire team is trained on program standards and processes. This ensures all locations are drafted and delivered with the same file types and plan specifications making it easier for your architects, designers, and contractors to move between locations.

Final Revisions and Training

6. SURVEY PROGRAM LIVE

This is where things really get exciting! All remaining locations are surveyed, drafted, quality checked, and delivered to you in the confirmed format, within the agreed upon time frame. We maintain regular communication to ensure you are always aware of the program status. This phase might last a few months or multiple years – it’s all based our client’s needs. We have worked on programs where we surveyed up to 50 locations each week.

Survey Program Live

7. POST-PROGRAM SUPPORT

Just because we’ve delivered your plans doesn’t mean we are done supporting you. Our team is always available to discuss any questions or additional needs throughout the lifecycle of the project. Although we are the very first step in your project, we are with you the whole way.

Post-Program Support

Our commitment to Worry-Free As-Builts for every size client is second to none. Our tried and true Multi-Site As-Built Survey Process ensures we get the job done right. Worry-Free Accuracy, Worry-Free Timeliness, and Worry-Free Communication are the three pillars of our Worry-Free Promise that we stand behind for every client. It is our mission to continue to be the As-Built provider you can trust as well as a reliable advisor in your program. We’d love to hear more about your project.

Do you have an upcoming project we can assist with?

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

https://ppmco.net/the-ppm-as-built-survey-process/
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The PPM As-Built Survey Process

A BULLETPROOF REMODEL STARTS HERE

At PPM, we live and die by process. That’s because we’ve learned that having a well-thought-out process and executing it consistently is the best way to give our customers the most accurate As-Built surveys, on time and on budget.

Every challenge, every potential problem that could arise, every structure (old and new), PPM has experienced it, and this is why we developed The PPM Process – a tried-and-true seven step system that begins when we discuss your needs and continues throughout the life cycle of your project – even after the plans are delivered. After 17 years, we believe this process is bulletproof! And this is how we do it.

This process is designed for single location projects. If you are working on a project with multiple locations, you will find the best information here.

1. PRICING AND PROPOSAL

From the point of initial contact, our team gathers and assesses the details of your project. And, with almost twenty years creating precision As-Built surveys, we know that no two jobs are the same. Instead of generating a quick quote from square footage, we take the time to research your property on real estate sites to assess the shape, structure, and conditions. This way, we are able to provide a proposal you can be sure we’ll deliver on time, on budget and to your specifications.

Pricing and Proposal

2. PROJECT SCHEDULING

Upon acceptance of the proposal, you’ll be assigned a project manager. Your project manager provides a complete project timeline including site visit, drafting, quality assurance, and estimated delivery date.

Scheduling

3. SITE VISIT

Field surveying is coordinated directly with you or your client and varies in time based on the size and complexity of the project: one hour to several weeks. Most projects take 2-5 hours to measure by our professionally trained surveyors using precise 3D laser scanning technology, and larger scale projects such as hotels, shopping malls and other sizeable commercial properties need to be properly assessed and given a longer timeline.

4. DRAFTING

After the surveyor has accurately captured all of the necessary measurements in the field, the drafting begins. Your drafter will review the scope of work and draft your As-Built plans in your preferred format of AutoCAD or Revit. Then, additional details are added to the plans, including dimensions, labels, and any custom client standards.

Drafting5. QUALITY CHECK

We know the importance of this step. Using 3D point cloud data, photographs and As-Built surveying best practices, our Quality Assurance team executes a 10-step checklist, looking for any omissions or indiscrepancies. A careful eye ensures each plan leaves this stage with complete accuracy.

Quality Check

6. PROJECT DELIVERY

When the quality check is complete, your project manager will deliver your files in your preferred format of AutoCAD or Revit, as well as other project deliverables such as a PDF sheet set and digital photographs.

Project Delivery

This home is an example of a 3D Revit model drafted from a laser scanned point cloud.

7. POST-PROJECT SUPPORT

Just because we’ve delivered your plans doesn’t mean we are done supporting you. Our team is always available to discuss any questions or additional needs you may have throughout your project lifecycle. Although we are the very first step in your project, we are with you the whole way.

The entire PPM Process for As-Built surveys takes most single location projects between 15 and 22 days. But, if you have a tight turnaround time, let our team know. We’ll do our best to accommodate, and always feel free to reach out with questions at any time. We’re great advisers and enjoy helping you in your remodel journey.

Do you have an upcoming project we can assist with?

Seeking As-Built advice?

If you are managing a survey program with multiple locations, learn more here.

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PPM’s As-Built Surveying Case Study #1: Seelbach Hotel, Louisville, KY

Welcome to the Seelbach!

The story of the Seelbach Hotel dates back to 1903. It began when the Seelbach brothers, who were recent immigrants from Bavaria, decided to open a luxury hotel in downtown Louisville that would capture all of the old-world elegance of the European hotels they had fallen in love with in their childhood. They decided on a Beaux-Arts Baroque style and imported materials from all over the world, including marble from Italy, bronze from France, table linens from Ireland, and exotic wood from the West Indies.

The hotel took a couple of years to construct but was an instant success, and as of today, remains one of Louisville’s greatest landmarks. Among the Seelbach’s famous guests were Al Capone, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Elvis Presley, Robin Williams, and John F. Kennedy, along with at least 8 other U.S. presidents. Parts of the Paul Newman film The Hustler and the 2013 version of The Great Gatsby were filmed at the Seelbach, and the iconic wedding scene of Fitzgerald’s classic American novel that inspired the movie was set at a hotel conspicuously called the Mulbach.

Seelbach Hotel

Northeast entrance to the Seelbach Hotel. 4th Street and W. Muhammad Ali Blvd.

PPM’s Chapter in the Story of the Seelbach

Fast forward about 115 years, to late June of 2018 when Precision Property Measurements was contacted by John T. Campo & Associates, Inc., a full-service architecture and interior design firm based out of New Orleans, about helping them with a major renovation of the Seelbach. Campo Architects had recently been awarded the contract as lead consultant for the Seelbach renovation’s Concepting Phase and was looking to secure a reliable partner for an As-Built Survey of the hotel. They had previously worked with PPM through a Construction Manager on the Fairfield Inn & Suites Renovation in New Orleans, and found our services to be top-notch.

On smaller projects, Campo had sometimes done their own As-Builts or used a small local firm in New Orleans. But this project was different. The Seelbach hotel has 11 floors across 5 interconnected buildings, 321 guestrooms, 32,000 square feet of meeting space, and 2 subterranean levels. Campo wanted a pretty detailed scope of work including Floor Plans, Reflected Ceiling Plans, Electrical, and Exterior Elevations. For a project of this size, Campo needed an As-Built partner with a proven track record of success on large, highly-detailed projects.

In addition to PPM, Campo also contacted 2 other As-Built surveying companies for a proposal. The whole process took almost a month, and then in late July we got the call – PPM had landed the job! It was our expertise with hotel surveys, our detailed project timeline, and impressive reputation that encouraged Campo to hire us, and needless to say, we were beyond honored to help with the renovations of such an iconic Louisville building.

How we Completed the Seelbach As-Built Survey

For the Seelbach Hotel, we brought the same integrity and meticulousness that we bring to all of our projects – just to a larger scale. First, we made a detailed project plan and started communicating with the Hotel management immediately, to make sure everyone was on the same page. Campo wanted all of the As-Built drawings delivered by August 31st, so we laid out our project schedule to meet this deadline.

Our survey team took to the beautiful Seelbach Hotel in early August and began their work, using laser distance meters for all of our measurements to make sure we got the most precise results possible. We had 2 primary surveyors onsite for 4 weeks who oversaw the entire project and made sure our field crew was working up to the high standards we require. We also added 2 additional surveyors for a week near the end of the project, in order to make sure we were able to meet our promised delivery deadline.

90% of the AutoCAD drafting we did for the project was completed onsite using laptop computers, which allowed for instant verification of all measurements before moving on to the next area of the hotel. This attention to detail and patience with all of our drawings is so important to our customer’s peace of mind. By drawing on-site, we can double and triple check our plans with the room’s actual measurements. This means that the architect gets the most accurate drawing possible, and we don’t have to come back to the site to remeasure.

Finally, we captured over 7,000 photos of the Seelbach’s extensive layout, which was quite a lot of material but helped us deliver the high-quality product that Campo Architects was expecting. Before we sent the final As-Built drawings and photos on to our client, PPM’s quality assurance team reviewed all of the 7,000+ pictures and compared them to the drawings to make sure nothing was omitted or drawn incorrectly, and that all the CAD standards and scope details were included and represented accurately.

The Seelbach Lobby

The Seelbach Lobby

The Biggest Challenges We Faced

We’re no strangers to running into speed bumps during our As-Built surveying projects, and our work at the Seelbach was no different. One of the aspects of our business that we take the most pride in is our ability to troubleshoot the various challenges that arise during any given project, and all of our surveyors, project managers and drafters have been extensively trained in how to overcome these obstacles.

One of the major issues we experienced while surveying the Seelbach came from the highly unique layout of the hotel guestrooms.  Out of the 321 total guestrooms, there were over 100 different floor plans, which is the most, by far, that we’ve ever encountered. Most hotels only have a few different room types, and the floor plates stack from level to level. 100 different guestroom layouts meant that each room had to be thoroughly inspected and accurately measured to capture its unique layout. When you add in the highly ornate architectural details inherent to a historic building like the Seelbach, it all added up to a lot of custom work on the As-Builts.  To mitigate any potential delays, our team pulled 20 hour shifts and worked through the weekends to finish up as soon as possible.

Another challenge, common to any hotel or place of business, was the constant flow of guests and employees.  We take great pride in the abilities of our onsite team members to work with and around people who are living and working in the properties we measure. As you can imagine, the Seelbach is consistently busy, filled with hundreds or even thousands of guests and staff every single day. This required quite a lot of coordination between hotel management and our surveyors to make sure that we were completing our work in a way that was least intrusive to their guests and operations as possible. Developing a great working relationship with the Seelbach staff was the first step in accomplishing this, and our team really went out of their way to make sure that all of the hotel’s employees felt comfortable approaching them.  Not surprisingly for such a legendary hotel, the entire staff was incredibly friendly and helpful throughout the project.  Some of them even gave us a hug when we left for the last time.

Though we faced a few challenges in this project, I think that we handled them with a lot of professionalism, and above all, made sure that we were communicating any changes in plans with our client while finding the best way to work around these issues.

Exterior Seelbach Hotel

Exterior Elevation of the Seelbach Hotel along 4th St.

Getting Results for Our Clients

After over 650 hours of on-site surveying, drafting, quality assurance, and project management, we delivered the Seelbach As-Built survey project to Campo Architects.  Campo was extremely pleased with the professionalism, detail, and quality that PPM delivered.

Kerry Soniat, who is Campo’s Project Architect for the Seelbach, said, “Using PPM allowed Campo to manage our time efficiently and focus on more important design priorities for our client. We were impressed with the professionalism, timeliness and team efforts received from PPM. We look forward to working with PPM again in the future.”  It was extremely gratifying to receive this positive feedback after all of the hard work and dedication we put into the project.

Now, Campo is in the process of moving on to the next phase of the Seelbach project, which involves a detailed renovation plan for the guestrooms and common areas based off of PPM’s As-Built plans. These design and construction drawings will be much easier for Campo to generate with confidence because of our accurate and detailed As-Builts, and will be instrumental in helping write the Seelbach’s next historic chapter.

Epilogue: The Seelbach’s Chapter in PPM History

The life of an As-Built surveyor is a constant adventure!  OK maybe not always… but the interesting things we see and experience at a cool old building like the Seelbach is definitely one of the perks of the job.  Our time at the Seelbach Hotel left some indelible memories we will not soon forget.  Here’s a few of the most memorable highlights:

  • The Seelbach bar: The bourbon selection was pretty amazing and their signature “Lady in Blue” IPA, named after the ghost that haunts the 8th floor, was VERY tasty.
  • Larry, the concierge and hotel historian, was awesome.  He has tons of great stories about the hotel after 30 years working there. He has even written two books about the Seelbach – and we left with a signed copy of one of them.
  • One of our surveyors set off the fire alarm after one of the kitchen staff convinced him that the door was no longer armed.  That was fun.
  • The metal in the building interfered with the compass on our drone (which we use to take exterior photos), causing it to lose control and crash into the adjacent building.  Nothing better than having a crowd full of people watch you fly your drone as you discuss how “smart” it is with its sensors that won’t allow it to crash… #embarrassing

The Seelbach Hotel was one of the most extensive and unique projects we’ve completed, and it was such an honor to be part of a nation-wide team who were helping to restore one of the most historic hotels in the country.

And thanks, as always, for reading!

Seelbach Bar

The Seelbach Bar. A perfect place to relax after a long day of surveying.

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PPM’s As-Built Surveying Case Study: Nationwide Quick Service Restaurant Chain

Quickly tackling a complex 550-restaurant project

When a large quick service restaurant chain wanted to remodel 550 stores in a year, they chose PPM as their As-Built partner.  By quickly understanding their needs, figuring out their preferred communication rhythm, and deploying our nationwide network of surveyors, we were able to deliver all their plans on time and on budget.

We first heard from our new client in June of 2017. They were on the hunt for a reputable As-Built partner to capture all of the physical store information needed for some upcoming strategic initiatives.  We worked with several members of their internal architecture and construction teams over the next month to determine, prioritize and document their requirements for this project.

The company needed accurate As-Built plans of all of their restaurants for 2 primary initiatives:

(1) They were looking to remodel their kitchens in order to expand capacity for preparing carryout and catering orders. As part of this initiative, an update to the area used for their digital ordering system was also required.

(2) The client wanted a comprehensive update of their physical store information for facilities management and other future store planning projects.

Upon learning how they intended to use the information collected on the site surveys, we worked with the client to develop a detailed scope of work. The architectural As-Builts included a detailed Floor Plan with Kitchen Layout, Reflected Ceiling Plan, Roof Plan, and Electrical Plan. They wanted us to provide an electrical line diagram as well (which included tracing and mapping of their panel schedule to show the connections between each individual outlet to the corresponding circuit on the panel). For photography, we agreed to provide both still photos as well as a 360-degree “Virtual Walkthrough” of each location using the Matterport platform.

About 6 weeks into these discussions, our client was gaining confidence in PPM’s capabilities and decided to test us with an initial batch of 33 locations in California, Colorado, and Texas. They wanted the surveys completed in 10 weeks, between August and October of 2017, so we developed a schedule to meet this deadline while also allowing for several rounds of feedback on the Deliverables to make sure the final product was exactly what our client needed.

The company was very impressed with our ability to deliver on schedule, as well as our service, communication, and extremely precise As-Built drawings. After further internal planning through the end of the year, they awarded us 334 locations in January of 2018, and we were off to work.

 

PPM Continental Clients Map

PPM ended up surveying 542 locations for the client, all over the U.S.

Our Process for a High Volume, Nationwide As-Built Program

Our first order of business was to create a program schedule. We were provided the list of 334 locations all over the country and a deadline of June 15th to deliver all of the surveys. With a few weeks of time to ramp up, this meant we would need to average about 20 completed surveys per week. To complicate the logistics a bit more, the client had different deadlines within these 4 months for each of the 6 geographic regions in which the stores were located.  The client allowed us to determine the specific order and schedule to meet the deadlines, which was extremely helpful as it enabled us to group the surveys together by location and proximity, allowing for more efficient travel and the flexibility to work with each surveyor on a schedule that best fit their availability.

Second, we had to get the resources in place to handle that kind of volume for a sustained period of time. This required field surveyors, drafters, QA staff, and dedicated project management.  Over the course of the program, there would be as many as 50 different people that worked on the surveys in one capacity or another. In additional to human resources, we also had to make sure that we had the specialized equipment needed to perform the survey at every location, including surveying tools, Matterport cameras, and electrical testing gear.

Finally, we had to develop a scalable and repeatable process that would consistently deliver a high-quality As-Built product that met the client’s exact specifications for every location. We had already worked out most of the process in the pilot round of 33 locations, but now with a higher overall volume and weekly output, we had to tighten things up even more.

For faster and more detailed data collection, we used a 3D laser scanner on approximately half of the locations, and the resulting “point cloud” data that we captured was converted into highly accurate As-Built plans by our CAD teams.  For the other half of the restaurants, our professional survey crews used laser distance meters and laptop computers onsite to capture, record, and draw the As-Builts.

Prior to delivery to the client, every plan was extensively reviewed by our QA team here in Long Beach. They compared each plan to the digital photography to make sure nothing was missing or drawn inaccurately. The final step was to place the drawings into the client’s CAD template and make sure we met all of their specific standards and preferences.

All of this planning and teamwork paid off – we were able to deliver all 334 surveys before the requested deadlines.  Our client rewarded our strong performance by giving us another batch of 175 locations in early July. This batch came with a September 28th deadline, which meant that we would once again need to maintain a delivery pace of about 17 locations per week. We streamlined a few more parts of the process including field scheduling and QA, and we once again delivered all of the surveys on-time and to the client’s exact standards.

 

Jan-Sep As Built Survey Graph

PPM reached a peak of over 100 surveys a month for this program

Challenges are an Opportunity to Provide Great Service

Even a single As-Built survey can run into unexpected challenges. When you’re surveying 500+ locations, you better be prepared for a few surprises, changes, and other potential obstacles. This case was no exception.

The first challenge was the aggressive program timeline.  We didn’t know how many locations we would receive and what the deadline would be until the day it arrived in my email. The timeline was so important to our client that we wanted to be 100% certain we would be able to meet every deadline.  This commitment to timeliness was so critical that it actually caused us to make the difficult decision to turn down an additional 30 locations in the final batch. When we crunched the numbers we realized that we just couldn’t make it work within the deadline, so we stuck with 175.  Our client was very pleased that we were honest about our capabilities and didn’t over-promise.

This program required that we meet a consistently high pace, often approaching 20-25 deliveries per week, with a highly detailed, labor-intensive scope of work. Because we didn’t want the process to come down to the wire, we front-loaded the schedule with field surveys, which allowed more time for our quality assurance team to inspect everything and make any necessary revisions before it was too late.

The additional resources that the program required, both employees and vendors, was also a major challenge. With this number of people, we created custom project management tools to make sure the status of every location was tracked, that work segments were clearly assigned, and that the client was always updated with the survey status of each location.

Another challenge was working in the restaurant environment. Our client’s stores got really busy around 11:30 AM and stayed busy for most of the day. Because of this, we had to complete the surveys before business hours, meaning we would typically start around 3 or 4 AM so that we wouldn’t interfere with their customer service and could finish up with most of the interior work before the doors opened.

As a result we were able to deliver all locations on time with a minimum amount of business disruption.

PPM Team

The PPM team reviews an As-Built survey prior to delivery to the client.

Results for Our Client are Our #1 Priority

PPM is incredibly proud to have been a part of this strategic initiative for our client.  By delivering all As-Built surveys on-time and with the exact information required, we were able to help them keep their kitchen remodel program right on track.

The Director of Architecture of the company agreed, saying: “Thank you for your continued commitment to excellence in delivering accurate and complete data. I appreciate your honesty and your desire to not compromise your company’s integrity. We are thankful for you and your team’s continued diligence as we complete this very important project.”

 

Planning a Remodel or Expansion?  PPM Can Help You Too

With a national footprint and an expertise in planning and customer service, PPM is ready to tackle the thorniest of multi-site jobs.