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As-Built survey partner
1080 565 Abby Feauto

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 Abby Feauto

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?

1080 565 Abby Feauto

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 Abby Feauto

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?