DAVIS Construction’s Quality from Start to Finish
DAVIS offers attention to detail
In 1966, James G. Davis Sr. made trust, excellence in service, integrity and building relationships his core values when he founded James G. Davis Construction Corporation (DAVIS) in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Rockville, Md. Over the next four decades, staying true to those values enabled the company to become the 45th largest general contractor in the United States and the third largest in the Washington, D.C., metro area. DAVIS has earned its trusted reputation to provide consistent excellence in building, remodeling, and interiors without risk to workers or owners, and through its commitment to making safety a number one priority. Today, DAVIS performs more than $815 million of construction work annually.
With their reputation and experience DAVIS was successfully awarded the cityVista project in 2005. cityVista consists of a three-building multi-use complex that encompasses an entire city block at K and 5th Street in Washington, D.C. Four-hundred forty condos and 240 apartments in 12 stories surround one acre of private green space for residents, and amenities include an Urban Lifestyle Safeway grocery, a Results gym, and the Busboys and Poets coffeehouse and bookstore. cityVista represents ideal city living—exciting living spaces with convenient transportation, employment, shopping, dining and entertainment.
Company wide excellence through better inspections
DAVIS sought a software system to coordinate its safety and quality inspections processes, from scheduling inspections to generating deficiency reports. Mobile and web-based software on book-sized, portable tablet computers also allowed superintendents and inspectors to better collaborate with subcontractors and owners on resolving quality and safety issues.
DAVIS’ inspections were experiencing issues associated with maintaining the high levels of consistency and accuracy that DAVIS requires for each project., “A list of standard issues means that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you go out,” said Heather Baker, IT Business Analyst for Davis. “We wanted our new checklist system to combine all of our inspectors’ knowledge to reduce oversight.” Standardized, easy to use checklists streamlined the inspection process on the cityVista project and could be reused on future projects as well.
A collaborative, web-based software system allowed DAVIS to better coordinate and synchronize their inspection efforts. After previously managing the inspection process with a paper based system in an earlier phase of the cityVista project, DAVIS wanted a better way to communicate with subcontractors and the ability to document those communications. Generating and emailing reports and recording schedules, communications and deadlines ensured that project participants were following instructions and keeping up with specifications.
Latista Field fulfills DAVIS’ needs
After having recently begun using Latista Field software on other projects, DAVIS already knew the program’s uses and benefits and wanted to apply those to cityVista. Using Latista gave DAVIS superintendents constant access to project documents, communications, and records to ensure that quality standards were being met.
Using Motion Computing portableLS800 and F5 tablet computers, DAVIS superintendents could access plans on the jobsite, document deficiencies using a checklist, illustrate issues with photos and enter everything into a single database. Because everything was organized into one central point, DAVIS had one person, Assistant Superintendent Jeff Finley, collecting and distributing all of their reports to subcontractors. Subcontractors on the cityVista project always knew whom to contact with questions or problems.
“Latista took away subs coming to us and saying they didn’t know about a deficiency,” said Finley. “Now I can just show them everyone I sent the email to and what the email said. We also have reports of when the subcontractor finished the job and when we inspected it.”
Senior Superintendent on the cityVista project Josh Roe appreciated how much time was saved. “For every unit, we schedule three walkthroughs and three verifications, and we want to do at least five units a day. When we’re in the heart of a project, that’s 50 walkthroughs a day!” he said. “Latista let us do that with only four people.”
DAVIS improves quality for this project and future ones with Latista
After completing phases two and three of the cityVista project, DAVIS recognized the software as a valuable part of their quality assurance initiative. The company licensed the software companywide and plans to encourage its use on all future projects. “The company is adopting Latista to provide the quality construction we’re looking for,” said Heather Baker, “and everyone in the field likes using the technology because it’s innovative and it makes things so much easier.”
The same inspection processes used on the cityVista project for quality inspections will also help DAVIS achieve its primary goal of job-site safety. “Latista helps us share knowledge so that people know where to focus their attention,” said Chris Scanlon, Vice President of Operations Support and Information Technology for DAVIS. By referencing a checklist rather than filling out a blank inspection sheet, safety inspectors can collectively share their knowledge. “Safety is the priority above all else at DAVIS,” said Scanlon. “Using Latista in our inspection processes will help us identify, communicate and remedy issues faster at the jobsite. It also allows us to analyze the data collected over time to identify trends in data. Ultimately, the goal is to anticipate and eliminate safety issues before they occur. ”
For DAVIS, in addition to the quality and safety inspection improvements, the benefit of Latista is the comprehensive reliability and security it imparts on the company’s inspection processes.
“Latista offered DAVIS an enterprise-wide solution that is web-based and mobile, the best of both worlds for a construction environment,” added Scanlon. “We are excited with Latista’s direction and the investment it is making in its infrastructure and technology. We’re looking forward to offering the benefits of using Latista on all our projects from now on.”