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Blog from the site - Tuomas Työmaalta

Why forget Excel?

Author: Tuomas Hakulinen
Published: 4.6.2020


Could the schedule of a construction site be always available for everyone, anywhere? And could it be up-to-date, so that it would show also the work status in real time? That’s what Sitedrive is; it’s a schedule and resource management tool for construction site management. And that’s why it does not work like Excel.

Spreadsheets, what a wonderful excuse! Ok maybe not, but that I hear quite often when I’m training or implementing Sitedrive on a construction site. ”Why doesn’t this work like Excel? Can I color cells like in spreadsheets?”. It’s understandable, that Excel has been used for years – decades – to visualize schedules and create wallboard printouts. Why not? It’s easy to use, everyone has it, it doesn’t cost any extra, and you can make your schedule look like whatever you like it to look like. And it’s also great for its original job, calculation. But weekly construction site management? Whenever someone claims that, I can’t help but think it’s no wonder that people think the construction industry has fallen behind.

It’s completely understandable that a new thing first feels difficult compared to what you’re used to.

So, Sitedrive is not a spreadsheet calculation program and it was never meant to be one. Instead, Sitedrive aims to meet the needs and shortages that sites have had when it comes to schedule management. That’s why it also doesn’t work like Excel.

It’s completely understandable that a new thing that works differently, first feels difficult compared to what you’re used to. In schedule manangement, even our big brother to Excel – the whiteboard – has also once been something new. But let’s think about this; when in the past, people used to roll the phone to dial, then how did we possibly learn to dial using a keypad, let alone a screen? And how can we watch the TV, even in better quality and more versatile options, even though someone made the channels digital?

And then, you know the feeling when someone sends the schedule version as an email attachment? And you haven’t even had time to open version Right there is the reason why we should forget about sending files. Spreadsheets are great for sketching and planning a schedule. So are paper and pen. But then you’d need to edit and manage it during the site!

A quote from a site manager: ”I like the whiteboard. I mark the upcoming jobs there with a marker. Everyone can see it and make their own markings.” I tried to discreetly ask how they see the work status and how do the site workers see it? ” I just look out the window, I can see the site from here. And I send them a photo, if something changes.” I tried to ask what happens, when the walls come up and you can no longer see inside the site? And how do people know, from looking at the photo, what changed?

You know the feeling when someone sends the schedule version as an email attachment?

What if there were a way to manage and communicate the situation at the site both in an easier and more reliable way than the view from the window or email attachments? What if the schedule could be seen by everyone, wherever they are? And it would be up-to-date, so that it would show also the work status in real time? It’s no utopia, nor future, it is reality today. Making changes and updates can be done really easily and quickly in a browser, on any device. And when you forget about the spreadsheets and whiteboards, and make it your habit to update the changes directly in Sitedrive, they can immediately be seen by everyone, always, immediately. And this is actually not only on the site – even the big bosses at the office can see how you’re doing so that you can forget also about creating separate reports.

Could you also view the schedule by locations, or say, per subcontractor? Make the updates directly in meetings? And see, for all tasks, how long they took to complete, and if there were some problems in them? At best, could the subcontractors themselves plan the works for the following week, and they, too, could be seen by everyone, straight away?

Oh yes. With Sitedrive, they can.

PS. And if you already created the darned spreadsheet schedule, you can now import it into Sitedrive with a few clicks. Read more about it in the Schedule from Excel story.

Sitedrive Release 06/2020 – Imports Importing schedules to Sitedrive is now possible also from Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Project, in addition to the earlier Tocoman and XML formats. Read more
Free Sitedrive trial Free 14 days with materials and assistance to get you started on digital schedule management. Read more
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