Digital Is the New Blue(print)


Decades ago, paper blueprints were common practice in the construction industry. But just as we (mostly) upgraded our horsepower from equine to turbo diesel, contractors are moving from paper to digital plans. The ease, efficiency, time, and money savings are just a few of the reasons why you should get on board too. 

We’ll guide you through the downfalls of using paper prints, why switching to digital is best for business, and how cloud-based platforms give your company the edge against your competition. 

Paper Does NOT Make Your Company Paper $$

Printing plans is costly, bulky, and time-consuming. Here are some reasons why paper plans just don’t stack up: 

They’re expensive – Printing is costly, but you know what really makes a dent in your bank account? When original plans are hundreds of pages, and the project comes with substantial changes and reprints. It’s not unusual to have $1000 per month in printing fees. 

Everything will be in slow-motion – In a culture of instant gratification, who wants to wait on a printer to print your plans? You’re setting your business up as laggards, with competition getting bids in faster via digital plans. Also, waiting for delivery or driving to the local printer for pickup is a waste of time and money. 

They’re inconvenient – Lugging around huge blueprint pages to the jobsite is frustrating, to say the least. Construction is a dirty industry, plain and simple, and you have the potential for prints to get damaged bringing them on site. 

They’re not accurately scalable – It’s unfortunately common that architects do not scale properly. The risk of doing an entire takeoff based on the wrong scale is real. Or, in Lakefront Roofing Supply’s case, they would waste time and money at the copy machine scaling prints properly. 

They’re just unsafe – Lose your paper prints? Cue the domino effect – profit loss, scheduling delays, rework, frustrated GCs or owners, etc. 

They take up space – Unless you’re Marie Kondo, if you’re still using paper plans your office is a cluttered, disorganized mess. How long do you plan on being in business? Multiply your annual jobs by the average number of pages of plans and find your yearly paper trail. Where are you going to find space to review and store all this data? 

They’re not collaborative – Only one person can work off a set of paper prints at a time. Paper plans can’t be in the office and at the jobsite simultaneously, causing scheduling delays. 

They’ll never be auto-updated – How many times have you printed a set of plans that require changes soon after? That’s more printing costs on your hands and dollars out of your pocket. 

Switching to Digital Is the Real Permanent Ink

There is nothing more permanent than digital. Here’s why your business needs to switch: 

  1.  Save time searching for data. Driving to the job trailer to access plans is an archaic practice. So is leafing through hundreds of paper plans that take hours of your precious time. 

2.  Fill your pockets. If you spend $1000 per month on plans, that’s $12,000 per year! That is equal to a down payment on a new company vehicle, 60 new sheetrock guns, or ten MacBook Pros. 

3.  Send more bids. With the time saved from switching to digital, you’ll be able to submit more bids and take advantage of more opportunities for revenue growth. 

4.  Save the trees! Printing plans definitely has an environmental impact . Not only will you save paper, but your carbon footprint from driving to the job trailer to access plans is no more.  

5.  Easily manage change orders – Changes and reprints are almost inevitable for major projects. With digital prints, you don’t have to worry about delays from plan changes. They can be instantaneously accessed! 

Make Plans for the Cloud

Using a cloud-based platform like STACK centralizes your data, providing plan room management, team collaboration, and more. The cloud has incredible system reliability, securing your company’s data better than any file cabinet on this earth. STACK’s features give your business: 

  –  A single source of truth for your data. 

  –  Better collaboration and work processes. 

  –  Unlimited plan uploads.

  –  Ability to search plans fast, anywhere, anytime.

  – Access to plans at the same time, so multiple people can work on them. 

  –  Assurance of a set scale, where users can manually check the scale to ensure accuracy. It allows you to calibrate and ensure the architect stamped plans properly. 

  –  Accurate quantity and material takeoffs, increasing speed and accuracy by performing your takeoffs digitally. 

  –  Project reporting and analytics, organizing project data, and access to summary and detail (and custom) reporting.

From Paper to STACK: A Case Study with Wine Country Roofing

STACK customer Wine Country Roofing used to spend thousands of dollars on printing fees for plans. Their CEO, Angel Vera, said “In two or three projects, STACK paid for itself for the year.” Max Vera, Wine Country’s COO, said his favorite part about STACK is doing digital takeoffs, avoiding complicated math with area pitch and square footage.  

Since using STACK, Wine Country Roofing has landed contracts they could never win before. Angel said, “It has revolutionized my company and put us in the fast pace of commercial bidding because we are meeting our deadlines.” 

To effectively deliver impactful business solutions, you need to adopt tools that are more efficient and collaborative than paper, error-prone plans. Try STACK yourself by creating a free account! 

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