May 7, 2015 — How efficient are your crews at documenting and closing out work done on a tower site? Are mistakes being made in photographing the work, which require do-over climbs? If so, Dale McConnell, business development director for BlueSky101, might be your guy.
McConnell is not a tower guy. But it only took one consulting job with a tower services company for him to realize that closeouts could be done more efficiently.
“Whenever they had to prove the tower work was done, it was pandemonium,” McConnell said. “Photos were not labeled and had to be renamed. Many were lost and had to be reshot. Photos of a job sometimes did not have the time and date stamp, and they had to be reshot.”
The byproduct of these problems is greater risk as workers fumble with paperwork while at the top of the tower or are forced to make dangerous, time-consuming re-climbs. The result is wasted time and greater expense. Not to mention that if a tower services company cannot prove the work was completed to the carrier’s satisfaction, it probably won’t get paid.
The answer to this problem, a product called CloseOut Pro assists workers in the field in verifying that a cell tower job has been has been completed properly. Here’s how it works. The software-driven system, which works on a Windows-based phone, is provided by BlueSky101 to the tower services company.
Each carrier provides its own requirements in the form of an Excel spreadsheet of what must be done on a jobsite, which is uploaded to the tower services company’s cloud area. Every company has its own private cloud site.
The spreadsheet is imported into BlueSky101 system, where it is changed into a check list of items and sub-items of what should be photographed and it is pushed out to the mobile devices. After the checklist enters the handset, the user can create jobs, upload photos and create closeout documents. The software tags each picture with the area of the tower, when it was taken and the geolocation.
The workers are more likely to get the closeout photos completed correctly because the software on the phone walks them through the checklist step-by-step, plus the photos can be reviewed by management in the back office in real time.
“It is a good communication tool between the tower climber in the field and personnel in the office,” McConnell said. “The photos can be reviewed by management while the worker still on the tower, so reshooting is quick and safe.”