As much as we like to push for the digitization of the construction jobsite on Construction Junkie, there’s no doubt that there are many within the construction workforce that are still apprehensive to go fully electronic. There’s something to be said for feeling and manipulating something with your hands, as opposed to pointing and clicking. SlatPlanner is a new way that construction companies can electronically build a project schedule, while maintaining a hands-on approach.
SlatPlanner is a brand new software that I came across at Procore Groundbreak a few months ago. Instead of making their entire program computer-based, they use physical plastic tiles, roughly the size of a Post-It note, that are also equipped with QR codes. The field staff, which may be used to a more hands-on approach with scheduling, can arrange the tiles as they see fit, then simply scan the tiles to atomically convert the schedule to a digital twin. That keeps the office staff up-to-speed with schedule changes without forcing someone to use a computer.
There are some physical items you’ll need to purchase to use the system, including:
SlatNotes, which are the plastic sticky note sized tiles, made of dry-erase material
Sticker sheets, to print off the individual tasks to be completed
Printer, for the sticker sheets
The overall process is fairly simple:
Set up individual tasks on the software
Print those tasks onto the sticker sheets
Place each sticker on a SlatNote tile
Arrange the SlatNotes according to the schedule determined in the job meeting
Scan each column, which corresponds to a particular day with your phone, through the web app to build digital schedule
Instant communication between those on site and those who are note is something that is severely lacking across the industry and schedules are of the utmost importance. As many tech companies are working towards making many of their tasks automatic so apprehensive users have little or no reason to push back, I think there’s still good reason to maintain some things physically, especially with a schedule.
This obviously does add additional steps to schedule building, in both labor and materials, but I find it an interesting middle ground in technology adoption. The overall cost is very affordable, as well. For each project billed monthly, SlatPlanner costs $100. If billed yearly, the cost drops to $83 per month.
Check out our video below and let us know what you think in the comments!