Many people fail before they start when it comes to Field to Finish. Partly because they tend to over complicate things and see Field to Finish for what it really is. Field to Finish in simple terms is a process of properly collecting and coding data in the field to match the software settings in the office to provide an output that is near completion with little manual intervention. Still sounds complicated?
When I am asked to evaluate what a client is currently doing and bring them into the current generation of Field to Finish capabilities I am almost always surprised. Not by the fact that they are not doing it already, but by the fact that they are already closer than they realize!
What if we look at it this way….When you are in the field collecting information how do you let the folks in the office know what that particular piece of information is? That’s right, you give it a code. See you are already coding and one step closer to automation.
Let’s keep lines and special codes out of this for the moment and just focus on the code. So we agree that if we are standing on a manhole we would identify that as “MH” for example. Now what we have to do is make the office software do what we want it to do when it sees that MH code. Every program (Civil 3D, Carlson, Terramodel, MicroSurvey, Crash Zone, Map Scenes, etc…) has the ability to define code libraries that will react certain ways when certain codes are used. So first things first, make them match. Make what you type in the field match what is in your code library.
Get the field crews using the codes properly and consistently. That is probably the biggest key, consistency! Once you have the crews using the codes, THEN start working on lines. The key here is simplicity. Baby step. Don’t run yet, simply walk. Slowly start integrating advanced codes, line codes, more options as the crews are getting comfortable with the basic codes.
Remember, Field to Finish is a process, it is going to take time to get right, but you can get there. When you are ready to move from connecting the dots to automation we can help answer questions and keep you in the right direction. We are happy to consult, advise, or simply troubleshoot. We are also here to remind you that you are already closer than you think, you may just need a little more guidance to make it all come together.