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How Construction Management Helped Walsh Construction Build a Better Streetcar

Walsh Construction, part of The Walsh Group, is one of the largest general contracting, construction management, and design-build firms in North America, working with union labor and union subcontractors in the building, civil, and transportation sectors. The long-time Autodesk customer has continually sought ways to improve its customers’ deliverables and chose PlanGrid within Autodesk Construction Cloud™ to enhance its construction quality management process. As a result, Walsh Construction increased quality, resulting in time savings and a higher win rate.

A Modern Streetcar Calls for Modern Field Collaboration

Historically, a lack of detailed data and complete model accuracy led to inefficiencies on the jobsite. This traditional way of working often meant navigating multiple sources of truth, slower communication between teams, and potential project delays. To leverage new ways of delivering higher quality projects, Walsh reevaluated its quality standards and resolved to create a document management system to provide better projects for their clients.

Walsh Construction (Walsh) chose the Orange County (OC) Streetcar project in California, a 4.1-mile line between downtown Santa Ana and Garden Grove that connects with several of the county’s busiest bus routes, to launch a new construction data management and field collaboration initiative. On a large-scale project involving multiple disciplines, the team needed a solution to create better communication and coordination between project stakeholders.

“We needed to ensure proper document management. On an infrastructure project like this, we needed to effectively layout the drawings and get them into the hands of the field in real-time. Without this, we’d run the risk of working off an outdated model, which could result in schedule delays and costly rework.”

– Dan Smolilo, Director of Process and Innovation

Construction Quality Management Breaks the Mold on “Business and Usual”

To meet their quality goal and break through the stigma of “business as usual,” Walsh chose PlanGrid to enhance its field management processes. The Autodesk team partnered closely with Walsh to develop a training program that would increase adoption in the field.

The team also adopted organized document management to allow the team to find and use the most up-to-date drawings and information, so teams always build off the right model. When rework occurs, the punch list and issue systems allow Walsh to track and follow up on these mistakes, resolving them promptly. PlanGrid makes it easier for workers to access critical information at the click of a button rather than searching for data manually.

“The team helped us to define dashboards and onboard field workers. We’re tracking and trending any issue that comes up on our project to understand where we are, what we need to do to improve, as well as where we need to adjust our training.”

– Dan Smolilo, Director of Process and Innovation

Document Management Leads to Better Project Results and an Increased Win Rate

Many of the construction quality management improvements Walsh has experienced across the organization are intangible, but one of the most noticeable enhancements is time savings. Regular maintenance and updating drawings can be time-consuming, but with these new processes that involve PlanGrid, Walsh saves between two and three hours per week. The method of closing out drawings that previously took between three and six months now takes only a matter of weeks, thanks to editing models in real-time.

Providing a higher quality process from start to finish improves client relationships and improves how Walsh bids for projects. Clients can now see Walsh’s strategic and innovative side as a construction company, breaking down barriers and improving individual project experiences and the industry.

“At the end of the day, it’s about effective transformation and truly understanding how we work and how we can work more effectively. We want to showcase the incredible things that we do and build, and the incredible people that we work with. It helps us achieve our mission statement, being “the builder of choice and the employer of choice” with a high focus on ethics and quality.”

– Dan Smolilo, Director of Process and Innovation
Customer Snapshot


> 5000


General Contractor


$3 Billion



HQ :

Chicago, IL, US




Winning Business

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