I just reviewed a Website called buzzsaw.com which provides construction services to the industry. One of the main features that caught my eye is the Web -based services of keeping and managing projects, free. To keep customers coming back to the site, Buzzsaw.com provides "Project Workspaces" in which those associated with a given project; client, construction manager, architect, contractor, and supplier, can exchange designs, submit changes, examine version histories, look at part and project specifications, and more. The services are free for small projects and relatively inexpensive for larger ones, but the benefits to customers can be enormous.
A directional driller will find it helpful in co-locating plans and prints. In the section "project folders" contractors can upload prints, view and "red line" plans on the Web site. Another feature is what the buzzsaw calls "collaboration" - on-line conferencing. I'm not sure how it all works but Buzzsaw suggests the HDD driller can host a meeting with the owner/client of the pipeline or cable carrier engineer, include project managers and inspectors in pre-construction issues, drilling problems during construction and a report of (as-build) the completed project via the Internet Web site.
Costs are associated with some of the advanced storage and planning tools. Obviously, you will need a computer and in some cases Internet Protocol modem capabilities for teleconferencing. But think of the cost saving especially if the engineering firm is in Lexington, KY, the client is in Tulsa, OK and the driller is in Mobile, AL.
Until next time, Rich.