By mid 2002, industry veteran Ray Steeb (Founder and CEO of FASTTAC™) had become increasingly frustrated with the way construction drawings and documents were handled on site. He found it increasingly time consuming and inefficient to keep multiple sets of drawings needed for a building current and up to date. It was even more challenging to update the drawings remotely when a change was made to some or all of those drawings, and nearly impossible to ensure that every document set was current, up to date, and reflected all the latest notes and changes.
Later that year, Mr. Steeb and Jared L. Cohon, President of Carnegie Mellon University, were discussing ways to improve productivity through the use of technology in the construction industry. Mr. Cohon suggested that Mr. Steeb capture his 20-plus years of construction experience and work with the university to share it with others. Mr. Steeb relished the opportunity to further develop his ideas for a solution to managing construction drawings.
With the help of James H. Garrett, Jr., professor and head of civil and environmental engineering at CMU, Mr. Steeb enlisted the assistance of engineering students to shadow and interview hundreds of construction superintendents to determine what their needs were. The result was the creation of virtual set of current construction documents that eliminated the need to be running back and forth to the field trailer.
The idea to digitally share, distribute and control construction drawings and documents underwent extensive software design and proof-of-concept testing in the computer engineering departments at CMU. By the spring of 2004, a software prototype was completed which allowed for users to easily navigate from one set of drawings to another, create mark ups on drawings, and update and share drawings via email as well as request information from other members of the project team.
The software, FASTTAC, became a working prototype which was tested in the field during 2006. These early users found that the software was easy to use and the real payoff was in their increased productivity and accuracy.
Driven to further improving productivity and accuracy for our customers, our software team developed Release 2.0 with a completely new look and added functionality. Release 2.0 was launched in March 2008 and was soon recognized as a ConstrucTech 2008 Top Product for Commercial and Residential construction. During this same time, the company was renamed FASTTAC to more accurately reflect our products.