Interior retail build-outs are among the most expensive construction projects, with cost per unit area far exceeding that of an exterior build. And they can be more logistically complex. Coordination of multiple trades and the on-time delivery of materials, fixtures, and products are key to ensuring quality, containing costs and avoiding delays. The use of interior construction cameras is gaining popularity for all those reasons.
On any given day, Dustin Rassbach, Gander Mountain’s construction project manager, oversees several projects from east of the Rocky Mountains to upstate New York. Gander Mountain Company operates the nation’s largest retail network of stores for hunting, fishing, camping and marine products and accessories. In 2014, the company opened 23 stores nationwide, and nine more will be completed by the end of 2015. Interior and exterior construction cameras help him do his job without the need for multiple site visits.
“We have one exterior fixed position camera placed at an angle to see two sides of the building. As soon as we have a roof on, we put a camera inside the building, and it stays there until 2 days before we open the store,” says Rassbach. “The cameras allow us to share information very easily with our vendors and management teams. And they certainly reduce our workload because we don’t have to provide weekly updates with pictures from our general contractors to our management teams. Everyone can see where the store is at without having to ask the question, ‘Where are we at with that store?’”
Rassbach was familiar with using exterior construction cameras to capture ground-up construction, and when he joined Gander Mountain in 2012, he started using webcams to capture interior build-outs. Everyone on the project team has access to the cameras throughout the project, from the design team to the project contractors and vendors. When all stakeholders and decision-makers have access to the same information — the same images and time-lapse movies — issues and inquiries get resolved faster. This goes a long way in avoiding delays and keeping the project on schedule. For a retailer whose new store might do thousands of dollars of sales per day, opening on time, even ahead of schedule, is an appealing value proposition.