Sep 18 2017

Bridgit adds mobile project insights

Canada’s Bridgit is now offering more detailed reporting capabilities to support its mobile construction solution users.

Bridgit logoOntario, Canada-based mobile-first software developer Bridgit has been on my radar since August 2014 when, to support its core Closeout application, it started testing wearable technologies. Since then, its announcements have mainly related to funding and to core software developments – closing a US$1.7 million seed round in April 2016, for example, and launching an Android version of its Closeout application in June 2017.

This week (18 September 2017) it has announced the launch of a new data-driven feature: Project Insights collects real numbers from the site, and uses them to present a high-level summary of the project. Bridgit says developers and general contractors can use Project Insights to:

  • Share progress with stakeholders
  • Monitor overdue tasks
  • Identify problem areas and bottlenecks
  • Hold subcontractors accountable with performance metrics

Mallorie Brodie, Bridgit Co-founder and CEO (right) says:

Mallorie Brodie - Bridgit CEO“This is a game-changer for Bridgit Closeout. Our users have always had access to reports that filter and summarize the tasks on site. Project Insights is different; it calculates high-level progress metrics that give quick insight about a project’s status and team performance.”

Project Insights pulls numbers from the task lists on site, and uses them to calculate project metrics that are not available in a typical site management report. With a quick glance at the Bridgit web application, users can see how many tasks are completed, the average age of incomplete tasks, and subcontractor performance week-over-week.

These features will be familiar to the users of other mobile-first construction applications I’ve featured in recent months (see, for example, my post on Construct.pm), while they are also common to the mobile tools supporting the leading SaaS collaboration platforms (eg: Aconex Field, Viewpoint Field View). Bridgit says it plans to expand the metrics available in Project Insights; “This is just the beginning,” confirms Brodie. “We plan to grow the feature further, using feedback and suggestions from our users.”

 

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/09/bridgit-adds-mobile-project-insights/

Sep 12 2017

Mobile-first Raken builds its niche

US-based Raken is one of a recent generation of mobile-first construction software developers seeking to automate manual onsite reporting and monitoring tasks, and says it differentiates itself by its deep niche functionality.

Just over three years ago (August 2014), I visited FieldLens‘s New York headquarters and talked to one of the marketing team about their business, the north American construction industry, and competitors in the field or mobile application market. One of the businesses he mentioned was California-based Raken.

Raken background

Raken logoAt the time, both FieldLens and Raken were relative newcomers to the sector. FieldLens had launched in 2013 and was one of several mobile-first developers I talked to then (FluidCM and GenieBelt were two others). According to Raken CTO and co-founder Dr Sergey Sundukovskiy, who I spoke to this week, the Raken daily reporting app was developed by CEO Kyle Slager and also launched in 2013. It was developed initially on the Apple iOS platform, with an Android version released the following year. Slager marketed the app to industry contacts working as job foremen and superintendents in general contracting businesses in and around the San Diego area to start with. However, the user-base quickly grew through organic expansion as users jumped at the chance of switching from pen and paper to using mobile reporting.

Four years later, the paid-for edition of Raken is used by over 3000 companies, covering over 12,000 individual users (the application and its associated web reporting platform is licensed on a per-seat basis). “Often a general contractor will mandate the application to subcontractors,” Sundukovskiy told me, “and it then goes ‘viral’, with the subcontractors adopting Raken to work on their own projects.” About 10% of Raken’s customers were on enterprise deals, he said, talking about substantial “mid-market” adoption and a “long tail” of small/medium sized business users. The business is apparently adding around 100 new company customers a month.

From its Californian origins, Raken adoption has expanded across the US and into Canada, with users also located in United Kingdom (and elsewhere in western Europe), plus Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Most of this expansion has been organic but Sundukovskiy didn’t rule out establishing direct marketing operations in other English-speaking markets (a serial entrepreneur focused on small business marketing and e-commerce, Sundukovskiy has a master’s degree in information technology from the University of Liverpool). Earlier this year (March 2017), Raken announced it had raised US$2 million to accelerate its product development.

Niche specialist

The basic app – which includes automatic weather capture, unlimited HD photos, voice-to-text, and emailed daily reports, for unlimited projects – costs US$12 per calendar month per user, billed annually, while there are progressively more fully-featured price bands of Professional (US$30) and Performance (US$37). Enterprise licences can also be negotiated offering some volume discounts depending on the numbers of users and scope of functionality required, Sundukovskiy said.

Raken also offers integrations with project management software and cloud providers such as Procore (post),
Prolog (part of the Trimble Connect ecosystem), Egnyte, and Box – “We’re not competing with these applications; where users have strong adoption of tools like Procore, they can carry on using it, but use Raken for their mobile reporting needs”.

Sundukovskiy said it differed from some reporting tools by being heavily focused on the field reporting needs of contractors and project management businesses. “It’s also less expensive then competing products, and it’s aimed at a niche sector of the construction vertical – it doesn’t offer wide but thin levels of functionality, this is inch-wide but a mile deep.” The user-base is around 65% iOS and 35% Android, he added, while the web reporting platform is hosted in Amazon Web Services facilities in the US (“we’re bi-coastal”), and he accepted that the business might need to evolve its hosting approach if it wants to compete in Europe or other markets resistant to US-based hosting.

My view

Sundukovskiy touched on the low-tech nature of its competitive marketplace when he talked about replacing pen and paper rather than competing solutions. As I have pointed out before, construction lags behind other industry sectors in terms of its adoption of digital technologies, and, in just about every country, it remains a deeply fragmented market largely comprised of small- to medium-sized businesses generally operating on thin profit margins. As a result, affordable technologies that can help such businesses save time and money while also providing visibility of issues and progress will quickly find favour.

Raken is not challenging the SaaS construction collaboration players; it is looking to complement their solutions, possibly providing strong mobile-first alternatives to the field solutions that some of them offer. But it is not the only one, and there are other well-funded mobile-first players. For example, in the US, the afore-mentioned FieldLens closed a US$8m funding round in 2014 and was recently acquired by WeWork, while Plangrid has also been strongly backed by investors (US$18m two years ago); further afield, France’s FinalCAD secured €20m (US$22.4m) Series B funding just a year ago (other players include GenieBelt, TidyBuild, Small Builders, eSUB, Corecon, Jobsite Unite, Builderstorm and SiteReportPro – this post listed some others).

But, if these applications are still automating user tasks previously undertaken manually using pen and paper and spreadsheets, there is still an untapped market to be penetrated before vendors have to start attracting users away from competing solutions.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/09/mobile-first-raken-builds-its-niche/

Sep 08 2017

More mobile AEC tools

The mobile construction app market continues to grow, with tools to complement desktop construction software, and low-cost form management apps for SMEs.

Asta Site Progress

Elecosoft’s Asta Powerproject competes in the same project management sector as Oracle’s Primavera and MS Project, but is specifically designed to support construction planners’ work. Primarily a desktop/laptop-based product, it is a powerful scheduling platform, but there is also a cloud service option, allowing users to access Asta Powerproject as a Citrix-based service via Windows PC, Mac, Android and iOS devices – useful for those working on short-term projects or needing access from multiple devices.

Site Progress Mobile - Asta PowerprojectHowever, Asta Powerproject also offers a mobile Site Progress application (available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices, plus web access). This can be used to help users record the progress of tasks and repetitive events against their Asta Powerproject schedules. Recently added features include the ability to export tasks to mobile devices based on resource assignments (ie: per contractor or trade) and review reported progress and approve/review submissions before applying them to the programme. The app is free to install, with use of the service charged according to the number of active jobs exported to a secure cloud storage area.

Trappco

The increasing ubiquity of mobile devices continues to prompt new startups to target the construction market with applications. I was recently alerted, for example, to Trappco.

TrappcoThis Worcestershire, UK-based company, incorporated in 2016, is aiming to help construction businesses digitise existing paper-based processes by capturing and emulating the forms they currently use for inspection check lists, handover sheets and certificates. Founder Richard Hulbert told me that a key differentiator is the use of current document layouts and text content to create templates, so that the PDFs produced by the app immediately resemble existing forms (and could be augmented by associating images taken with the host device’s camera). He said the app also captured authorising signatures in real time, improving auditability.

The app has been deployed on UK building projects in Birmingham and Northampton, having been developed in partnership with Able 3 Ventures, using its AppSheet platform (seemingly similar to the Formotus toolset I’ve seen used by Crossrail – May 2013 post). This provides a simple way for individuals or organisations to develop new mobile applications, using existing spreadsheets, shared in a cloud-based storage environment (Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, etc), as a foundation. Able 3’s AppEditor is then used to add features to the application, after which the app can be shared with users. Trappco uses this platform to provide a service to its construction industry customers, with costs starting from £250 (a one-off setup fee covering some consultation and basic user training, document uploads into the app, app customisation, and access to an Admin version of the app), plus monthly subscriptions from £20 per user per month.

As I have previously written (recently in relation to SiteReportPro and BuilderStorm, for example), given the size and fragmentation of the AEC SME market, and its still only-gradual adoption of BIM and other more data-driven processes, there is likely to be a ready market for such tools, at least for a few years.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/09/more-mobile-aec-tools/

Aug 23 2017

Simple mobile reporting via SiteReportPro

SiteReportProA very recent addition to the growing market for mobile site reporting apps is Site Report Pro, developed by Wilmslow, Cheshire, UK-based Pipe Flow Software (aka Daxesoft Ltd). First released on 4 July 2017, the app is currently only available for use on Apple iOS devices (iPhones and iPads), though the website says “support for Android devices is under consideration”.

The app can apparently be used for punch lists, snag lists, site audits, on-site inspections (including health & safety, and housing), building surveys, house inventories, etc, and allows users to track and manage issues and produce PDF reports. Issues can be captured by photographing them, then annotating the image. The issuer can then set due dates, give the issue a priority and status, add details and comments and then assign the issue to another user (the app lets users share by email, message or via third party apps such as Dropbox), and is said to allow “easy sharing and issue management for teams”.

Interestingly, it says no cloud service is needed and there are no monthly licence or subscription fees. The app is free to download, but is limited to up to 3 projects and 3 issues per project. To do more (‘unlimited’ projects and up to 500 issues per project), requires unlocking via a $1.99 add-on, while the app’s premium reporting themes cost an additional $4.99.

SiteReportPro appears targeted at small-to-medium-sized businesses (95% of UK construction), and faces some strong competition, including from vendors supporting non-iOS apps – important given that the UK smartphone market is almost equally split between Apple and the Android OS. I recently looked at 24OnOff’s time management app, and mentioned others in the same AEC SME realm, including GenieBelt, TidyBuild, Small Builders, eSUB, Corecon, Jobsite Unite and Builderstorm.

There are also numerous snagging or defects reporting and inspection tools – some high-powered and connected to SaaS collaboration platforms (eg: Aconex, Asite, Viewpoint), others more stand-alone, such as APE Mobile, BaseStone, Bridgit, EviFile, FinalCAD, Go-Cam, iSnag, PlanGrid, SnagR, and TIM: The Inspection Manager (all previously covered on this blog).

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/08/simple-mobile-reporting-via-sitereportpro/

Aug 22 2017

Aconex continues 31% growth trend

Aconex continues to grow revenues, effectively doubling in two years. Two-thirds of its business now comes from outside Australasia.

Aconex logo 2014Melbourne, Australia-based Software-as-a-Service construction collaboration software vendor Aconex has announced its financial results for the year to 30 June 2017, reporting 31% revenue growth for the second year running (results were affected by exchange rates: at a constant currency, growth was 36%). Helped by a better second half-year performance, total revenues were Au$161.2 million (c. £99.3m, US$127.6m, or €108.3m), compared to the previous year‘s Au$123.4m.

EBITDA from core operations was up 10% to Au$15.0 million (c. £9.2m, US$11.9m, or €10.1m). After tax, however, the company recorded a Au$10m statutory loss, mainly due to integration expenses relating to the Conject deal and “amortisation of acquired intangibles”; from core operations, the business posted a net profit of Au$5m.

In the company’s investor presentation, Aconex highlighted that revenues had effectively doubled in two years. It says its platform has managed projects valued at over one trillion dollars in project value across 70 countries, and has 5.3 million project users managing 2.4 billion documents.

CEO Leigh Jasper said that the solid FY17 result reflected a stronger second half performance, a full year contribution from Conject and further penetration of the Company’s international markets which together have significantly strengthened its leading global position.

Leigh Jasper“Revenue increased in the second half of the year as market conditions improved and we continued to transition project customers to enterprise agreements, especially in ANZ. With Conject fully integrated into the business we also saw stronger revenue growth in Europe. We are truly a global business with two-thirds of our revenues now generated outside Australia and New Zealand.

“To drive greater returns and take advantage of the rapid growth in technology adoption across the industry, we have ramped up our investment in sales & marketing and our operational infrastructure. We have also significantly increased investment in our product, with 22% of revenue committed to research and development. We enhanced our offering and developed several new modules, including Connected Cost [launched in April 2017], and extended our ecosystem. Connected Cost alone has considerably increased our total addressable market and improved our overall win rates in all our regions.

“Meanwhile, our certification for the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) is in process, which will enable us to service government projects with the highest compliance requirements in the world. This is a major competitive advantage.

“In the coming year, we will continue to extend our leadership position through further investment in our international markets and ongoing product development. We expect to grow revenue by 15 to 19% while increasing EBITDA and generating positive cash.”

The company says the revenue uplift was driven by the 2016 Conject acquisition, strong growth in its international markets and an improved second half performance in ANZ (despite competitive pressures in its home market). The company’s EBITDA margin reduced slightly from 11.0% in 2016 to 9.3% in 2017, due to the acquisition of the Conject business (Aconex says it incurred Au$7.9m in related acquisition, restructure and integration costs) and ongoing investment in product, sales, marketing and client service.

Sales and marketing expenses grew 28% to Au$59.2m as Aconex bolstered its international sales teams to drive further market penetration. The company also increased investment in engineering and product development – partly due to addition of the Worksite and Conject engineering teams.

Regional performance

International revenues were up 45% year-on-year, while revenues in the ANZ region increased 9% from Au$48.8m in FY16 to Au$53.3m in FY17 due to new business growth and the ongoing conversion of customers to enterprise agreements (with 36 new deals signed), which now represent more than 65% of the region’s revenue. Elsewhere:

  • Revenues in Europe and Africa increased 143% from Au$17.5m to $42.6m, principally driven by the full-year contribution of Conject (though revenue was impacted by adverse foreign currency movements, particularly the depreciation of the pound and Euro against the Australian Dollar). The business is now securing larger contracts in mainland Europe, and the UK pipeline was said to be “growing in a challenging market” (in January 2017, the company talked of Brexit uncertainty and revised its October 2016 forecasts causing its shares to slump).
  • Middle East revenues increased 11% from Au$22.4m to Au$24.9m.
  • Americas revenues increased 16% from Au$21.3m to Au$24.6m.
  • Asia revenues increased 19% from Au$13.3m to Au$15.8m.

The Americas and Asia businesses are operating at negative margins as they invest in sales and marketing for future growth, looking to eventually replicate Aconex’s strong performance in the Australasian market.

In the medium term, Aconex says it expects revenue growth of more than 20% with increasing EBITDA.

Market reaction

After the January 2017 slump – to a low of Au$2.92 – Aconex’s shares gradually recovered to hover around Au$4 for most of the past six months. Prior to the results announcement, they were trading on the Australian Securities Exchange at around Au$4.60, but the share closed at Au$4.14, down 10% (and less than half the Au$8.38 high reached just over a year ago), as investors digested the results and reflected on the statutory loss and on Aconex’s sub-20% forecast for FY18 growth (read the AFR‘s Yolanda Redrup and what The Australian said).

Aconex share price 22Aug2017

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/08/aconex-continues-31-growth-trend/

Aug 18 2017

RIB revamps iTWOcx

RIB’s cloud-based construction collaboration platform has been updated, with its SaaS operations contributing about 13% of total group revenues.

RIB software logoIn a previous post, I mentioned RIB‘s iTWOcx (the product formerly known as Australia’s ProjectCentre – acquired by Germany’s RIB in October 2012). A new release of the cloud-based platform was recently launched, with the business “thrilled to announce the much-awaited update to the Register Module … the Publication Space” (read the 1 August 2017 news announcement). This is apparently the result of nearly three years of collaborative development between RIB’s development centres around the globe, and incorporates several highly requested new features:

  • New look and feel – document management is now more simple and intuitive to use, and there.
  • Drag and drop uploading – with the ability to fill out metadata for documents while they upload in the background (“Upload and walk away”), and to send documents into the correct workflow and put them in front of relevant reviewers.
  • Improved searching and reporting – including a new purpose-built search engine providing “intelligent search” tools and “Suggested Searches”.
  • Mobile apps – a RIB iTWOcx app (in Apple iOS and Android versions) links users to projects running the Publication Space, allowing them to access, view, and store documents on their devices for online or offline access.

These updates follow improvements to the platform’s tendering module, announced in June 2017.

RIB financial update

The main RIB group, which describes itself as “the world’s leading provider of 5D BIM Big Data technology for the construction industry,” generated revenues of €97.9m (c. £89m or US$115m) in 2016, up 19% from €82.1m in 2015, returning a pre-tax profit of €33m, against €20.9m in 2015 (read the news release). However, the group’s Software-as-a-Service revenues comprise a relatively small amount of total revenues: €12.5m (c. £11.4m or US$14.7m) in 2016, and – with no acquisitions to boost revenues as we saw in previous years (with the Docia deal, for example) – grew more modestly, up 4.2% from 2015’s €12.0m.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/08/rib-revamps-itwocx/

Aug 17 2017

Asite (briefly) excited about Australia

Since the mid-2000s, the Australian SaaS construction collaboration market has been led by Aconex, but rivals are queuing up to chip away at its domestic dominance.

Asite logo 2012On 22 June, I noted how London, UK-based SaaS construction collaboration technology provider Asite was pumping out a stream of news announcements – its G-Cloud, Redrow and Imtech announcements were soon followed by news of a deal with Cambridge University (14 July 2017), the 25 July announcement of its CDE-based clash detection functionality, and then another enterprise deal announcement (26 July), this time with the Scotland and northern England-based Robertson construction, infrastructure and support services group.

On 3 August, I got an alert to yet another news release issued via PRNewswire: “RCR Tomlinson in Australia have been busy adopting Asite’s Adoddle platform across their entire Project portfolio!“. As I was busy with other matters (post), I didn’t immediately click through to the link, but when I did two days later, there was a notice saying:

“We are advised by Asite that journalists and other readers should disregard the news release, RCR Tomlinson in Australia have been busy adopting Asite’s Adoddle platform across their entire Project portfolio!, issued 03-Aug-2017 over PR Newswire. The company plans to issue a revised version next week.”

With a quick Google search, I found at least one copy of the 3 August announcement (even that may disappear soon). When I sought clarification, an Asite spokesperson told me it had been retracted as some client quotes hadn’t been included. RCR Tomlinson is one of Australia’s leading engineering companies, working in the infrastructure, energy and resources sectors, and is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, ASX.

In the meantime (16 August), Asite has issued yet another news release – this time concerning Asite’s Adoddle being selected for the development of the Anglo-French IFA2 electrical projects by National Grid and RTE.

Australian market analysis

Aconex logo 2014I look forward to seeing the Asite announcement about RCR Tomlinson (a one-time Aconex customer). However, this deal will only make a small dent in Melbourne-based Aconex’s domination of the Australasian collaboration technology market. Aconex (also ASX-listed, and due to report its year-end results next week, on 22 August) has developed a strong and mature customer base in its home regional market, with some major enterprise deals helping it to generate strong earnings at good margins. For the year to 30 June 2016, Aconex reported profitable growth across all regions, with Australasia up 35% to Au$48.8m, the region accounting for just under 40% of the company’s global revenues.

However, various competitors have tried to tempt Australian customers away over the years; for example:

  • Conject had a local partner, Zavanti, for some years, and later established a Singapore office that serviced clients in the Asia Pacific region, before Aconex acquired the Conject business in March 2016.
  • 4Projects, as it was then, started operations via a local reseller in 2012 (post), and after 4Projects’s acquisition by Viewpoint, the reseller’s Milton Walters (now at Procore) was quite bullish in June 2013. However, the relationship turned sour in 2014 as Viewpoint switched to a direct sales model, a move which prompted a lawsuit that was eventually settled out of court (see 4Projects facing Au$9m reseller claim) in July 2015, leaving a £742,000 dent in Viewpoint’s profits for that year (post).
  • As I have previously described (post), Incite, one of Aconex’ potentially strongest competitors, was hampered by parent Leighton Holdings’ decisions to sack its management team and under-invest in its Keystone platform, destroying what might have become a lucrative spin-off. An August 2015 partnership with CIMIC (the business formerly known as Leighton Holdings) saw Aconex acquire the intellectual property, assets and certain customer relationships of Incite for just Au$6.4m (post).
  • The business formerly known as ProjectCentre attracted a strong German parent in 2012, RIB Software, who subsequently offered a new iteration of ProjectCentre branded iTWO Collaboration Exchange (iTWOcx). With a further acquisition, of Denmark’s Docia in July 2014, RIB has been able to grow its SaaS revenues, while retaining a firm foothold in the Australasian market.
  • Additionally, QA Software’s Teambinder has some major clients, Idox’s McLaren has also tried to market its solutions in the region, and there is a lively startup community, spawning AEC-oriented businesses such as APE Mobile (post) and Small Builders (post).
  • And more recently (8 May 2017), the afore-mentioned US vendor Procore opened its first Australia office, saying it was tapping into regional demand for “intuitive, reliable and cost-effective project management, financial and collaborations solutions built specifically by and for the construction industry,” and claiming it already had more than 100 customers and 50,000 users in Australia.

Meanwhile, Asite has been reporting its Australasian revenues for some years. In 2012, the region accounted for £168k of revenues, peaking at £557k in 2013, but the numbers then gradually declined and slid from £519k to £439k in 2016. While its news release talk of Australian market expansion has not been reflected in its recent revenues, perhaps the slide will be reversed and the impact of the RCR Tomlinson deal will be recognised when Asite publishes its next annual report. And Aconex will need to continue monitoring such domestic competitors closely.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/08/12048/

Aug 17 2017

Extranet Evolution outage

On 12 August, during a server migration by my website host, a database got corrupted and “Extranet Evolution” disappeared, as did my company site. I was initially unaware of this, due to my attention being focused elsewhere (see below). However, the fault was identified and rectified yesterday. Apologies for any inconvenience.

During 2016, my father’s health started declining. This deterioration accelerated in 2017 (regular readers may have detected a reduction in the frequency of posts), and my father died on 18 July. Since then, I have been dealing with funeral arrangements, solicitors, banks and other bereavement-related matters.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/08/extranet-evolution-outage/

Aug 08 2017

Idox launches mobile Building Control app

In January 2017, Reading, Berkshire, UK-based Idox, parent company of engineering document management software provider McLaren Software, launched a new mobile app, OnSite, which it claimed was the first of its kind, giving building control officers (professionals responsible for enforcement of building regulations in the UK) remote access to documents and information. Users of the app (Apple iOS only) will apparently be able to search, recover, download, update and upload anything they might need for an inspection, wherever they are.

Benefits include:

  • Immediate access and usage – designed with simplicity in mind, the app requires no training or a complex implementation project; users are up and running in minutes.
  • Efficiency savings – view, complete and create inspections on site and sync these records with those in the back office once connected.
  • Constant intelligence – obtain case details even when mobile, take photos which automatically upload to your DMS, and view and sort all inspections on a map.
  • Avoid duplication – update multiple inspections/plots all at once where inspection details are the same or similar.
  • Reduced travel time – no need to visit the office to pick up workloads and update systems.
  • Reduced printing costs and administrative efforts – the system supports paperless working.

Idox plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has a long track record of providing software and data solutions to local authorities (once the sole home of building control – today there are many private approved inspectors, which need to be registered with the Construction Industry Council). It already provides a range of regulatory services solutions including food and health and safety inspections, pest control, and monitoring of licensing applications, renewals and conditions. Building Control is therefore a logical extension of its regulatory toolset.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/08/idox-launches-mobile-building-control-app/

Aug 08 2017

24OnOff makes time management mobile

Start-up 24onoff has announced the UK launch of a new project management app for web and smartphones (Apple iOS and Android), helping digitise everyday paper-based tasks such as creating timesheets and invoices, as well as tracking man hours and managing documents (read this BIM+ article).

24onoff was originally launched in Scandinavia by the Heimdal, Trondheim, Norway-based founders some 2-3 years ago, and has accumulated some 5,000 users in northern Europe, mainly in Norway, Sweden and Denmark (the app also has a Polish language edition). CEO Sondre Blaasmo says: “24onoff removes the paper trail with a easy-to-use, ‘field friendly’ web and smartphone app for construction workers of all ages.”

Blaasmo has been studying management and entrepreneurship at London’ University’s Goldsmith’s College, so it was perhaps inevitable that it would be launched in the UK. Ole Jørgen Næss, head of product development said: “We realised we needed to make a unique and customised software for all the small builders in the UK. We’ve now created a product that has helped companies reduce the time spent on paperwork and administration by an average of 50%.”

The company piloted the application with more than 50 small builders, plumbers, electricians and property maintenance companies around the UK, and the majority of these are said to have now purchased the software. In a launch promotion, 24onoff is offering teams of up to three employees free use of the software, with no hidden fees.

Competitive market

As regular readers may recognise, 24onoff is targeting a massive market of small-to-medium-sized businesses (95% of UK construction, for example), and it’s also a market being targeted by several other providers around the world, including Copenhagen, Denmark-based GenieBelt (one of the better-funded ones – post – vital if a SaaS business is to reach a widely dispersed, fragmented, and relatively low-tech SME market), Australasia-based TidyBuild (post) and Small Builders (post), and US-based eSUB (post), Corecon (post) and Jobsite Unite (post). I also recently looked at another UK provider, Builderstorm.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/08/24onoff-makes-project-management-mobile/

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