Jul 20 2017

GroupBC revenues up 33%

Re-energised following its November 2014 MBO, UK construction collaboration vendor GroupBC is growing revenues and increasing profitability.

Reading, UK-based GroupBC (previously known as Business Collaborator) is one of the longest-established SaaS construction collaboration technology providers in the UK. It started as part of the software solutions arm of the Enviros environmental consulting and software group in the 1990s, and (as outlined in November 2014, when its current managers bought the business with backing from YFM), went through several changes of ownership (CodaSciSys in 2003, Coda in 2006, Agresso Unit 4 in 2008) before establishing today’s independent business.

The 2008-2014 period also saw various brand changes – from 2010 until the MBO the company traded as UNIT4 Collaboration Software Ltd – but the core SaaS platform remained ‘Business Collaborator’ throughout. The business also learned a lot about integration of its system with other products during the UNIT4 years: several GroupBC customers were using other UNIT4 solutions as well as its collaboration platform. GroupBC also has some strong owner-operator relationships in the UK retail sector (Monsoon, Selfridges, Primark, and the SSP retail and catering outlet provider), in local government, the water sector (notably Thames Water, Southern Water and United Utilities), with leading contractors including Balfour Beatty and Costain, and consultancies including CH2M, Atkins and WSP.

2016 revenue growth

While trading under the UNIT4 banner, the business did not report its financial performance. However, it has resumed publication of its audited annual report and accounts, with the latest detailing the year to 30 November 2016. The figures are not comparable with the company’s pre-2010 reporting – at the time of the MBO, CEO Sanjeev Shah told me GroupBC would be switching to a SaaS subscription approach. The recently published report shows total revenues of £3.795m (c. US$4.9m or €4.33). This showed sales up 33% from £2.857m in 2015. The business also increased profitability (EBITDA) from £0.445m to £0.797m (c. US$1.029m or €0.908m) – a 77% year-on-year increase.

Vendor turnover July 2017

The upward revenue growth is in line with that experienced by other vendors recently:

  • global market leader Aconex last year announced underlying organic revenues up 31% (post)
  • in the UK, Asite reported its revenues up 14% in 2016 (post)
  • in May 2017 Viewpoint for Projects’s Steve Spark said its 2016 EMEA revenues were up 24% (post)
  • Munich, Germany-based think project! reported 2016 revenues up 35% (post)

In all these cases, businesses cited adoption of building information modelling (BIM) as a contributing factor to their growth, and this is certainly the case with GroupBC. It has been investing in its platform’s ‘common data environment’ capabilities to support teams working to UK BIM Level 2 and beyond, while its research and development into “semantic BIM” (Connected BIM) recently saw it launch its GeoConnect+ service at the GeoBusiness event in London in late May 2017. Developed by GroupBC following joint and ongoing research with consultancy PCSG and Ordnance Survey, GeoConnect+ connects BIM information with geospatial data in a way that helps large asset owners and operators manage large, disparate estates better; datasets include OS open data, OS mapping data, land and property data, flood, river, and road network data (read PCSG’s blog post).

The core platform has not been neglected. BC7 has just been released with a couple of clients (including Thames Water) already using it ahead of a wider roll-out in September 2017. Enhancements include a streamlined interface, cross-browser and device access (using HTML5) with a zero-install redline/markup capability, and security improvements including two-factor authentication and e-signatures.

Sanjeev ShahNew GroupBC customers won during the year include retailer Sainsbury’s (now hosting its OneProperty asset management platform on BC) and fellow retailer JD Sports, along with Jarvis Construction and the Houses of Parliament (UK hosting and an ISO27001 accreditation were factors in the decision on BC). A differentiating factor for some customers is that the platform can be set up on a dedicated server in GroupBC’s UK hosting facility, allowing clients to flex the system and benefit from localised development and systems integrations. This hosting and software flexibility helps retain customers; Shah, right, is proud that GroupBC’s ‘churn rate’ is under 5%.

While growing its customer base, GroupBC is also expanding its team. During the year to November 2016, its headcount grew from 20 to 45, with further expansion planned through to the end of 2017; one appointment was a new sales and marketing director: after more than 10 years at Union Square (prior to its July 2016 acquisition by Deltek), and before that at Eque2, sales director Stuart Bell joined GroupBC earlier this year, “excited by the opportunities at the best kept secret in the CDE space!” The company has also established a graduate training programme with Pareto, with the first two graduates progressing well.

[Disclosure: While I have provided marketing consultancy services to GroupBC, this post is unconnected with that work.]

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/07/groupbc-revenues-up-33/

Jul 19 2017

Holobuilder launches 360 Construction Documentation Solution

Holobuilder logoHoloBuilder is a San Francisco, US-based construction technology company that designs, develops, and sells enterprise SaaS software. Its core product offers reality capturing solutions for progress documentation and construction project management, using 360° imagery, computer vision and AI. HoloBuilder says its customers include 40% of the Top 100 General Contractors in the United States, while it investors include Brick and Mortar Ventures and Tandem Capital.

Holobuilder, which recently rebranded, has just released a new construction documentation solution to enable project teams to capture, comment, and view a 360-degree construction project in real-time. It includes collaboration support for unlimited accounts and project download for an offline deliverable once the project has reached close out. A new pricing model is offered, based on project size.

The scalable SaaS solution can be deployed company-wide across projects or at an enterprise level, where it offers:

  • 360-degree reality capturing with the JobWalk mobile app
  • TimeTravel for progress documentation
  • a measurement tool to measure within 360° images, and
  • annotations.

Users can now collaborate with their whole team and enjoy enterprise level service and security. Having the entire team on board allows users to set up large projects quickly while allowing the project owner to decide who has access and editor rights. Notifications are shown when team members update the project and allow everyone to see who is working within HoloBuilder at the same time.

During project close-out, the project can be downloaded and saved as a view-only deliverable for the owner to keep throughout the lifetime of the building.

HoloBuilder says it is the first reality capturing solution [it uses 360-degree photography] that enables efficient progress documentation for large-scale construction projects. With collaboration, the responsibility of capturing progress is distributed, data silos are removed, and reliability is increased by providing a workflow that is built around an entire construction team. Andrew Cameron, Area Superintendent at SFO Airport Terminal 1 Construction site by Hensel Phelps, says:

“We have been able to leverage HoloBuilder’s collaboration platform for about two months now. To be able to arm multiple staff members with a camera who can jointly collaborate to track the status and the history of the project, not only for us but also for our clients and stakeholders, makes a lot of sense.”

Mostafa Akbari, CEO of HoloBuilder, Inc, says:

“Our new solution is the result of co-development between HoloBuilder and many of the top U.S. General Contractors. In countless discussions and beta projects, we’ve learned what is most important to them and the construction industry as a whole. Together we have been thinking about all stages of a project, from project set up, to the building phase, and the close-out phase. HoloBuilder is the best in class for all three categories. To provide truly unlimited scalable projects, now unlimited collaborators can work on one project with different access settings. With our new Handover Package, projects can be downloaded and kept offline in a view-only mode for decades to come. It was important that our new solution provides all enterprise requirements that work for the industry. I am proud that we have not only achieved this but also offer the most scalable reality capturing solution in the market.”

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/07/holobuilder-launches-360-construction-documentation-solution/

Jul 10 2017

CMAP targets project accounting needs

In a fragmented, SME-dominated, project-oriented industry like construction, there’s plenty of opportunities for SaaS vendors to help small businesses run their projects online.

In my previous post, I had a first look at BuilderStorm, and mentioned how the financial capabilities of its platform might be attractive to SMEs looking for online ERP/accounting functionality. This puts this in the same kind of space occupied by Union Square (acquired by US player Deltek almost exactly a year ago) and Rapport 3 (post) in the UK, plus US-based e-Sub.com and New Zealand’s TidyBuild (both targeting the SME AEC market – post).

CMAP logoAnother firm in this sector is Wilmslow, UK-based CMAP Software, whose focus is on AEC project accounting (thought it also has service offerings to business consultancies, healthcare and creative businesses). The business was founded by Dave Graham, and, like other companies in the J-Media group, was incorporated in 2015, but the CMAP website says “we’ve been writing software and generally been in love with all things tech since the year 2000.”

CMAP business manager Paul Ard told me:

“CMAP handles the full cycle of a project from winning the project, delivering it on-time and on-budget, to billing. Feature-wise this covers CRM, job costing, projects, resourcing, timesheets and expenses, and reporting.”

One of the stand-out features in CMAP’s SaaS platform (hosted by Microsoft Azure since August 2013) is a business intelligence tool, complemented by a mobile BI app (available in Apple iOS and Android versions); CMAP’s platform also offers a personal mobile app (iOS only), allowing staff to manage their timesheets, expenses, contacts, activities and time off.

The system also offers integrations with other financial packages (Sage, Xero, QuickBooks, COINS Global), an Outlook integration, plus integration with Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM platform, and with other AEC tools including photo management tool OpenAsset, and project information management toolset Newforma (so similar in this respect to Rapport 3; Newforma launched its Cloud Services Connector strategy in September 2016).

Ard says CMAP’s headline clients are Grimshaw Architects, Paul Davis and Partners, Morgan Sindall Professional Services and Eckersley O’Callaghan. The latest addition to the client roster is London-based architect David Miller Architects (CMAP blog post), while the company has also been shortlisted for Technology Provider of the Year in the 2017 New Civil Engineer TechFest Awards (coincidentally, NCE’s editor Mark Hansford was at the IBP communication and PR awards last week and he told me about the TechFest conference in London on 14 September).

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/07/cmap-targets-project-accounting-needs/

Jul 03 2017

BuilderStorm targets SME contractors

UK start-up BuilderStorm seems focused on the SME contractor market, and it is claiming to be BIM level 2 compliant.

A relatively recent arrival on the UK SaaS construction software landscape is BuilderStorm. Incorporated in Brighton in 2014 and now based in Horsham in Sussex, BuilderStorm was founded by construction project engineer David Lawrence and software developer James Sandwick, and provides cloud-based construction management software that aims to cover almost every aspect of running a contracting business, whether it is involved with small-scale house extensions or multi-million pound projects.

Like many small start-ups, the business faced early challenges in scaling up its operations, as Lawrence recalled: “I know we have a great product, but sometimes it was lost on potential clients because we were just a small company.” However, the founders raised money in late 2016 through an equity crowd-funding initiative run via CrowdCube, and the initial £100k target was achieved within 15 days, with more than 80 new investors backing the business to the tune of £149.1k, which was to be used to expand its marketing and support activities.

Saas platform features

The BuilderStorm platform is accessed via a standard browser, and is said to be ‘ultra-responsive’, allowing use on a tablet, notebook, desktop Mac/PC or mobile. Hosting is provided by Amazon Web Services. The platform incorporates a wide range of features, arranged in five groups (plus ‘other’):

  • project tools (including a scheduling tool – offering an online alternative to MS Project or Primavera)
  • storage solutions (including drawing and document hosting and an “interactive drawing” tool)
  • quality controls (RFIs, snaglist, etc)
  • financial (quotations, variation requests, valuations, invoices, tender Hosting packages and timesheets – making BuilderStorm potentially attractive to those looking for ERP/accounting functionality online)
  • logistics (asset manager, inductions, deliveries, etc)

According to the website, early adopter customers include Bellway, WSP, Avanti Architects, IDM Properties, EHA Group, and I & H Brown (deploying BuilderStorm on a £18m multi-storey carpark project in Warrington). Pricing is said to be “super-competitive” (“We will not be beaten on price. If you can find a competitor with a similar package and same features, we will not just match their quote, we will beat it.”), with (according Lawrence’s description of the Warrington project) packages that start from £2850 per year, with no set-up fees or limits on the numbers of users or projects.

BuilderStorm and BIM

BIM is said to be part of the offering, but seemingly only at a somewhat basic level (which I would describe as Level 1; this NBS article helps explain the levels). However, BuilderStorm insists it can help its customers be Level 2 compliant:

“We offer all the tools and features you need to demonstrate you are BIM Level 2 compliant. We can provide on-line drawing hosting with robust revision control and full audit trails. Our RFI system means that everyone Is on the same page when looking at design queries. Project photos keep track of the project as it changes over time, and the whole project and all data can be exported at the end for hand-over to the client.”

While it can share model outputs such as drawings and other project workflows, it is unclear whether BuilderStorm could provide any kind of model sharing viewing or more advanced levels of data exchange and export such as IFC or COBie. However, given that many UK SME contractors are, sadly, still some distance from achieving BIM Level 2 this may not be an immediately pressing customer demand, but when that demand is expressed, BuilderStorm will perhaps have to invest to add to its platform’s functionalities.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/07/builderstorm-targets-sme-contractors/

Jun 30 2017

Collaborative BIM developments

I visited the National Infrastructure Forum exhibition and conference at London’s ExCEL earlier this month and talked to staff on a couple of the technology vendors’ stands. Both the conversations focused on BIM and collaboration….

3D Repo

I have talked to people from London-based 3D Repo at various BIM events in recent months (and wrote about their BID4Free platform in March 2017). At the NIF event they were talking about a new version of their cloud-based BIM collaboration platform that offers additional support for leading software packages such as Autodesk Navisworks. It also provides enhanced support for large 3D models typical of infrastructure projects, as well as integrated VR functionality for applications such as training, safety and project consultation. CEO Dr Jozef Dobos said:

“The support for native file formats and software platforms further highlights our commitment to collaboration. We want to make project information as accessible and usable as possible, which is why we engage with as many open source and proprietary formats as we can, allowing users to share 3D models, issues and ultimately knowledge with the wider project team, in the cloud, but still in the context of the original model.”

The latest versions of 3D Repo’s Open Source, Starter, Professional and Enterprise packages include advanced integration with Autodesk Navisworks project review software. A custom plug-in (available free from the Autodesk App Store) allows data to be uploaded directly to the 3D Repo knowledge base without the need for file exchanges. Users can then view models and collaborate with the wider project team through their web browser, even on very large and complex projects. The Professional package is £100 per month for unlimited projects, issues and collaboration.

3D Repo has also announced support for the BCF file format, allowing import/export of collaboration and mark up data for issues tracking to software such as Solibri quality assurance solutions, Trimble’s Tekla product family and 3D architectural BIM software ArchiCAD (from the Nemetschek Group’s Graphisoft business).

Bluebeam

Over the years, I have talked to several organisations that use Bluebeam‘s Revu PDF creation, editing, markup and collaboration technology to support their design and construction workflows, but I haven’t dug too deeply into the application, primarily as it was originally a locally hosted, PC-based solution rather than a cloud-hosted application (my core focus). As a then US-owned business, Bluebeam also did not have a high profile in the UK or mainland Europe.

Nemetschek logoHowever, Bluebeam has been mentioned in this blog when other vendors talked about integration (Box.net and Motion Computing in 2010, for example) or about their competition (Plangrid in 2014, Combinder in 2016, for example) as mobile apps grew in importance; and, of course, I couldn’t overlook the US company’s acquisition by Nemetschek in October 2014 – particularly as this put Bluebeam alongside a host of design authoring applications collaboration products (including Allplan, Vectorworks, the above-mentioned Graphisoft, SCIA, DDS and Maxon), since augmented by other tools including Solibri (December 2015) and dRofus (December 2016), in a group publicly committed to Open BIM as a basis for collaboration.

Bluebeam logoAt the NIF event, I talked to Bluebeam staff about Revu, and, in particular, about Bluebeam Studio: a centralised collaboration platform included with every seat of Revu that connects project partners worldwide in real-time. This, of course, puts Bluebeam in competition with the SaaS construction collaboration technology vendors I’ve focused on, and not just in relation to conventional 2D documents and drawings, but also in relation to 3D BIM. For Revu CAD version also allows creation and markup of 3D PDFs from Autodesk’s Revit and Navisworks, plus Sketchup Pro and any IFC file. Bluebeam Studio Prime also has integrations with other collaboration products including:

  • Procore – hot on APIs (post), Procore users can create Studio Sessions for submittals
  • Egnyte – enterprise file sync and share (EFSS) services, and
  • Fieldlens – recently acquired by WeWork (post), Fieldlens can be linked to selected Studio Projects, used to monitor for changes and alert users when it’s time to sync – ensuring updated drawings are available instantly to everyone in the field.

I also think Bluebeam has potential to work as the collaboration ‘glue’ between the many design applications in the Nemetschek Group portfolio. The group has historically tended to let its acquired businesses continue to run relatively autonomously and I have written previously about some of its collaboration-oriented projects such as Nemetschek bim+ common data environment (November 2013) and, in February 2014, Graphisoft’s BIMx Docs app for iOS devices (in March 2014, Graphisoft also launched its BIMcloud platform).

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/06/collaborative-bim-developments/

Jun 30 2017

think project! raises French profile

think project! rebrands French subsidiary hoping to accelerate expansion in Europe.

Thinkproject-logoLascom AEC, the Paris, France-based provider of PLM (project and plant lifecycle management) acquired by the Munich, Germany-based construction collaboration Software-as-a-Service technology provider think project! Group in September 2015 is being rebranded to think project! France. The move will strengthen the think project! brand and, the business says, accelerate market expansion in Europe.

Lascom AEC has a strong customer base and growth position in France; customers include Vinci, Alstom, Eiffage, Technip, Setec and RATP. think project! CEO Thomas Bachmaier says:

“France as the second-largest economy in Europe with leading companies in construction and a significant number of private asset owners is an important market for our international expansion. With the renaming to think project! France, Lascom AEC becomes part of our international brand. Our focus is to ensure that our product portfolio covers all customer needs – not only for PLM but also for cross-enterprise collaboration.”

Sabine Noisette, managing director of Lascom AEC, says:

“With the renaming we will be more obvious part of a strong organisation with a large international presence and a clear focus on AEC (architecture, engineering, construction) businesses. We benefit from the experience and structures of the international project business of think project! as well as from synergies in technology especially in the SaaS business and with BIM. Our goal is to join forces to become a strong partner for digital transformation for our customers in France and internationally.”

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/06/think-project-raises-french-profile/

Jun 29 2017

A mobile Site Diary – at a price!

Script and Go’s Site Diary complements a mobile-first construction project management application but the suite is not competitively priced compared to others.

Since the 2007 advent of smartphones and the later launch of tablet products, the number of mobile applications designed for construction has grown and grown. I have seen numerous apps for snagging / punchlists / quality control – some stand-alone, others integrated with SaaS platforms – and talked to businesses about apps for health and safety, permits to work and other workflows (see previous post about construct.pm, for example).

Site diary applications have also occasionally featured in this blog (eg: Contract Communicator in 2009, and Note Vault in 2014), while a quick web-search for the term pointed me to, among others, Site Diary Plus and Tradies. A new addition to the market comes from Rennes, France-based software development company Script&Go.

Script&GoScript&Go already offers a mobile-first construction project management application BatiScript, which can be accessed by tablet, laptop or smartphone.

In September 2016, Script&Go acquired another application, Site Diary, from Appear Network (incidentally, a backer of an EU-funded project called MobiCloud which I have seen presented at COMIT events). In the last nine months this app has apparently been developed further and was launched on 21 June 2017, priced at €12 per month (c. £10.50 or US$13.70)

BatiScript pricing

Strangely to me, the BatiScipt product is licensed per device (see pricing) so, presumably, if you want to access the BatiScript platform across all three platforms, you will pay €84 (Premium use on Tablet) plus €44 (back office on PC) plus €19 (on smartphone) – a total of €147 per month to rent the software (for a minimum of two years) or to purchase the software, a total of €2270 (€1290 + €690 + €290), plus 20% maintenance (€454).

The rental approach certainly differs from the flexible, no minimum period pay-as-you-go approaches of many other vendors of cloud-based construction software – which are often available at no extra cost on other devices. Contrast this approach with, for example, Asite (one of the few UK-based vendors who don’t base their pricing on project-based licensing); the London-based construction SaaS vendor offers its basic product for just €19 per month, with the most expensive subscription still half that of Batiscript at €75 per month.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/06/a-mobile-site-diary-at-a-price/

Jun 22 2017

Some Asite updates

Asite logo 2012London, UK-based SaaS construction collaboration vendor Asite has been pumping out a few announcements recently.

G-Cloud

Asite last week announced its involvement in the UK’s Crown Commercial Service’s G-Cloud 9 programme. This cross-government initiative was launched in May of 2017 as a means of enabling public sector bodies to buy cloud-based digital services directly off the shelf. The open framework is refreshed every 3 to 12 months, consistently bringing on new suppliers and services, and there are around 20,000 services on the framework.

Tony Ryan, CEO of Asite, said:

“Our appointment to the G-Cloud framework builds on our long-standing relationships, which provide project collaboration services in the cloud to the UK government.  Together with our longstanding commitment to supporting the government’s Construction Strategy and in particular to the achievement of Level 2 BIM with our cBIM service, we are fully committed to the improvement of procurement in UK construction.”

A quick browse of the listing shows several other construction collaboration SaaS vendors on the G-Cloud framework including Aconex, AQL (hosting provider to eviFile – post), Basestone, Bentley Systems, Business Collaborator, NEC3 contract specialist CEMAR, Idox (parent of McLaren Software), Trimble UK, and Viewpoint.

Redrow

This week, Asite has announced that listed UK housebuilder and contractor Redrow Homes has selected Asite’s SaaS platform Adoddle as its enterprise wide CDE (common data environment) solution in the UK. Redrow first adopted Adoddle’s platform in 2014 in south east England, and has now signed an enterprise agreement with Asite.

Update (29 June 2017) – The flurry of announcements continued with news of another enterprise agreement yesterday, this time involving technical services provider Imtech.

Clash detection

And, according to a Tweet today, the company is preparing for a July 2017 launch of clash detection in its CDE:

 

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/06/some-asite-updates/

Jun 22 2017

NBS launches BIM viewer

At this week’s Autodesk University in London, NBS – Newcastle, UK-based developer of the free BIM digital Toolkit (post) – has launched the public Beta version of the NBS Online Viewer (powered by Autodesk Forge, a WebGL-based viewer). According to BIMplus, the NBS Online Viewer makes it quick and easy for everyone working on a project to view a 3D model and associated specification through a web browser without the need for additional software (so long as you have a WebGL canvas-compatible web browser and a free NBS ID).

NBS chief executive Richard Waterhouse said:

“As part of our existing suite of integrated solutions, the NBS Online Viewer provides huge efficiency gains for designers, manufacturers, contractors and building owners/operators alike, by allowing everyone to be informed on a project regardless of technology barriers. By integrating the model and specification in the cloud, we will be providing a solution which provides and maintains critical data within the construction workflow and allows our customers to provide more value to their clients.”

NBS has been developed plug-ins for BIM design software for some years, allowing its customers to better coordinate their models and specifications. NBS director of research and innovation Stephen Hamil, said:

“Being able to view and interrogate this information from the context of a 3D model will allow for better, earlier informed decision making on projects, whilst providing the right content and information to the right people at the right time. We encourage all those working on BIM projects to test drive the NBS Online Viewer. The public beta phase will be open for the next few months and from there we will determine how best to build the first release to market with the help of our customers.”

The tool works by combining an Autodesk Revit or IFC model and NBS Create specification in the cloud without the need for the user to licence or install any software. To access and give feedback on the viewer visit www.theNBS.com/viewer

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/06/nbs-launches-bim-viewer/

Jun 16 2017

Construct.pm pushing compliance and reporting

Construct.pm is finding customers valuing it for compliance management and for accelerating project management reporting processes.

By coincidence, the day after WeWork acquired FieldLens, I visited a WeWork location in London’s Devonshire Square to talk to a tenant, Construct.pm (which also competes in the UK equivalent of FieldLens’s mainly north American target market).

Construct.pm logoI first talked to this mobile-first business in December 2015, learning how the Construct.pm form-builder and workflow platform could expedite the creation of processes and then allow users to track their progress. It was then also working with SaaS collaboration vendor Conject (now part of Aconex) to integrate simple sharing of drawings from Conject to users of the Construct.pm platform (see also October 2016 ISG case study).

CEO Ant Erwin and head of sales Mark Coates updated me on Construct.pm’s core strengths, which they saw as mobile data capture and reporting.

Compliance

The site-to-office mobile platform (currently iOS only, but the business is working on an Android version) is being developed to help project manager users accurately capture data while out on-site (“avoiding rubbish in, rubbish out”) and then re-use that data to manage workflows and to provide reports. One area they have particularly focused on is ensuring that any data collected is of high quality – for example, data is checked for completeness, and conditional fields and approval processes help ensure information is accurately captured in the right fields and formats.

Construct.pm in useConventional capture of field data using paper-based systems and/or manual entry into Excel spreadsheets is still commonplace across many construction sites, but increased digitisation, including the adoption of BIM, is making professionals more conscious about the need to capture, record and reuse data consistently, both within projects and across a businesses’ projects.

Construct.pm is finding its platform used increasingly for various previously paper-dominated process including permit-to-work workflows (for example, for ‘hot works’ such as welding or brazing) or for delivery tickets – speeding up the automated flow of information from site to head office so that project valuations can be updated in minutes and payments expedited.

Compliance is an increasingly strong point for us,” said Erwin. “Health and safety, environmental and quality issues have not always been dealt with properly by other apps out on the market, and we forget that some businesses are still getting their heads around Excel in the cloud.” (Other businesses in this sector that I have looked at in the past include HandS HQ and DarleyPCM).

“Many of our clients understand it’s not just about the forms,” Erwin continued. “Their efficiencies come from being able to manage the resulting workflows, being accountable, and avoiding hold-ups.” Construction and design programme improvements, avoidance of mistakes, higher individual productivity, faster approvals, and reduced admin costs are among the benefits reported by customers. Mark Coates also talked of one project which had been won because the contractor had demonstrated use of Construct.pm to the client, showing a commitment to visibility and to adoption of innovative technology that the client had been keen to see: “It’s good for reputation,” he said.

Reporting

Construct.pm is also finding its customers are valuing its platform’s reporting tools, said Erwin.

“More and more, we are surfacing the data. We’ve got the data collection; now it’s about using what we call ‘trackers’ to monitor actions and resulting issues, particularly if there are cost issues. Effectively, we can start to do part of the project managers’ jobs by producing coordinated reports for them. And we are using the latest live data, straight from site, to build these reports. … This means project managers can start to work entirely differently – being able to react based on live data as opposed to the old way, based on information that might be two weeks old.”

He also described how Construct.pm also interfaced with Microsoft Project through an open API to help project managers assess the impacts of issues on project programmes.

Coates said Construct.pm now had 100s of customers, most of them paying a monthly subscription to use the toolset across multiple projects. In some cases, up to 70 subcontractors may be using the platform at the request of the main Tier 1 contractor, but the business was also finding some subcontractors proactively opting to set up their own Construct.pm systems so that they too could report across multiple projects.

Permanent link to this article: http://extranetevolution.com/2017/06/construct-pm-pushing-compliance-and-reporting/

Older posts «

Fetch more items