“The UK’s first fully integrated enterprise-level solution for defects and inspection processes” Or maybe not.
On 1 May 2014, I attended a London breakfast briefing about Conject‘s new mobile defects management and inspection toolset, then somewhat cryptically branded “OPR6”. I have just received a news release from the Woking office of the Anglo-German SaaS construction software provider, launching the system (available from 2 June) as “the UK’s first fully integrated enterprise-level solution for defects and inspection processes in construction and engineering projects”, and it’s been renamed: conjectMI (the MI stands for mobile inspections).
The release says:
“The platform provides a best-in-class user interface together with the powerful back-end infrastructure that large organisations need in order to make transformative improvements to quality and on-time delivery across programmes and projects.
In the UK there is a proliferation of low-price downloadable applications, but recent CONJECT market research amongst 340 AEC industry respondents found that construction teams are making-do with inefficient tools, and that user satisfaction is low with existing tools, be they defects management apps or more traditional tools such as Excel. There is frustration with limited reporting capabilities, lack of user friendliness and difficulty managing the supply chain.
The powerful capabilities of conjectMI puts it in a class apart from single-user downloadable apps which are fit for small projects only.
UK MD Steve Cooper says:
“This new version of conjectMI has impressed the clients we have shared it with. The combination of an easy-to-navigate interface and cloud hosting, dramatically improves efficiency. One customer captured 500 defects in a single morning. He was ecstatic, saying the software would save him at least one headcount on that project alone. … There are plenty of downloadable defects apps, but this solution doesn’t seek to compete with those. We want to provide major clients with a scalable solution that can be used enterprise-wide and free project teams to manage quality and improve safety through faster, real-time management of defects.”
It is easy to declare some clear blue water between single-user applications and the conjectMI solution, but rival vendors will immediately contest the assertion that it is the first enterprise-level application (much will depend, of course, on how ‘enterprise-level’ is defined).
For example, Mobile Computing Solutions’ Priority1 is a mature UK product that started out as a PDA solution and has been progressively updated to today’s Android tablet application, backed with a Software-as-a-Service reporting and workflow management backend (see MCS Priority1 working with 4Projects post). It is being used across various sites by employees of contractor Willmott Dixon, for example, both for site-specific tasks such as defects management, and for multi-site reporting across projects by group staff monitoring health and safety and environmental performance. Moreover, MCS’s relationship with 4Projects means the Priority1 quality control features complement functionality already offered in 4Mobile and in the core 4Projects SaaS platform.
And there are others. In February, I wrote about Dome Consulting and its developing suite of SaaS collaboration (Dome Connect) and defects management (iSnag) tools, and last month I described Newforma’s new mobile quality control data capture and task creation tools.
[Disclosure: at different times, I have undertaken consultancy projects for Conject, MCS Priority1 and 4Projects]