Recent Twitter follows have led me to look at a few new – to me – names in the SaaS and mobile construction applications world:
- BIMcollab – Netherlands-based Graphisoft (ArchiCAD) and Solibri reseller Kubus specialises in building information modelling solutions in Europe’s Benelux region, promoting OpenBIM and IFC workflow solutions, including BCF Manager – BIM Collaboration Format (BCF) plug-ins for Revit and ArchiCAD – and BIMcollab – a cloud-based issue tracking system for BIM.
- eLogger.co.uk – Not to be confused with other eLogger products, this Sevenoaks, Kent, UK-based business specialises in an Android mobile solution for construction health and safety and facilities management. The core product is Pad2Print, which helps H&S/FM professionals centralise their management tasks, compiling documents and risk assessments, capturing site information in situ, and managing routine monitoring or maintenance schedules. The product is priced at £99/user/month.
- Safesite – Also supporting health and safety needs, Brisbane, Australia-based Safesite has developed a mobile tool (available for Apple devices and possibly other platforms – like Aecore, its website lacks information about the product, company, its track record, etc). Current features include site inspections, a personnel register, management reporting tools, and a plant/equipment register. In development (“coming soon”) are: pre-start meetings, toolbox talk coordination, work permit registry, incident reports, non-conformance reports, and site induction.
- Protrakr – Also lacking useful background information, the website of Washington DC, US-based Protrakr says it is a construction management app linking office and site. APP linking the office to the job-site, allowing the user to log a timesheet, submit a field report and input daily quantity production.
- SmartPM by Construx Solutions – Atlanta, GA, US-based Construx provides schedule, data and cost management solutions. Launched in May 2014, SmartPM combines online and mobile technology with CPM scheduling and digital daily reporting, real time performance metrics and schedule updates. Two levels of functionality are provided: “Daily Schedule Manager” (excluding the free single user option, pricing starts from $15/user/month) and the more fully-featured “Lean Project Manager (with data analysis)” (priced from $59/user/month – both prices based on up to four users).
A new ‘bubble’
Fifteen years ago, during the first dot.com boom, dozens of cloud-based collaboration providers were launched into the construction industry but not all of them survived when the bubble burst. Today we are perhaps seeing a similar bubble growing, buoyed by the ease with which a start-up can quickly develop a basic app and create some cloud-based computing and storage capabilities. Not all of these new entrants will survive. Some offer nothing that isn’t already delivered by more established vendors, demonstrate little or no track record, and provide no detail on their management, financing, hosting, reliability, security, etc – all factors that customers should be considering when looking to support project-critical processes.