The COVID-19 pandemic had caught us all by surprise, affecting almost each and every aspect of our lives. Fortunately, the construction industry is suffering less compared to some other sectors and continues to operate – albeit differently. However new regulations and business conducts, such as social distancing, having a smaller workforce on job sites, and reduced face-to-face interactions are making it hard to meet project schedules and budgets.
Digitised construction and operational processes are becoming a critical necessity. Our challenge as construction leaders is to make the right choices in how to cope with the new situation and decide which technologies to implement, to address the new ‘realm’ we now live in with highest possible efficiency.
At Buildots we have developed an artificial intelligence (AI)-based construction process management system to provide maximum control of your construction processes with minimal effort. It already addresses many of the new COVID-19 era challenges, as an integral and streamlined element of existing construction workflows. Clearly, we cannot enforce social distancing or eliminate infections, but we can help with the rest…
Buildots turns every site visit into invaluable and actionable project information, by automatically analysing data from hard-hat mounted 360 cameras against the project’s design and schedule. Our construction control centre platform allows easy access to the data and presents up-to-date progress control reports, insights, and project visuals.
Let us look at some of the main challenges for construction leaders, and how we believe Buildots can help.
CHALLENGE #1: Reduced time on site
While there’s a need to minimise the presence of non-critical personnel on site, many of our workflows in the construction sectors rely on their presence. For example, a commercial manager approving subcontractors’ payments has to go to site to validate work. Or a construction planner, has to visit the site, or speak with the operations team, to update the project schedule. Historically much of this work has been carried out manually.
Buildots allows for conducting these project management activities digitally, understanding the exact status and completion of any task or process.
CHALLENGE #2: Tighten project controls and risks
Such difficult times have clear financial effects on our existing as well as future business, which call for a tighter control on corporate and project budgets. To do so, managers need to control and reduce risks as much as possible, which can be done with an objective, single source of truth for all your company’s projects.
Buildots provides exact completed vs. planned information on each capture, and is able to dramatically reduce the number of snags by continuously validating progress against designs and schedules, either for a single project or for all projects, making sure there are no information gaps, and allows you to maintain maximal control of the construction processes across your company.
CHALLENGE #3: Supply chain uncertainty
This unique situation is expected to have direct effect on the sector’s supply chain, including available labour, materials and other resources essential for delivering our projects. Project teams would need to be dynamic and quickly build mitigation plans for any unexpected shortage. Making wise decisions quickly requires immediate access to up-to-date data reflecting the project status.
Buildots makes the current project status available for all involved parties, with questions such as “how many windows are we still missing?” answered in seconds no matter how big or complex the project is.
CHALLENGE #4: Better predictability to your contingency budgets
As projects now progress slower than planned due to COVID-19 ‘force majeure’ situation, one can expect that discussions regarding payments and liabilities with subcontractors and with the customer (developer) would most probably occur while getting closer to project completion and handover. Therefore, it is crucial that contingency budgets are well kept so that unpredictable issues and unnecessary rework is minimised. You also need to prepare yourselves with documentation that allows fruitful discussions with minimal friction in settling all claims and liabilities.
Buildots presents management with a single source of truth which helps to predict slips and minimise potential process issues, while continuously collecting objective project data to contribute to creating clear and comprehensive post-project objective evidence to what was done and what not, when, where and by whom.
CHALLENGE #5: Keep construction information flowing
Although in times of crisis we tend to put a tremendous effort on the operational aspects of our business, we realise that in order to maintain our company’s ‘pulse,’ leadership and competitive position, we should keep learning and improving by sharing information and lessons learnt between teams and projects. This also has a substantial psychological effect on our staff and project partners, who all need to push for excellence even in hard times.
Buildots cloud platform facilitates such information sharing at all levels across an organisation. For example, interesting construction cases or issues can be shared, viewed and debriefed, initial vs. actual plan analyses can be made and shared with external stakeholders, and the measurement of excellence recorded and shared too.
Rough times can also be regarded as a great opportunity to improve and to make significant changes to the way we operate. History had shown that many paradigm shifts happened as a result of necessity and not necessarily out of choice.
Systems like Buildots were originally designed to optimise construction processes, and doing it right the first time. It is now their time to shine, and for us as leaders to let them shine for us.