4 Companies Driving Digital Transformation In the Construction Industry

June 17, 2019 Jon Fingland

With the rapidly changing state of the industry, more and more construction companies are adopting scalable processes and best practices that drive digital transformation.

 

Three ways a company can adopt a scalable process are:

  • One deliverable at a time
  • One business process or technology at a time
  • Driving towards specific business outcomes  

 

First, there are plenty of third party resources that can help you create deliverables without making any upfront technology investments. This could be outsourcing the development of 3D models to generate construction quantities, optimizing a schedule using location-based techniques, or periodic reality-capture for comparison against the plan. This has a low cost to entry and helps generate the business case for wider adoption.

 

Second, when a company is adopting a single process or technology, regular evaluation is needed to assess how the process will support the desired outcome of a Constructible Process. Will the tool support constructible data, will it leverage managed or reusable building content, and will it contribute to a connected construction process? An important goal is encouraging the drive to the desired end while meeting the demands of today’s projects.

 

Third, companies can drive mid-to-longer-term strategies to drive specific business outcomes such as increased margin or market share. There are experienced business consultants that can help plan the Constructible roadmap.

 

The following are four companies using the Constructible Process and their results.  

 

Speed Modeling - VolkerWessels

VolkerWessels is a multi-disciplinary firm based in the Netherlands providing construction, infrastructure and real estate services, including self-perform. What started as an effort to reduce the volume of construction traffic into urban areas with more optimized delivery plans has yielded production optimization. VolkerWessels has set up warehouses outside of Amsterdam not just to stage material, but also to prefabricate components and package material and equipment by task and location for just-in-time delivery to the site. The concept has grown to workforce coordination as well. The workforce meets at the warehouse and is bussed in to the project each day with the material and equipment they need to do the work.

 

Constructible Data - M Moser Associates

M Moser Associates is a leading design partner focused on the design and delivery of the most advanced workspaces. As a designer, they have moved beyond design intent to “Constructible” level models. They deliver an “entirely constructible 3D modeling workflow that empowers any stakeholder to understand and participate in a project.” The constructible models “eliminate wasted resources and materials and allow for unprecedented attention to detail before reaching the site.”

Jason Li, Director of Organizational Development at M Moser Associates goes on to say,

“We're trying to shake the tree where a lot of people don't want to change.  I have a lot of war stories about how people are incredibly stubborn to change and don’t wish to consider alternatives. We've broken down a lot of assumptions like, ‘You can't use SketchUp for official documents to send to the government,’ or ‘It’s not accurate enough,’ or ‘We can’t collaborate with consultants using other programs.’ These arguments have melted and fallen by the wayside.”

M Moser Associates focuses on the organizational adoption and development and has ensured the process will be accepted and repeatable within the organization.  

 

Project Delivery - North Mechanical Contracting and Services

North Mechanical embraced the Constructible Process on a project to prove out concepts and meet the demands of the customer. They used fabrication level models enabled through content to communicate actual system components. The project delivery plan was optimized and delivered in less time. Quantity take off reduced time by 25%  when compared to their traditional process and yielded bill of material level construction quantities. On top of that, delivery was predictable as demonstrated through zero change orders. Ninety percent of the piping components were fabricated off site, requiring 50% less labor and generating savings of over $1M. The project manager, Dustin Allen states, “There is a real need for intelligent, fabrication-ready models that have the actual system components included.”
 

Supply Chain Integration - Barton Malow

Building off of the strategic initiative to double efficiency by 2024, Barton Malow's self-perform division implemented a Constructible Process, resulting in a 15% increase in concrete rebar productivity. Barton Malow models rebar, details it and sends it out for fabrication in their own factory. The constructible data is accurate enough to instruct the factory how to shear (cut) and bend the bars. The bars are then tagged and bundled for installation. The benchmark for the process was to make this as simple as the toy ‘Legos’. Imagine each bundle is a package of Lego bricks that leaves the factory with a booklet or set of instructions for how to tie and install the component. The packages are then tracked from the factory to the site. The crews onsite are given installation instructions on their mobile devices.  

 

“Leveraging a Constructible Process was instrumental in helping us achieve our efficiency goals,” Matt Hedke, Manager of Self-Perform at Barton Malow. 
 

 

Conclusion

The construction industry is undergoing significant change. Change will be required to compete, to attract the next generation of the workforce, and to meet the strategic goals for growth and efficiency. Change will require more than just technology. New business intelligence will be driven by process re-engineering, technology and by advancing people.

 

The Constructible Process is a path to driving the digital transformation. Key enablements will be constructible data, content-enabled delivery, and connected construction. To capitalize on this change and ensure it’s a repeatable success, organizations need to have clear goals, organizational readiness, and a data strategy. Organizations need to look at the process optimization with early access to constructible data in order to drive more efficient and predictable project delivery and optimize the supply chain.

 

Companies like Barton Malow, VolkerWessels, M Moser Associates, and Northern Mechanical Contracting and Services are proving their success. VolkerWessels’ speed modeling techniques enable a constructible model on every project, Barton Malow is seeing a 15% increase in productivity and Northern Mechanical was able to recognize $1M in savings on one project through off-site fabrication.

 

There are many ways your organization can succeed using the constructible process. Take a look at this guide to learn more.

 

About the Author

Jon Fingland

Jon Fingland is the General Manager of Collaborative Solutions at Trimble. He often speaks about the Constructible Process and the 'connected' C at industry events and conferences.

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