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Oct 30 2014

Gaining a competitive advantage in construction

Giving AEC customers an advantage over their rivals

We have long understood that our technology platforms aren’t just about making information management more efficient. They also help to make our clients’ businesses more competitive.

Tangible benefits

In the early 2000s, when Software-as-a-Service collaboration technologies first became available in the construction industry, the focus was often on the tangible savings that customers could make by replacing conventional, often paper-based methods for exchanging design and construction information. Of course, we couldn’t claim our software could make a project cheaper or quicker to deliver, but we could point to helping organisations make reductions in overhead expenses and process improvements – for example:

  • Reduced expenditure on materials and man-hours relating to printing, reproduction, distribution, storage and management of drawings, documents and forms (with corresponding environmental benefits)
  • Less time searching for, or chasing, already-existing information, or working on outdated information
  • Faster design revision cycles and other approval processes

Many of these are now taken for granted as industry standard and commerce as a whole has moved away from exchanging paper and embraced the digital world. As clients within the construction sector have become more sophisticated, new benefits have emerged:

Intangible benefits

Looking at the classic ‘triangle’ of cost, time and quality, use of our construction collaboration platforms can provide customers with improvements on:

Decrease Time & Cost, Increase Quality = Gain an Advantage

Time

  • Fewer claims for lost, incorrect or outdated information
  • Less re-work
  • Fewer disputes and litigation (almost invariably expensive)
  • Lower IT overheads

Cost

  • Faster access to drawings, documents and data
  • More timely involvement of stakeholders in key decisions
  • Faster compilation of project hand-over information
  • Faster evaluation and resolution of defects and claims

Quality

  • Fewer mistakes, and more certainty, through having ‘a single version of the truth’
  • Less duplication and ‘information overload’
  • Better reporting and auditability
  • Greater re-use of information (less ‘re-inventing the wheel’)

Integrating Technology to Deliver a Competitive AdvantageGetting ahead of the competition

Early corporate adopter customers of CONJECT soon began to find that such efficiency gains could quickly be translated into competitive differentiations to give them the edge over rivals.

For example, contractors and project managers identified that using a consistent system configuration dramatically reduced their mobilisation periods and provided greater corporate standardisation and more consistent working and reporting across all projects. Lessons learned on early projects could more easily be captured and applied to later schemes, continually improving project performance, rather than needlessly repeating past inefficiencies.

CONJECT began to be used for more than just document collaboration – to manage tendering processes and contract change, to streamline production of operation and maintenance information for handover, or to assess the project cost impacts of changes. This enabled our customers to further differentiate themselves from rivals who were just beginning to identify file-sharing efficiencies.

As a result of the accumulation of data across 100’s of projects our clients are extracting business intelligence from past information transactions, helping them to:

  • Identify designers who generate fewer RFIs, or which respond to RFIs more quickly
  • Detect relationships in initial tender pricing and out-turn costs
  • Identify subcontractors whose work generates fewer defect notifications
  • Look at the impact of using different contract forms or procurement routes

Such business intelligence can also be used to help win work. Some of our customers have used our platforms to manage competitive bids for new projects or programmes, efficiently gathering the inputs of their supply chain partners and building coherent and powerful tender submissions.

They have also been able to show how efficiency savings (through, for example, the use of mobile data capture and reporting tools) can also yield operational benefits to the ultimate customer (allowing their staff to sign-off defects on-site in real time using conjectMI).

Improved intelligence throughout the Plan-Build-Operate lifecycle

For our customers who aren’t contractors or consultants, our platforms can also be a major source of competitive differentiation.

Owner/operators can gain business intelligence from their CONJECT data to identify their best-performing designers, contractors and specialists to support cost-effective procurement of new built assets.

Those managing large estates of projects built over years of investment in new-build, extension and refurbishment can also aggregate data stored in our platforms to generate and maintain corporate standards for commonly used structures, building finishes, fixtures, furnishing or equipment, helping them negotiate with key suppliers and plan future investment.

With the integration of BIM models CONJECT are continuing to push forward and help their clients gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

 

Related blogs:

Business Consultancy: What sets CONJECT apart from other AEC vendors

Are you ready for Soft Landings?

Using technology to achieve BREAAM, LEED & Green Star accreditation

 

 

 

About the author

Michelle Mason

Michelle Mason leads the UK and MEAP Marketing team, with far too many years in B2B marketing to mention. A CONJECT newbie, Michelle is eagerly climbing a steep learning curve.

View my LinkedIn profile:
http://uk.linkedin.com/in/michellemason04

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