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Cloud pushes construction management in a new direction

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While technology continues to evolve, we often don’t stop to think about why the world around us seems to be in a constant cycle of change. The reality is that keeping customers happy is what drives most innovation. Whether it is an app or something else in the cloud, the user experience is what matters most.
This phenomenon goes further than most would expect and is even prevalent in construction as teams continue to grapple with large and unyielding construction projects, not yet realising that technology innovation can not only make things easier, but also ultimately lead to a happier team.
The challenge when it comes to any change in the construction industry, whether technological, process-based or other, is that as with most innovation, a learning curve is inevitable and disruption to the ‘norm’ can be expected. Change is a natural process and will always lead to a more evolved and efficient process, but requires the acceptance of a level of disruption to the established comfort zones in methodologies and mindsets, along with the associated growing pains.
John Haefele, MD of South African construction collaboration solution provider Onsite Control Systems, says that the focus on construction projects today needs to shift and technology provides the way in which to do this effectively: “Construction management is one area where the application of collaborative technology can make a significant impact on the end result of a project in terms of time, budget and customer satisfaction.”
He says that while the industry is not entirely open to change, the construction and project management arenas understand the value of collaborative interaction around issued information and toward that, one needs to improve how information is created and disseminated: “A cloud-based project management system can address so many of the areas that have historically led to project issues and failures, very evident in the management challenges incurred by information being issued in the myriad of forms and routes used today.”
Haefele says: “People and relationships build buildings and this arena will always be one of relationship challenges leading to either proudly memorable, or sooner forgotten, stories of team-driven success or failure. A system like ours is designed to uplift and motivate team players in managing themselves and their teams more effectively, and to provide the support structure that gives all members across all disciplines a no-nonsense platform through which to work together. Allowing teams to co-ordinate, issue and manage their information, themselves and their teams in a significantly improved environment, reducing the excuse for disharmony leading to non-performance.”
The OnSiteIMS solution, developed by Onsite Control Systems, re-engineers information creation methods across all channels and from all disciplines, allowing the channeling of all types of information between client, developer, professional team, and contractor and onto subcontractors and suppliers through one platform and in a manner that is manageable, productive, efficient and traceable, from both mobile and online interfaces.
Haefele says that there is a pressing need to do away with the traditionally accepted methods of information creation, dissemination and management, and to adopt a cooperative approach via a single communication platform.
There are significant benefits to choosing an online project management system such as Haefele’s OnSite IMS solution. Aside from the overarching value of collaborative working and information sharing, Haefele says the top five reasons for using an online solution are:
* Empowering of all team members with the tools needed to act as and when required. Daily routines for any discipline requires meetings, site presence and endless running around, which often leads to inability to access the mediums through which to act, issue, respond and instruct. Replace the encumbered and inaccessible paper-based creation methods. OnSiteIMS Online and OnSiteIMS Mobile provides this.
* Improve management of information post issue. Provide a platform for all information distribution that cannot be refuted, negating the recognised downfalls of hardcopy, email, FTP, dropbox or similar creation and distribution routes. Provide an always available interface for team collaboration, co-ordination and improved teamwork.
* Overall project cost savings due to enhanced transparency and time savings. Resolves the current lack of tools for the efficient capture of cost items. Resolves challenges in authorisation and management of cost items. Awareness in the status of work in hand with any additions and variations along the way. Reduce complexity and increase accountability.
* Value for money – all involved can entrench value and be in control throughout the project by utilising one platform. Manage documentation remotely and monitor projects from any location in real-time. Reduce risk and improve financial returns. Reduce the turnaround time on information requests in turn mitigating costly delays.
* Facilitates a new way of thinking, driving collaboration and improved construction performance. Automate and streamline key processes and ensure best practice. All drawings from all disciplines in one location and always current. Manage quality assurance and inspection processes in realtime.