Construction projects need data-driven decision-making. Here’s why.

Given the complex, changeable and costly nature of construction, excellent project management decisions are vital. Without them, construction sites become disorganised, inefficient, expensive and unsafe.

The technological leaps we’ve seen in recent decades can seem dizzying at times, but the reality is that they offer us unprecedented potential to improve the way we plan and execute construction projects.

In construction, basing operational and strategic decisions on data that has been consistently collected and analysed can unlock extraordinary benefits.

Better decisions

Here are some of the most compelling reasons for using big data when making decisions on construction projects.

Objectivity

Reliable data that spans multiple facets of a construction project over time can give the most accurate overview of how things are working. It provides a foundation for decision-making and strategising that is informed and unbiased.

Immediacy

Live tracking of everything – from the progress of work, to locations, costs and documentation – has been made possible by GPS, mobile and cloud-based tech. Never before have we had access to so much real-time information to guide decisions.

Dynamism

Construction workers with mobile phones have become frontline gatherers of data on projects. What this means for decision-makers is that they have the best possible oversight of what’s happening on site at any given time, allowing them to be more responsive to actual circumstances and variables.

Connectivity

Real-time reporting and universal access to cloud-based data means that different teams can draw on integrated information (relating to performance, documentation, costs, safety and more) that’s always up to date. This enables better communication, better collaboration, greater accountability, and – you guessed it – better decision-making.

Efficiency

Automated reporting, alerts and forecasting use data to create efficiencies. Reducing the need for manual systems saves on time and project management resources, as well as minimising the risk of human error. These consistent, reliable reports and forecasts create clarity for decision-makers.

Measurability

Going forward, decisions and actions can be measured against strategic objectives. As more data is collected over time, decision-makers can see what works and what doesn’t, allowing them to plan better for the future.

Data-driven decisions with sitemobi

Our sitemobi cloud-based, real-time construction management solution includes:

  • daily operational performance tracking,
  • live cost tracking and forecasting,
  • document management,
  • quality control applications,
  • contract management,
  • safety and environment monitoring.

Our software streamlines all of these elements in one integrated, easy-to-use system, so that management teams can optimise efficiency, safety and performance on construction projects.

We can help you make better decisions – get in touch with us to find out more.

Construction’s digital future: how can we get there faster?

Technology has already facilitated vast changes in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector, but there’s still a way to go.

We posted recently on where construction tech is headed next. Research is showing us how technology is affecting our industry now and how it stands to develop in future – but how do we respond to these changes and accelerate our journey to a digital future?

McKinsey & Company addresses this question in their 2018 report, Seizing opportunity in today’s construction technology ecosystem. They include some useful action points for the coming years for AEC firms and tech providers.

How to fast track digital progress

AEC firms

  • Invest in talent and skill building by:
    • hiring people with technical expertise
    • upskilling your existing employees in new technologies and earmarking funds for capability building.
  • Engage with the startup ecosystem by:
    • investing directly or indirectly in startups
    • partnering with them for piloting or co-developing solutions.
  • Establish conditions of success for piloting and scaling by:
    • setting aside funding in order to experiment with technology
    • bringing in outside startup expertise when needed.

Tech providers

  • Listen to the end user and adapt products by:
    • working out ‘real needs’ of customers versus ‘nice-to-have’ applications.
  • Plan for the journey to integration and consolidation by:
    • finding ways to evolve towards integrated solutions that cover multiple use cases (such as on-site execution, digital collaboration and back-office integration)
    • strategising for ‘co-opetition’ (i.e. simultaneously collaborating and competing with other startups).

Looking to the future with siteoffice.mobi

At siteoffice.mobi, we’re one of only a handful of startups whose products span on-site execution, digital collaboration and back-office integration, which puts us ahead of the majority of other construction tech providers.

Our cloud-based, real-time construction management solution includes:

  • daily operational performance tracking
  • live cost tracking and forecasting
  • document management
  • quality control applications
  • contract management
  • safety and environment monitoring.

Our software streamlines all of these elements in one integrated, easy-to-use system, so that management teams can optimise efficiency, safety and performance on construction projects.

As builders, engineers and software developers working together, we have genuine insight into needs of the AEC sector. We’re confident of our trajectory into the future as we collaborate to solve real problems in construction.

Think we can help you? Chat to us today.

sitemobi shortlisted for Australian Construction Awards 2019

The sitemobi team is excited to announce that our real-time cloud-based construction project management focused software and app has been shortlisted for an Australian Construction Award (ACA) this year in the Technological Innovation of the Year category.

The Australian Construction Awards are the leading construction and design awards for Australia. Hundreds of companies entered the awards in 2019, with award categories, including:

  • Health & Safety Solution of the Year,
  • Process Innovation of the Year,
  • Product Innovation of the Year,
  • Technological Innovation of the Year,
  • Supplier of the Year,
  • Sustainable Construction Award,
  • Marketing Initiative of the Year,
  • Offsite Construction Project of the Year,
  • Regeneration Project of the Year,
  • Architectural Design of the Year,
  • Women in Construction Award, and
  • Australian Build Excellence Award.

Congratulations to all the shortlisted finalists, particularly those in the Technological Innovation of the Year award category:

  • Davies Design and Construction,
  • Meriton Group,
  • My Build App,
  • Nexvia,
  • Plangrid,
  • Propeller Aero,
  • Seels Technology,
  • sitemobi,
  • Sydney Trains, and
  • UNSW.

The Australian Construction Awards are judged by a leading panel of industry experts form across the architecture, design and construction industry, with winners and runners up being announced at the ACA awards evening on Thursday 14 March 2019 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Get your tickets here.

Best of luck to all shortlisted finalists – we look forward to seeing you there!

Keep track to stay ahead: why cost tracking apps are giving construction companies the edge

Construction projects rely on accurate cost and quantity forecasts using up-to-date financial data. Get this part right and you can take control of your commercial position.

Each day, paper-based financial documentation such as dockets and invoices accumulate on site. What’s the best way to wrestle this information into a system in order to track costs and enable useful forecasting for a construction project?

Spreadsheet

Typically, paper documentation is collected, taken to an office, and then the data is typed into spreadsheets. There are downsides to this type of system:

  • It’s cumbersome and time-consuming.
  • Useful information only becomes available to managers hours later.
  • It’s easy for spreadsheets to become unwieldy and difficult to interpret.
  • Double-handling from site to office can lead to errors and incomplete data.

Mobile app

Spreadsheets begin to look feeble and inefficient when compared with the benefits of recording and processing financial data via a mobile app.

Our siteoffice.mobi app does the work of cost tracking and forecasting for you:

  • Daily costs and production quantities can be captured instantly on site using mobile devices.
  • Data entry takes minutes rather than hours, and doesn’t have to happen in an office.
  • Managers can see activity costs in real time, with live information being captured from the field.
  • Costs and quantity forecasts are updated automatically in real time.
  • The cost register can be filtered by date, resource type, business, docket number or keywords. The full approval history can be viewed for each cost item.
  • Forecasts can be updated daily or weekly, rather than monthly, allowing for more control and proactive management.
  • Cost tracking and forecasting happens on the same integrated platform.

Want to increase efficiency, accuracy and sustainability on your construction projects?

Cloud-based software and mobile apps enable construction professionals to swiftly and accurately capture data in real-time on site, saving valuable time, money and effort, while drastically reducing or eliminating paper usage, and ensuring superior quality data and documentation for client handover at the end of the project.

Do these construction project problems sound familiar?

Double handling data

  • On site data capture = pen and paper + mobile phone photos
  • Data is typed and collated into an electronic format later at the office
  • Data is not real time – only becomes visible & useful hours later

Lost documentation

  • Documents are manually transported between office and site
  • Some documentation is required on site to continue operation. If lost – work stops until the document has returned

What a waste!

  • Construction projects generate a massive amount of paper (around 435 sheets per day on average)
  • Becomes a nightmare to organise and store – scanned paperwork takes up much more storage room than digital documents

Client handover

  • At the end of the project, clients literally receive a truck load of paper work
  • Clients often commit substantial resources to organise, scan & arrange documentation
  • When an adjoining or extension project comes along, investigation into what previously happened means spending money, time and effort

There is a better way!

Mobile and cloud-based technology, such as siteoffice.mobi offers an environmentally sustainable option that saves construction teams time, money and effort, while providing clients with good quality data and documentation at project handover.

New year, new name, new features

You said it and we listened!

After years of being referred to as sitemobi rather than siteoffice.mobi, we’ve taken the hint! We’ve dropped ‘office’ from our name and will now be known as sitemobi.

We agree with you – it’s easier to say and it still conveys what we do for construction management, capturing what happens on site and making that data mobile and instantly available to those who need it.

Simplicity, efficiency and sustainability remain at the heart of our business.

What else is new?

As well as simplifying our name, we are continuing to hone our software, optimising the features that have made sitemobi Australia’s leading project management software:

  • New dashboard and insightful metrics, including:
    • Daily costs – a comparison between your last week’s daily costs and your current week.
  • Easy viewing of total costs and adjustments, including:
    • Total approved costs;
    • Total costs pending approval;
    • Total approved activity costs;
    • Total adjustments.
  • Quick view graphs, showing:
    • Labour – number of labourers on site, this week vs last week;
    • Plant usage – yesterday’s plant usage vs last week;
    • Monthly costs – last 6 months.
  • Diary photos space, with easy interaction with photos and quick review of diaries ↑
  • Customisable daily production graph – choose the activities that you want to focus on!
  • Brand new production register.
    • Within the site section of the web app, we’ve added a new tab called production. This is the one-stop place to see the daily production of all your activities and even print out a summary report.

What does this all mean?

sitemobi can deliver real-time insights and give you complete control of your commercial position, through:

  • Live costs and forecasting, so you know your financial position 24/7;
  • Live activity updates that are integrated with your office;
  • Daily diaries and an offline-capable mobile app to capture what’s happening on site from anywhere;
  • Offline-capable mobile forms, integrated with your program activities, to ensure your business complies with safety and environmental regulations; and
  • Round-the-clock quality assurance, with the latest drawings, specifications and site inspection forms at your fingertips.

New docket app coming soon

We’ll soon be releasing an electronic docket solution as part of the sitemobi platform.

A mobile-first application, sitemobi’s dockets will be a separate app for use by subcontractors, delivery personnel and other providers, which will automatically integrate with the existing sitemobi platform. Stay tuned for more!

And, as usual, get in touch with us if you have any questions – we’re happy to chat!

Paperless construction projects – everyone’s a winner

The construction industry generates a significant proportion of the world’s waste. With global digitisation in full swing, going paperless is not only achievable for construction projects, it’s the least we can do to join the quest for a more sustainable future.

Consider this example:

A $200m project runs for two years.

This is how much paper is generated each day of the project:

  • 8 site engineers: 80 sheets
  • 4 project engineers: 20 sheets
  • 8 supervisors: 40 sheets
  • 2 safety reps: 40 sheets
  • 2 quality reps: 40 sheets
  • 1 environmental rep: 10 sheets
  • 1 project manager: 5 sheets
  • 4 administrative/accounts personnel: 100 sheets
  • resources: 100 paper dockets

Based on these estimates, this project will amass a whopping 208,800 sheets – 1 tonne of paper – by the end of its two-year lifespan.

Time to talk about digitisation? We think so.

Going paperless: who are the losers?

No one! Literally everyone benefits from paperless construction projects. Beyond the obvious environmental wins, all stakeholders stand to gain from digitisation.

Construction teams win

Useful, real-time data. Mobile and electronic forms allow you to capture data on site and instantly make it available to everyone on the project.

No more double handling. Pen and paper are time-consuming and prone to human error, and written documentation and photographs have to be typed, scanned and collated in spreadsheets or Word documents later at the office.

No more lost documents. Pieces of paper get lost, particularly when they have to travel between locations. If documents such as permits disappear, work has to stop until they’re found or replaced. Store them digitally and this risk no longer exists.

Better storage and searchability. Filing paperwork is a headache, and scanned files take up much more storage space than electronic documents. In a digitised system, data can be stored and sorted in multiple ways (e.g. by discipline, sub-discipline, status, etc.) and documents can be found in a matter of seconds. The value of this is crystal clear if we consider these stats, published by Construction Business Owner:

  • It takes an average of 18 minutes to find a paper document.
  • 70% of businesses would fail in three weeks if they had a catastrophic loss of paper due to a fire or flood.

Clients win

At the end of a project, rather than receiving a truckload of paperwork (which then requires additional resources to sift through, scan and organise it), clients can be handed a digital record that is already organised, coherent and useful.

Future projects win

Related future projects benefit from easily searchable, high-quality historical data. This saves both clients and construction companies significant amounts of time and money.

Talk to the experts

The global imperative to reduce, reuse and recycle grows each day. At sitemobi, we’ve made it our business to improve data management and real-time communication, boosting efficiency, increasing transparency and saving you money – while working responsibly to reduce our industry’s environmental footprint. Talk to us today to find out more.

Building on solid foundations: 2018 a year in review

The team at siteoffice.mobi would like to wish our clients, colleagues and friends a happy, healthy and prosperous new year. Here’s to an incredible 2019! We extend our sincere thanks to our customers for your support in 2018 and look forward to working with you this year.

We are proud of what we achieved in the second half of 2018 – see below for a summary:

Unearthed Accelerator program – siteoffice.mobi graduates

“The problem: 20% of construction projects run over time, 80% over budget and 95% of data is not captured or lost”

siteoffice.mobi Lead Software Engineer Frances Hallett pitching our project management platform at Unearthed Accelerator Demo Day on Tuesday 18 December at Advance Queensland’s The Precinct in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. The siteoffice.mobi team spent the last 12 weeks exploring how our construction management software can best help streamline infrastructure projects for critical assets on mine sites. Watch this space!

siteoffice.mobi at IAQ Infrastructure Summit and Future Infrastructure Summit 2018

On Friday 14 September 2018, the siteoffice.mobi team exhibited at the 4th Annual Queensland Infrastructure Summit, hosted by The Infrastructure Association of Queensland at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre. This year’s future-focused Summit also featured the interactive IAQ Infrastructure Innovation Challenge, which our Lead Software Engineer Frances Hallett competed in.

siteoffice.mobi was proud to be a bronze sponsor of the inaugural Future Infrastructure Summit 2018; co-presented by the Lean Construction Institute Australia and buildingSmart Australasia on Monday 22 October 2018. In addition to sponsoring and exhibiting at the event, our Lead Software Engineer Frances Hallett presented on embracing digital transformation in the construction and infrastructure sectors.

Australian National Construction Review interview

Watch the ANCR interview with siteoffice.mobi’s Founding Director Andrew Chalker and Lead Software Engineer Frances Hallett about our construction project management software and app and how it can help improve the efficiency, sustainability and mobility of construction, building and infrastructure projects:

Here’s what one of our awesome customers has to say:

“The ability to have copious amounts of live data across multiple projects has been a huge benefit to MGN Civil. The previous excel system was unsuited for this growth and ultimately would have led to inconsistencies in data. Since implementing siteoffice.mobi, MGN has grown from $2M to $18M turnover. I would recommend working closely with siteoffice.mobi to work out the best solutions specific to your business” – MGN Civil Director Guy Schweitzer.

Harness the power of real-time data to take back control of your construction projects

Unlock complete control of your commercial position

The potential for greater efficiency, visibility and better communication is in the hands of industry personnel, as most construction workers use smartphones or tablets on the job. However, the majority of project systems are not designed to be used on these devices.

 

Harness the power of real-time data by using siteoffice.mobi to capture and proactively manage three cornerstones on construction projects: time, cost, and quantity.

Drive improvements in productivity, mobility and transparency

Our daily diaries capture the events in a work shift across multiple activities, providing a comprehensive summary with live tracking of:

  • costs,
  • production quantities,
  • production rates,
  • activity progress, and
  • resource usage.

Your construction program, cost and production register, project forecast, cost and risk graphs are automatically updated as a diary is approved.

Keen to take your projects to a whole new level?

Find out how.

Silos aren’t the problem, systems are: tech to better connect construction teams

In the construction industry, projects typically involve multiple teams from different disciplines carrying out complex pieces of work. Success relies on these teams integrating and communicating with each other to get the job done.

The idea of the “siloed workplace” is commonly blamed for woes including:

  • poor productivity
  • ineffective coordination
  • wasted resources
  • frustrated teams.

To an extent, siloed work practices deserve their reputation as project saboteurs, but leaders need to be realistic in diagnosing the true source of workplace inefficiencies.

Are inefficient systems contributing to poor productivity?

Silos can make sense

Silos make sense in that they’re teams of skilled specialists who work closely together on a common goal. They’re a reality for most large operations. The point is not to try and destroy silos (and thereby nullify their benefits) but to connect them better.

Systems are the problem

The real cause of silo-related difficulties is the fact that teams are poorly connected. Teams that fail to synergise with the wider project have their work devalued and compromised.

The secret to connecting teams better lies in integrating the systems they use to carry out and track their work. Excel spreadsheets are commonly used as a tool to pull information from disparate systems and communicate it across project teams. There are obvious inefficiencies in this approach, including the time it takes for teams to meet, talk through and hand over spreadsheets, which are liable to change as the project progresses.

Solving the problem

Doing away with the downsides of multiple disconnected systems involves moving to a single system that accommodates everyone’s needs.

Mobile and cloud-based technology, such as siteoffice.mobi, is helping drive improvements in productivity across the construction industry. The siteoffice.mobi software and app covers all aspects of the construction phase of a project, giving managers and engineers access to:

  • real-time cost capturing
  • cost forecasting
  • a fully integrated program
  • document management (Safety, Quality, Design etc.)
  • intuitive dashboards
  • data-driven reports.

Benefits of a single system

Key benefits of this technology include:

  • Real-time project tracking. Far better than spreadsheets and paper-based systems, real-time tracking enables managers to predict and avoid major cost blowouts before they happen, and to improve production rates.
  • Everyone already has a mobile or tablet and knows how to operate it. All teams can have up-to-date project information, including documentation like sketches and plans, in their pockets wherever they go.
  • An integrated digital system captures and analyses data in ways that have not been possible before now. Using this data to make future decisions builds unprecedented value into construction projects.