For an important construction project, we put our best construction team to work.
Now you're thinking: Yes, of course. So am I. But why do we actually have to trust that "our best employees" have to manage everything only because of their experience, which could perhaps be made more independent of the skills of individuals through a better planning and production process? And independently so that we have the skills of the good employees up our sleeve, but they are not necessities so that the house really stands at the end of the day (stress and pressure are pre-programmed with this way of working).
"I do not know where I am going but I get there faster"
"Der Halbwilde" from Helmut Qualtinger
What the Austrian cabaret artist Helmut Qualtinger calls "I have no idea where I'm going (on a fast motorbike), but I'll get there faster" when applied to construction are two things: we lack processes and tools to make the construction process controllable/measurable as well as the possibilities to learn from good and bad process variants. But what exactly do we mean by "learning" in the construction process?
For me personally: When I repeat a construction production process (erecting precast walls, laying pipelines, etc.), I ask myself the question: What would I like to do the same again because it was fast/cheap/not prone to errors and what was not?
And the supreme discipline is to transfer the good processes from one construction site to the next. Freely according to the motto: I have never built a hospital as a construction manager, but my company has the knowledge from 25 similar projects. This knowledge helps me in planning and implementation.
Data flow in construction operations as the magic ingredient
Since 2019, we know what a black hole looks like through space telescopes. Only somewhat better do we know (systematically - not just in the minds of those involved!) what the best processes of construction are. Tough call! But I'm pretty sure I'm not grossly off the mark, or at least provoking at the right corner.
Our motivation with CONTAKT is that we have built up a tool that, in daily construction operations with plan-measure-increase, enables precisely the control so that site managers and foremen, unlike the semi-wild, know pretty much exactly where they are going. And the real charm of digitalisation is that we collect data from construction operations for you and build a system in which the best processes can be repeated in the same project (keyword: continuous improvement) and teams can be networked across projects.
CONTAKThub: detail schedule planning
Each recipe has several ingredients
Just as no construction project is identical, no process and system landscape is identical either. This is precisely why an open BIM, data and method approach makes sense. Every construction and planning company can dock on and create an "individual recipe" from the best tools and communicate with each other quickly via defined channels.
When the "Halbwilde" on the machine sits down in a Google Streetview car
What's missing now, of course, is a call for action, right? Turn the ignition key, drive away with powerful solutions to "map" every metre of your digital construction site operation like a Google Street Car. Better known in Silicon Valley as "collecting data", because data is the new oil. Only when we become explorers in construction (again) and try to break new ground will we be able to build new patterns.
Means concretely: Trying out digital building operations, dealing with the new findings and positive and negative feedback in order to get better step by step. That is also learning - and that will let us fathom the black hole. Besides, motorcycling is fun, and our software should come as close as possible to that in the user experience.
Lucas Johannes Winter, Managing Director CONTAKT GmbH