Construction Excellence & Business Intelligence

Highlights and insights from our Construction Innovation event's first panel discussion

The initial panel discussion of the event was about the challenges and best practice of achieving construction excellence. It also covered the impact that analytics and business intelligence is having on construction businesses.

Who was speaking?

Richard Coupe, Project Director at Fletchers. Richard is leading New Zealand’s largest construction project, Commercial Bay, and as part of the research for that project traveled overseas to see innovative new builds and construction processes. He has a wealth of experience in the industry having previously managed the Wellington Region for Fletchers after spending time managing other major local projects.

Craig Watkins, Technical Services Manager at Hawkins. Craig has a lot of experience bringing traditional processes into the digital age. He is heading up an integrated data project at Hawkins. The project will streamline information across projects and make the information already being generated across sites work harder for the business.

Graeme Harvey, Construction Director at Dominion Constructors.  Graeme is heavily involved in the development of Dominion’s performance management systems and is a champion for the use of data to better understand risks and opportunities across projects. Dominion Constructors is also at the forefront of using BIM (Building Information Modelling) – to manage construction.

Construction excellence is doing the right work the right way.

The panelists agreed that the pillars of construction excellence are building a team of world-class people for undertaking world class projects and doing the ‘right work’ the ‘right way’. However, the ‘right way’ of doing construction projects can be challenged through pushing boundaries and innovating.

Cost, time, quality, HSE and relationships still the most important construction KPIs.

Excellence was also about achieving across the 5 key performance indicators of construction – cost, time, quality, HSE and relationships. KPI’s have remained consistent across time but how they are measured is changing rapidly. Historically silos of data were analysed at month’s end in a spreadsheet by separate departments.

The risks associated with the traditional manual reporting processes include:

  • Massaging of figures to under or over report.
  • A large amount of wasted effort and lag in understanding project risks and opportunities by waiting until well after month end to receive project analysis and reports.
  • Inconsistent measurement of variables and discrepancies in data sources.
  • Methods are not scalable which is a big problem in today’s high growth construction environment.

As reporting processes and business information becomes more consistent there are more opportunities for construction businesses to scale. Which is where business analytics comes into play.

Consistency is key when implementing new business analytics technologies.

However, building consistency into what companies are trying to achieve is a big challenge in technology implementation. One way to address this is through a ‘single source of truth’ reporting mechanism. This can be a 1-page dashboard report which saves time and compares like information across a company’s projects. To maintain data consistency it is also important to get buy-in from the site teams inputting the data at the coalface.

BIM is big internationally but has a way to go locally.

Panelists agreed that while BIM is big internationally it is only in the early stages of adoption in New Zealand. The panelists believe that to get the most out of BIM on projects:

  • Everyone, at every level of the project, should have access to BIM modeling to be on the same page.
  • Clients awareness is being raised about technology like BIM within the industry, but they’re not contracting consultant teams to use it to its full effect.
  • It is not just designers and main contractors who need to be across BIM. Clients, sub-contractors, and consultants all need to be understand and use BIM to make it more effective.

More insights from the event.

Find out more about what the panelists had to say from the second panel ‘Successful Implementation of Technology into Construction Companies‘.

Learn more about global trends in construction technology from Acuite’s co-founders keynote presentation.