This is part 3 in a series of blog posts on how the intersection of 3D and business data can be leveraged throughout the lifecycle of a facility. Part 1 can be found here and Part 2 can be found here.
As a building project moves from preconstruction to construction, the associations made between 3D and business data in early phases can be leveraged to drive major efficiencies for everyone involved in the project. Based on conversations with peers in the industry, I see two major categories of use cases for the intersection of 3D and business data during the construction phase of a project.
The first category is visual reporting and analysis. Most project reports I've seen generated from legacy systems are dozens or hundreds of pages long, with a row for each cost code and a dozen or so key figures across the columns. What a mess! Wouldn't it be great if your employees, subcontractors, and owners could actually see where cost overruns, schedule slips, or quality issues are occurring? Even better, what if a timeline slider was introduced to allow a user to see the status on any given day in the past?
The second category is visual data entry. While some projects or companies have started to make use of mobile applications to get progress data entered quickly and accurately, the fundamental processes are still based on cost codes. What if a foreman could pull up a model on their tablet PC, select the components that have been completed or put in place, and confirm the work completion with one tap? While they're at it, they could enter labor hours spent and materials used, all of which are available immediately for real-time reporting. They might want to also take some photos of the completed work, record results of quality checks, and record commissioning data for any equipment that was installed and tested.
It is really exciting for me to think about all of the potential there is to work with our customers to deliver solutions that revolutionize their construction management processes. Our peers at SAP are applying Design Thinking to really shake things up in other industries. However, construction has traditionally been a late adopter to new ideas (see paper-based timesheets and job cost reports).
What are the roadblocks that are preventing construction companies from thinking outside the box and designing innovative solutions to delight their employees, partners, and customers?