Use of new digital tools at construction sites

Digitalisation enables more efficient construction work than ever before. Traditionally, a huge amount of documents that ultimately do not interact with one another are created in different applications at the planning, implementation and maintenance stages of building projects. Information may also be scattered in different desk drawers around various sites. Consequently, the ‘lessons learned’ type of information remains totally untapped in subsequent projects, as the information from earlier projects is either not easily accessible or the key persons have changed. Skanska utilises a unique application family developed by Fluent Progress which allows the agile linking of data from various stages of construction work. This means, for example, better estimates and cost-efficiency in construction work.

The Fluent Planner application has brought us clear benefits and improved our cost-efficiency. Resources are no longer needed for drafting separate weekly schedules for various contractors at the sites”, says Eetu Kauppinen, a foreman at Skanska.

With the application, all tasks are available for inspection in real time by anyone working for the project from a single piece of data terminal equipment (DTE). According to Kauppinen, the introduction of new digital tools has gone smoothly, and step by step they have included, besides the main subcontractors, also those subcontractors working at the site who do work outside the scope of the main contract. Kauppinen also remarks that if they had the capacity at construction sites to take the digital tools into use from the very beginning, their introduction could be even smoother. As a result, the contractors would commit themselves to using the tools even more.

Among Skanska’s employees, from subcontractors to foremen, the Fluent Construction applications have been found to be a great help in coordinating the weekly tasks. Owing to the applications, any pain points in the work are identified immediately, helping to quickly resolve the challenges faced. The documentation generated will help anticipate and avoid repeated problems in the future.

The Fluent Construction applications have proven to be clear and easy to use for the whole organisation.

Kauppinen says that all the users have been very pleased with the easy-to-use web application created by Fluent Progress. The contractors with multiple stages in their operation are using, in addition to the mobile app Fluent Go!, the browser-based Fluent Planner. Thanks to the new digital tools they can concentrate on what is essential in meetings. The schedules are displayed non-stop on the information displays at the sites making them easily visible to employees.

In the future, Kauppinen wishes to have the opportunity improve the level of accuracy at work not only at the subcontractor level but at that of individual employees. The ultimate wish would be to transfer to a totally paperless site where all tasks would be visible in real time at different DTEs simultaneously. At the same time, the information gathered at the sites is automatically documented for viewing at a later point in time.

Skanska’s operations in Finland cover construction services and residential and commercial project development as well as public sector life-cycle projects. Construction services include building construction, building services, and civil and environmental construction. Skanska Oy employed 2,152 people at the end of the year 2018.

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