How Technology Helps Remove Risk From a Transforming Capital Projects Industry
Welcome to InEight Innovations, where each quarter we roll out a series of enhancements to our integrated platform of solutions. We continually look to bring new capabilities into the platform that ultimately enables large teams to deliver these complex projects more efficiently and more effectively.
Rob Bryant: Well, good day everybody and welcome to the next in our series with InEight Innovations. Today we’re going to be taking a live look at some of our solutions. And effectively we are looking at a bit of a bookend today of the beginning and then towards the end of that project life cycle in terms of the solutions that InEight brings to market. And one of the things we’re going to be doing today is actually taking some feedback and listening to the requests that have come through from you, our market and our audience in terms of what you want to see and what you want to learn more about in regards to what we’re bringing to market.
And what a lot of our customers are using live today in their product operations and the way that they’re managing their projects and delivering some better outcomes and better results. So today I am joined by a number of our solution and innovation experts from InEight. So my name is Rob Bryant, I’m the Executive Vice President for InEight here in Asia Pacific. But it’s my pleasure to be talking today to Lili Sander who’s our Director of Product Model and Completions for InEight. Lili is going to be joined by Rick Deans who’s our VP of Industry Solutions. And also Nate St. John who’s our Director of Product for Schedule and Risk.
So Rick and Nate are going to be doing a bit of a live scenario walkthrough on some of that estimating and schedule risk scenario. And then Lili will take us through things from a completions point of view. So we will get right into things. Now before we do that, some housekeeping for you. We’re going to be taking a live dive into some of the solutions today. So you’re going to see the software live in terms of some of those walkthroughs and scenarios, so bear with us as we go through that. Fingers crossed we will have absolutely no problems, but of course live shows are always prone to things happening that you just can’t predict. So just bear with us if that occurs.
Please do ask any questions, keen to get those from you. That feedback’s really important. Helps us make sure that this lands the right way for you and it gives you an opportunity live today to ask some questions of the panel that we’ve got in front of us. And of course some feedback, we continue to evolve the innovation series based on your feedback. So if there’s things that you want to see more of, let us know and please share that across your and friends, because that helps us shape relevant content for you.
So we are going to look at some of the integrations that we provide here at InEight. Of course you’ve got those pillars of cost and schedule and scope, some of those immovable elements of projects. What we’re going to be doing is looking at how we can help you shape the outcomes and how you can help manage expectations with the stakeholders across your projects and within your organization. At InEight, we are all about finding that innovative integration. So the way our solution works across that full set, and if we can move along to that next slide there. Thanks Tony. Thank you.
So on this one, what we can see is how our solution works across that full life cycle. So we’re coming from beginning to end. Increasingly at InEight what we are all about is developing those workflows and those use cases that are relevant to your business. So it matters less about which particular one of those solutions you are working in, it’s more about the workflow and the use case that you have and how the functionality that we provide gives you an opportunity to improve the way that you are working in your projects today. So we’re going to take a look at that as we go through the next hour.
So just to really bring it home to what we are looking at today, as I mentioned before, it’s a bit of a bookend. So we’re looking at the starting points of those project life cycles as you get into cost estimating and as you’re assessing risks that you want to consider to make sure that you’ve got the most considered and the most predictable outcomes around projects. And you’re getting that stakeholder consideration and collaboration at that early point. And then at the other end the turnover, as you’re taking all of that data that’s been collected.
And the key here and what you’re going to see today is how we can take that project data and help you turn that into effectively project knowledge. So it’s taking it from data to information that you can use and then knowledge that you can use to further apply to future decisions. And also give you some readily available insights into what’s there, we’re having to go back and do it the hard way as you get to that project turnover point in the project. Of course, all of these are enhancements that we’re developing.
We’ve got a lot of these that are not just working with our own solution, but also integrations with a number of other market leading solutions as well. So we’ve covered some of those through the series, more on those to come, but today it’s about those two areas of estimating with risk and then turnover. So, I will get things started now and hand over to Rick to get us started on the cost estimating component of what we’re going to cover. Over to you, Rick.
Rick Deans: Thanks Rob. It’s always great to be on these webinars. We’re really excited about some of the innovations we’ve recently put out in terms of our estimating capabilities. We’re going to walk through some of the things, what we built, and then we’ll take a look inside of the live software to further explore those. One of the things our customers have been telling us is that they needed a little bit more flexibility when creating pricing proposals for their customers.
So one of the things that we’ve introduced in our most recent version of Estimate is the ability to have hierarchical pay items. So you can have a structure that’s as deep and rich as you’d like it to be, there can be a lot of different reasons for that. We’re also giving our customers more visibility into how that pricing is able to be explained to a customer. We’re giving our customers more flexibility in terms of how the math works and more flexibility in defining cost types.
One of the things we’re also really excited about is the ability to do some quantitative risk analysis. So the Estimate and Schedule applications can share data to minimize exposure to risk, and that risk can then be validated against history. Some of the pain points that we’re hearing from our customers are that clients want proposals broken out in more ways than just a flat list. Contractors tell us they want straightforward math, not only when they’re reviewing their prices internally but if they’re working with a client and explaining how they built up that price. They want that visibility into seeing how that price has been developed.
One of the things we hear a lot in our world is that I want to make sure I have adequate coverage in my proposal for contingency, and contingency usually addresses those known unknowns. We know we’re going to run into some things on this project we don’t know exactly what, but we want to be able to account for that. I also had a customer tell me a while ago, “Profit is not a four letter word. We’re very proud of the fact that we’re able to reinvest not only in our company but in our employees and in our communities and profit allows us to do that.”
And of course, if we erode our profit margins and we’re not protecting that profit on our projects, then we’re not able to do all of those great things. So we’re going to talk a little bit about ensuring that the prices have an appropriate amount of profit baked into them. And also we’re going to talk about something that we’ve done with a partner of ours, and that’s being able to introduce industry best practices by leveraging standard assemblies when we’re putting estimates together.
So again, I’m putting out a price. My job is to come up with a cost estimate that we’re going to turn into a pricing proposal for a client. And there’s all kinds of things running through my head at this moment. What is the work going to cost me? What sort of materials, equipment, labor, other resources am I going to need? Will I need to subcontract out some of the work to specialty to trades? What sort of overhead costs can I expect? We have what we call job related overhead as well as business related overhead. These are things we want to make sure we’re covering in the Estimate.
And then we’re going to get into a little deep dive on this whole concept of risk. What sort of risk should I be considering? How should I be able to mitigate my estimate based on some of these risks that we’ve identified? We talked a moment ago about profit. We want to protect our profit, make sure there’s enough in there that we can continue to grow our organization. And ultimately, how am I going to present this price to my customer? So when we talk about presenting a price to a client, sometimes the client has a mandated bid form that they’re going to want to see. There’s an example of one on the screen.
In some cases, the client really is looking for a number, a budgetary number, but maybe it’s in our best interests to break that down to show them all of the different phases or all of the different sections of the pricing proposal that we want them to consider as they’re looking at our price. Maybe my client wants a price value for the labor, the equipment, the material component of the overall price. Maybe I can offer different pricing options based on different risk assumptions or profiles. And what if I can give different pricing based on when the customer decides, “Well, give me a base bid and then an option for this or that or this or/and that.”
And what you’ve seen on screen are just some examples of some pricing proposals that we’ve run into that are very layered and detailed. And I’m going to switch over to the live software here and really showcase some of these new enhancements that we’ve made in the Estimate application. So for those of you who are familiar with our Estimate application, this is the bid pricing screen we call our Pay Item & Proposal Register. And you can see that there is a hierarchical relationship between these items.
And we hear it from our customers every day, “The client wants things broken out by building or by area or by system.” So they want a price to be built up of all of these different components that comprise a system. Well, that’s great. These items are very malleable. We can move these around with ease, drag them and drop them. We can insert new items beneath, very easy to insert, insert subordinate, children items. And really what that allows our customers to do is have full control over their pricing and the presentation of that pricing to their customers.
We’ve also expanded some of the capabilities, we’re not going to go into what all of these switches do. But we’ve given our customers quite a bit more flexibility in determining how some of that math works behind the scenes and how some of that can be then manifested and represented in those prices. And what does that look like to a customer. Let’s talk a little bit about risk. And Tony, maybe we could bring up that next slide. Perfect. So we mentioned earlier that risk is something that we want to mitigate.
And with the interaction between the Estimate and the Schedule applications, we can answer questions like what types of risk should I be considering? How much contingency should I add to my estimate to offset that risk? And then ultimately, how does that compare against my history? So in this example we’ve built up from the ground up in Estimate, and this Estimate has a certain amount of contingency set aside for those known unknowns. And what I’d like to do now is introduce my colleague, Nate St. John. And Nate is going to walk us through how InEight Schedule can then help us do analysis upon that risk. And we can have a discussion in terms of where we should be landing in terms of the contingency value to mitigate those risks.
Nate St. John: Yeah. Thanks Rick. So what we’re seeing here is the actual cost structure from InEight Estimate in InEight Schedule. And here, what we’ll do is we’ll set the scene for risk assessment, evaluation, and simulation. So the first thing that we’ll do here is we’re going to exclude the contingency line item that Rick’s team provided over from the simulation. The reason we’re doing this is that this $91,000 is a deterministic value. Using quantitative risk assessment, we want to come to a conclusion of what a recommended contingency value would be against what we call a probability value.
So we’ll first exclude that contingency, we’ll next go to the very top and set everything just as realistic. So ranges between plus or minus 10% is a nice place to start. Now from here, we can add additional areas of concern or in the risk world we call it aggressiveness that were noted from Rick in the Estimate. So Rick had sent over some information that he said 3.1.2 is an area of concern. In addition, let’s see, 3.3.2 he said was an area of concern, and then finally I believe he said 4.3.2, which is excavate and hold to site is also an area of concern.
So that information came from Estimate. But now that we’re in InEight Schedule, we also have an opportunity to take it further and map a discreet risk from the overall project risk register to this cost estimate. So for example purposes. If we were to go up and find, I don’t know, excavation, we can come in over to the right and access the project risk register. So for excavation we have a established risk called unknown site conditions, and we can simply map it to that item.
So now that everything’s been decorated across this CBS, we can go ahead and establish a targeted P value, let’s say 75, and then quick run a simulation. So we’ll run 1000 runs. We’ll come up to the top and we’re able to now identify, okay, what’s the overall risk exposure on this project for the targeted confidence level of 75%? So you can see we’re substantially higher, Rick, than your deterministic 91,000 once we bake these risks into a quantitative risk assessment tool.
So right now we’re sitting at 472K. So that’s most likely, Rick, above your tolerance level. And so there’s going to be an action to try to cover some of that exposure and usually that’s in the form of a mitigation strategy. So it’s important to remember that this shared data between Estimate and Schedule it’s a very iterative process. Okay. So if we were to say, “All right, that’s too much exposure.” We can take an approach to assigning a mitigation strategy against common drivers that are kicking out these values at P75. And what are those drivers?
So you can see that there’s some areas in the estimate that are contributing larger to the overall risk exposure. But you can see here that there’s also the discreet risk sitting in the second spot that’s ranked ordered. What is that risk? It’s obviously underground utility. So if we were to go find that risk, we have an opportunity to add a mitigation strategy. So if I just quickly added one called pothole. Pothole is going to allow us to lower the probability of hitting an unknown site condition, but we’re going to preserve the impact should that event still take place.
We have an opportunity to add in a $10,000 cost to mitigate, directing the teams now towards a cost benefit analysis. We can give it an owner and assign some additional metadata. So what we’ll do here is we’ll change the status of this risk from unmitigated to mitigated. So it now assumes the values of the mitigation strategy. We can come back up, quickly run another iterative simulation and see how much that has covered the risk exposure, again at our 75% confidence level.
So Rick, we took it from 450, 474, we threw in a $10,000 effort to mitigate one of the top drivers of a discreet risk and bring it back down to 374. So you can see how this back and forth iterative nature, which is common practice around the globe, can benefit in terms of validating and providing more insight on whether or not you’re determined contingency in the Estimate, Rick, is valid. So at this stage, we can pop back over to you and see maybe how you could take some of these insights and apply it to your Estimate moving forward.
Rick Deans: Yeah. And let’s do that. I’ll go ahead and bring up my live software again. And this is the state of the Estimate when I passed it over to Nate. There is my $91,000 of contingency. If I were to dive in here, we could see how I came up with this. As Nate likes to say, this is deterministic. I basically applied some percentages to some costs that I was expecting to hit. And you can see I’m sitting at about 6.27% of my overall costs in this case.
Now we’ve had some numbers jump up on the screen. I’m sitting at 91,000, before we mitigated that risk we were at 472, and now the sweet spot seems to be 374. I’m not sure the market will bear that, but we can do that iterative approach where we can start adjusting these percentages and seeing what we come up with. So maybe there’s a number between 91 and 374 that we can all agree on. And what this is doing is I tweak these values and I could certainly punch the 374 in there. There’s nothing wrong with doing that. But you can see it’s giving me an overall percentage in this case between 12 and 13%.
And what I really wanted to do now was validate that contingency percentage against my history. So with our benchmarking capabilities, we’re able to see, aha! Our average, this orange square in the middle, that’s my average contingency rate of about 15% for like projects. So I can filter on projects in a similar area or projects of a certain type or projects that I’m performing for a particular client. I can even bring up the actual tabular data that supports this. And I can see that my estimated ranges have been anywhere from 11 to 16 to 20%, and my actuals have come back a little bit high, a little bit low in some of those cases.
But now that I’ve got some validation against my history as well as some quantitative risk analysis that’s been performed, I can go to sleep a little easier tonight knowing that I think I’ve done a good job of looking out for a risk in this Estimate. Giving a price to the client that has that risk and that mitigation strategy baked into it. Yeah. And so now we’ve linked this with the Schedule. If I were expecting a normal distribution of that risk and you know we were going to have a ramp up ramp down associated with that risk, I could look and see when I’m expecting to spend, when I’m expecting to draw down that contingency at certain intervals.
We’ve had a lot of customers, on the next slide you’ll see that they really front load that contingency. Maybe we’re going to be doing a maintenance project on some old equipment that we haven’t serviced in a while and we start pulling the covers off of this stuff. That’s when we’re expecting that contingency spend to really, really happen and we’re expecting it to taper off after that. So again, we can model win. We’re expecting to hit that contingency money and what that’s going to look like for us as well. So pretty powerful capabilities just having a discussion across the wall here.
Another thing that we’ve done, we’re really excited to announce that we’ve partnered with an organization called Database Solutions. We’re going to talk about them in a minute. But what we’ve done, and this goes back several versions ago, in our version 17 we introduced this concept of Cost Item Assemblies, and customers love them. It allows for a top-down, parametric estimating where users are going to input some variables, they’re going to answer some questions. And it’s really an interview-based style of taking off a project.
And what we’ve heard from the customers is, “These are great. We want more of them. And could you please build some out for us? We’d really like to just get some pre-built data that we can start interacting with.” So through our partnership with Database Solutions, these folks have done this for a living. They’ve created these assemblies that are sometimes known as smart assemblies, we call them Cost Item Assemblies. And the way that these work is users are prompted. They’re given a screen where they can answer some questions, and we’ll see that on the next slide here.
So they can pick from a variety of these assemblies that are organized into industry standard coding structures. So it’s not just a mismatch of these things, they’re very organized and they’re very tight. As I drill into one of these, I would then be presented with a list of questions. I can reference drawings and diagrams and instructions over there on the right. But I’m going to walk down and I’m going to answer some questions. Typical questions would be what type of rebar are we going to use? What’s the spacing of that rebar? What’s the strength of concrete we’re going to use?
And obviously dimensional inputs, right? What’s the length? What’s the width? What’s the thickness of this concrete that we’re going to pour? And then when I hit the okay button, it’s going to build for me in my cost breakdown structure a very detailed estimate. We’ll see that on this next screen. A very detailed estimate that involves all of those inputs that are already preloaded into a whole bunch of what if statements that are baked into that Formula Editor. So from an end user experience I’m answering some questions, I’m hitting the button, and the system is then building out this very elaborate, very detailed structure for me.
So it’s a great way for those organizations that want to leverage industry best practices, or even enforce their own best practices organizationally to have all users have access to the same knowledge set. And it’s typical that our customers would continue to build out on these, they would look at these as a means of getting a starter set. But we’re really excited again to talk about these and to introduce our partner, Database Solutions, to our customer base. That they’re going to be able to provide these and support these as we go forward. So we’re really excited about that.
Rob Bryant: That’s great Rick and Nate. Thank you very much for that. I think it’s just awesome to get a live insight into how that workflow occurs, how that use case occurs. I’m sure it’s going to be familiar to a lot of people in the audience today. But personally, I think that was really interesting to get that insight into how that use case evolves and how you draw in that risk analysis to see what it really means, how it’s going to play out. And wow! The time and money that could be saved as a result. I know that’s what a lot of our clients are enjoying, so good to explore it today.
The next part that we’re going to cover in today’s session is from Lili Sander. And Lili is going to take us through that project turnover component. So as we get towards the other end of the project, how do you take that information and make sure that it can be applied to the operations and the maintenance phase of the project as it moves into that long life cycle? A critical point in any project. And anyone out there who’s been involved in project turnover will know just how critical it is. So Lili, over to you to take us through what we’ve been innovating in this space.
Lili Sander: Thank you Rob. As Rob mentioned, I’ll be highlighting some of the advancements that we’ve made around our project turnover solutions. I’ll primarily be focusing in on the modeling completions products on the InEight side. But this really does touch every phase of the project life cycle as we well know. So some of the problems that we observed as we were creating the solution and advancing what we offer in this space really have to do with what I’ve personally experienced and observed over the past decade. Which is a number of projects that may be hitting or even beating their budget and schedule.
And then when they get to that last phase of the construction project, that last six months, that last 20% something happens. And there tends to be this scurry out in the field of these poor field engineers trying to gather all the information they can from the field, from the trades who may no longer be on site. And suddenly productivity just drops and we start to miss our schedule dates. And there’s this really ripe problem that I think the industry is really starting to pay attention to really over the last five years. But this critical moment at the end of a project where we just start to lose all the good stuff we had going through the construction process.
So lots of opportunities to solve some of these problems on the contractor side. And additionally on the other side of a project, the owners and operators tend to struggle with making the most out of the data they receive at the end of the project. About five or six years ago, I was sitting with the deputy executive director for one of the large international airports here in the States. And we were talking about how to optimize turnover and the initial operations push for a number of the large capital projects they had upcoming.
And there was this incident where the facilities team needed to understand what was behind a particular wall in one of the electrical rooms. And they knew they had a ton of field photos and insulation photos from the project handover, they just didn’t know which hard drive it was on and they didn’t know where that hard drive was. And something really resonated with me when he said, “I know I have it I just can’t find it.” It was this moment in time that it really felt like a shift where this problem was really bubbling up to the surface.
So what are some solutions around how to solve these problems both for the builders and the owners and operators? When we talk about some of what we’ve done here, it’s really about giving the contractors and owners a way to structure the collection of that turnover deliverable. Of everything they’re going to need to get into operations smoothly. And to track the turnover status in real time, and to build a comprehensive asset information model that they can then leverage beyond construction. So that’s the summary of what we’ve been building here on the InEight Model Completions side.
Some of the ways that we look at action solving this, one of the first highlights is really about how we collect and update data throughout the project. Our new elements module gives these projects teams a really robust way to structure what’s coming across throughout the entire project life cycle. Why are we focusing in on this? From a pain point perspective, when we get various teams together on a project usually these teams are bringing in their own favorite solution, right? Whether that’s their own point solution or they’ve built something in-house.
And that homegrown solution or that, I prefer solution X or solution Y tends to create issues around access. Who can access it? How do we get that information? Where does it come from? Additionally when we’re working with multiple teams, they’re usually working with varied data formats. And what I mean, that you might be handing off a model file in a rabbit file or an IFC or a spreadsheet that came from some X solution. And that can make reporting and analysis really challenging when we’re working across different data sets. Additionally, I think we are all aware of the risk that happens during that handover process between teams.
So whether we’re moving from design to construction to quality to testing to commissioning to operations, each one of those handover moments is really a weak point in collaboration process and can create a lot of data loss opportunities. So how do we combat this? Really by allowing projects and asset data to be gathered from the right source at the right time. And what I mean by that is that we can create a framework to gather data from the 3D model, from your quality and commissioning activities, from InEight Completions, from installation status from InEight Plan, for instance, or any data coming in from a third party spreadsheet.
And the flexibility that we have to collect that data, regardless of where we are in the project life cycle really makes this framework adaptable regardless of where we are in the project. Additionally, having a central solution that really outlines the shared vision and plan and deliverable milestones for these turnover deliverables allows teams to have clear line of sight into what they need to deliver in there. And it really can help with the efficiency across all of these teams as we move into handover between teams and turnover ultimately to the client or operator.
One of the additional advancements that we’re working on here is essentially carrying what I’ll call a digital threat. And I think you’ve probably heard us talk about the digital threat in the past. Because what we really care about is creating a record that we can essentially watch and manage and leverage from the beginning of a project all the way into operations. And it becomes really important to talk about how we manage that thread and the workflows around that to optimize essentially the handoff between each of those phases of the project.
So again, why are we talking about workflows here? Largely because we tend to feel this pain around poorly managed team-to-team hand over as I mentioned. That leads to change orders, it can lead to lots of missing data, and worst of all field rework which impacts the most critical members of our team. And because it can be so hard to understand the true project status without reporting and validating what we have, we’ve built that into our solutions as well. So you can actually use the project data to drive those insights as Rob mentioned.
Additionally for both the contractor and the owner, understanding the history of an important asset and its life cycle, what’s happened to it throughout the entire project is so critical. Contractors as soon as the asset hits the site, they become responsible for maintaining it, preserving it, making sure it’s in tiptop shape as they hand it off. And the operations team also needs to know the status, what happened to that asset over time, where they are in their inspections and tests, and what maintenance may need to be performed. So managing all of the information, rich information about those assets and its entire life cycle tends to be really challenging if we’re working across different systems.
So some of the benefits that we have and we’re driving with this sophisticated workflow engine here is that we can really push standards and requirements checks across each team. So we can build in a process that just naturally validates and audits the information, and make sure that we have all of the concrete data that we need to be able to move between each phase of the project. Additionally, we’ve got some really sophisticated tools around managing and building an inventory of all of your inspections, your tests, your specs, your forms, your training videos. Whatever it happens to be as part of the requirements for turnover for every team and every asset.
And what’s really great about this inventory management solution that we’ve got around forms and activities is that we can actually create that inventory before we know anything about the actual piece of equipment we’re going to be installing. So we can create essentially a schema or a plan that we can move from one project to the next or across an enterprise, and then start to fill in the details and execute against that inventory over time. Additionally, a platform like this which really promotes collaboration between all the teams, that’s really the crux of creating a great turnover solution in my perspective.
Is that we can bring the owner in, if appropriate, and get them visibility into some of those critical scope items. So they can actually be watching with permissions, appropriate permissions the assets they care about or the systems or locations that they’re most keen on. That also gives them the ability to prepare for operations early in the project so they’re not waiting until the actual keys are handed off to start to prepare their operations team and to work with the training of the asset data and understand what they’re receiving and when.
An additional piece of advancement for us is really built around the 3D model. So we’re looking at InEight Model here on the screen, and there’s a lot of power in getting everybody into the model. So through that collaboration and this common data environment, we can actually bring in the decision makers into that space for real time decision making, improve team coordination with everybody’s eyes on that 3D content. Some of the pain points that we tend to feel around the 3D model really have to do with disparate solutions requiring manual data transfer.
So if I think about sharing the latest model file, perhaps I’m emailing it, or I’m sending it up to a file server there are lots of options for this today. But when we’re not working in the same environment, everybody’s, we’re delaying that decision making, right? Everybody’s got to access that data, there’s risk of that data being stale, there’s risk of that data not getting to the right person at the right time. And that just poses lots of challenges for that decision making process. It also tends to be really tough to get anybody who’s not a BIM or virtual design and construction or digital engineering guru into the 3D model. Because 3D models can be scary for folks that aren’t used to navigating 3D space.
So how do we address some of these pain points? It’s really through promoting the common data environment and driving those insights across those teams in real time. Getting everybody into the space, making sure that they’ve got view set up that they can navigate too quickly to understand what system they’re going to be looking at today. We do some of that. Also we can promote executive buy-in by creating what I call a master preset or a quick link, which is really just a simple hyperlink or URL that can be shared to anybody in the project. They can click on that from their email or from a teams’ message, and the model will pop up in into a specific view.
And you can pull up important information like installation dates or an O&M or a training video just from a simple hyperlink. So anybody who’s not familiar or comfortable with that 3D model gets quick access into that really rich information. Additionally, a great piece of the integration that we have between InEight Completions and InEight Model is that we can actually walk the model essentially from our quality commissioning activities. So if I’m going to go walk down a system, I can actually navigate to that system from the Completions application and get a read on that before I actually get out into the field.
And when we really wrap it all up, it’s all about streamlining project turnover, right? Everything that we’ve been building up here is really for providing a rich data set at the end of a project. And for making sure the contractor has a good sense of where they are in that turnover process. And they can get ahead of anything that might come their way and start to make that end of the project. One of the worst phases of the building process. Some of the pain points we tend to feel around this really hit both the contractor and owner. And one of the biggest challenges here is knowing where we are with the turnover process.
So I was talking with an infrastructure project a couple months ago, and they were just starting to get their mindsets around this completions mindset, this project turnover first mindset. And they had just called up one of their district manager and they said, “I think we’re getting close. Are we done yet essentially?” And they were asking this resource who was sitting in an office and had nothing to do with the project really, and they were calling him to ask him if they were done with turnover. And that moment in time for me was a great story of how something like this turnover mindset and this planning with turnover first, can really start to drive certainty towards the end of that project.
Additionally, we get to the end of a project that I’ve mentioned at the beginning and we see that hockey stick effect, right? Where we really just, we may have been stable throughout the entire project with our productivity and then we get to the end and everything goes awry. And from the owner’s perspective, getting to that information after turnover and being able to sort through the data quickly. Not having to dig through a shipping container or find the right hard drive or find the right file that’s sitting in a desk somewhere to get to critical information across a portfolio becomes such a sticky point and an opportunity for enhancement.
And additionally with the owners here, the operations teams if they’re standing in the field trying to maintain a piece of equipment or they’re looking up the latest and greatest data for one of the assets in their environment, and they don’t have up-to-date information or they can’t find it because they didn’t download it while they were online or they didn’t pull the right record from the right system. They’ve got to go back to the office or they’ve got to call up an administrator and it becomes just a time suck for getting the latest and greatest information for those assets and systems that are critical to operations.
So some ways that we’ve enhanced our solutions to really help streamline project turnover has to do with building and progressive delivery milestones, right? Helping these project teams understand, and these contractors and owners understand when they can start to receive this data, how they can move essentially turnover at left in the schedule, and start to bring that into the operations team’s hands early in the process. Additionally as a contractor leveraging a solution like ours, it really becomes a valuable selling point, right? For anybody who’s trying to level up what they can offer their clients through that turnover phase of a project.
From the owner’s perspective, getting their hands dirty into the applications, into the model, into the completions milestones and activities, they get real insights into that turnover process and can really help keep an eye on the, as I’ve mentioned, the critical systems that become important throughout operations. And with a system like this where everybody’s collaborating in the same space and we’ve got a clear set of turnover deliverables tied directly to our assets and tied directly to our components. And we can start to ensure that we’ve driven the latest and greatest documents and data into the hands of the field teams, without having to send them back to the office to verify they’ve got all the information they need.
So when it comes to my final thoughts on project turnover, and a lot of what we’ve invested in from an enhancements perspective with both the elements module and our ability to serve the care and preservation equities from the Completions applications, it’s really about creating a project turnover framework that matches the needs of the customer or matches the needs of the contractor. Project turnover is not one size fits all, but there tend to be a few key patterns that we can follow regardless of the industry that we’re working in or the client we’re talking to.
The first one is really to figure out where this data is coming from and who’s responsible for it. Where are we collecting important turnover deliverables and who needs to be providing that information? The second piece is creating a structured schema and set of standards that can be audited throughout the project. So understanding how you’re going to flange up with the facilities team’s system of record or how we might be collecting model content throughout the entire project, building that into this framework into this solution becomes critical.
The third piece here is really to build out that digital inventory, as I mentioned, of forms and deliverables. And essentially create placeholders for all the content leading into your turnover packages. So again, creating a clear set of the deliverables that you can start to execute against and really drive delivery and execution from becomes a key piece of project turnover framework. And lastly, the collection process. If we wait to the end again, as I mentioned, that poor skilled engineer out there trying to track down Joe [Schmo] who left the job five months ago, and doesn’t have all the forms necessary.
They’re creating content on the fly sometimes, which as we know is a no-no at the end of a project. So the best way to combat that really is to start collecting that data early in the process. If we can join in on the project and the project deliverable planning early in the process at the design phase even, that really creates the framework for us to start to make sure we’re collecting data through the execution, field execution. And it’s just a natural part of the actual construction build process. So really again, using the tools that you have at your disposal to populate your turnover deliverables and to create a robust inventory of what you’re going to hand over at the end is the best way to really set up a successful framework regardless of the project and regardless of the industry. That my thoughts on project turnover, Rob.
Rob Bryant: That’s great Lili. Thank you. Yeah. There’s a lot happening in that space. And again really good to get your insight on how that, things that really have just come out of very real world scenarios over the last few years. And where we are now providing a solution that accommodates those exact use cases and reduces the stress and reduces the risk as you get through to that point in the project life cycle. So we’ve got a bit of time now to double back and ask you as a panel. So Rick, Nate, Lili heads up, got a couple of questions for you.
I wanted to ask you all what you see being key themes as we look ahead. I mean, we’re right at the tail end of 2021 and you’ve just taken us through some of the innovations that are already live in the solution that people are able to take advantage of today. What are some of the themes that you’re each seeing as a way that we are developing a solution? And the way that we’re responding to market needs, market requirements as we get into 22 and as things continue to evolve? So perhaps Lili I’ll start with you given that you’ve just brought us through on where Completions is at right now.
Lili Sander: Thanks Rob. Interesting question. And so appropriately timed as we continue to plan through 2022 and look ahead to 2023. From my perspective, and I think you’ll hear this probably resonated throughout all of the panelists here, is we’re really focusing in on integrations across the platform. So continuing to enhance what data we can pull through to the Model and through the Completions life cycle. So again, from procurement through operations, what sort of information becomes ripe for analytics and insights?
And additionally, specifically at least on my side of the house, we’re really focusing in on enhancing mobility offerings, right? What can we give to the field teams? How can we drive a lot of that insight and data into the hands of the folks in the field instead of creating static reports or perhaps waiting till we get back to the office to execute against some of those key activity?
Rob Bryant: Yeah, nice. Nice. Yeah. Well it’s a rapidly evolving space, of course. And we’re seeing more and more of the requirements come through I think probably as a result of organizations and projects and owners in particular becoming more sophisticated and evolving their progress along digital transformations. So I guess they’re in a better position to start thinking about those things now.
Lili Sander: So true.
Rob Bryant: So Lili, there was another question that came through live during the session today. Gobe was asking the question about InEight’s capacity around digital twins. And just how we accommodate that through our solutions. Would you like to just give us your thoughts on that?
Lili Sander: Sure. Well digital twins obviously are a very hot space in the industry. And I think the definition of a digital twin really varies from industry to industry specifically within this larger space. From my perspective we continue to drive component tracking and asset tracking and build the relationships between those two levels of the project and then up to systems and facilities throughout the entire project life cycle.
So from a digital twin perspective, you can already start to gather that data and represent it in the 3D environment. Tacking on schedule information, tacking on 2D drawing information, and creating a robust relationship between those assets and components and systems within a facility. Where I think that we don’t quite have a story around digital twins today really comes from the IoT sensor tie in, right?
So when we talk about what happens after construction and in that operations phase, tying into IoT sensors becomes a really hot topic with lots of opportunity for growth and development. With predictive monitoring and even of course correcting at some point down the road. So from a digital twin perspective, we’ve got everything that you need to gather that information throughout the construction process and make use of it in operations. But today we don’t have a story around the IoT tie in.
Rob Bryant: Yeah. Good. Thank you. Good to get that insight and understanding. So turning back to Rick and Nate, your solutions, your end of those workflows equally interesting and evolving rapidly. So what are you seeing as the next theme or the current theme evolving in estimating and risk? So perhaps we’ll work all the way backwards. So Nate maybe start with your response and then we’ll follow-up with Rick on that.
Nate St. John: Yeah. That’s a good question, Rob. I will echo the sentiments of Lili a bit here with the theme of just integrations in general. Supporting really the business use case rather than separate products. We’ve done a great job bringing together risk intelligence into InEight Schedule and now have begun to share that data with InEight Estimate. So I suppose the natural progression is to continue to extend those tentacles of our risk intelligence data and insight to all corners of the platform. So we did the first step of bringing it into one solution, now we’re on the journey of bringing into one platform.
Rob Bryant: Yeah, that’s great. That’s great. And Rick, anything you’d want to add on that theme?
Rick Deans: Sure Rob. Our teams are never sitting around waiting for things to do, right? So there’s an initiative underway to introduce Estimate as a software as a service, a SaaS offering just based on market requirements. And you see these two, Rob, come across when we get requests for proposals, requests for quotes that’s almost always included in there, right? Is it a cloud-based solution? Can we use this as a service? So that’s going to allow our customers to not necessarily manage their own infrastructure and have a scalable process in place where they can grow their organization.
Also what working on is a tighter support of integration with 2D. We met with Lili there and she walked us through the 3D models, and you’ll see some great things happening on the 2022 front as it relates to 2D. And then again I’ll just echo what both InEight and Lili said, integrations or what we like to call it InEight connected data, right? Making sure that that data is going across the platform so that it’s not product dependent, it’s more business process dependent and people can get to the data that they need to better do their jobs.
Rob Bryant: Yeah. Great. I think most definitely there’s a theme there. I mean, we know as a business that’s exactly where we’re going is making all of that information available so that it can be utilized in various stages of the project life cycle and that you get that continuity of data. And I think the key theme that I’d be keen to again get your feedback on collectively is, where do you see us moving in that direction to take it from data to true product project knowledge? And how do you see that being applied in different use cases?
And I guess to add a further framework to that, I do want to explore what it means from a real world perspective. Because we see so much hype in the industry about data being used in projects and connections and integrations, and there is no shortage of data. But I’d like to hear what each of you think it means in terms of real world application and how we are working towards that. So I’ll come back round and Rick, maybe start with you on that one.
Rick Deans: Yeah. No, great question. And I think we touched on it a little bit. Where I see the real value of connected data especially in a pre-construction world is validating assumptions, right? And we talked about the ability to surface those benchmarks and that organizational history. As you say, there’s no shortage of data but to have that data structured in a format where I can then start applying filters to it. I’m looking at a Greenfield LNG project for a particular client in a particular region. All of a sudden the data points that I’m filtering down to become much more relevant and become much stronger validation points for what I’m trying to solve today.
Rob Bryant: Yeah. Good. Nate, anything more from you on that front?
Nate St. John: Yeah. I mean, a lot of our clients, Rob, as you know have been around for a very long time. There’s successful, they reach a global audience. I think the power to harness that history, the history that a project creates in the terms of data will enable some more advanced technologies to better the industry. So things like augmented intelligence, machine learning, things that we have today at InEight, that’s when I believe you’ll have better insights.
And those technologies will be adopted in the industry and will really start to shine. There’s a very large generation of laborers that are retiring right now. And with that retirement, all that knowledge and experience is going with them. So we have to enable our clients to capture that essentially in a repository. And then leverage advanced technologies which we do today to better every process of the business.
Rob Bryant: Yep. I reckon that’s a perfect segue, actually. I’m going to come to you in a moment, Lili. Because I think that capturing of IP is so important. When we talk to our customers out there in the market today, everyone wants to be able to define their point of difference as an organization and what they do to operate profitably and efficiently. As an owner of an asset or as a contractor contributing to the development of that asset, so capturing that IP, making it their own. Lili, that’s absolutely in your warehouse. So what are your thoughts on that in terms of how we’re facilitating that and where that might be going?
Lili Sander: I was so glad to hear Nate raise that kind of what’s trend in the industry right now, right? With a lot of what I’ll call tribal knowledge that lives in the head of somebody who’s been in the field for the past 30 to 40 years and they’re starting to leave the field. And how do we start to move that data exactly into the hands of the current set of decision makers? And how do we leverage that to move forward? And optimize our operational costs, whether we’re on the contractor or the owner side here?
From a turnover perspective, it really does come down from my point of view to creating a repeatable framework that can be slightly augmented depending on the project that we’re working on, or depending on the owner that we’re potentially talking to. And creating that repeatable framework in a way that allows us to really measure how we’re performing against that. And look for those potential sticky points in the operations and turnover process. I think that the advancements we’ve made around what I’m going to refer to here as our care and preservations module is really all about this scheduling look ahead for maintenance, right?
And really moving a lot of what was tribal knowledge and who’s going to be managing the preservation for a particular piece of equipment or system. And how do we put that into a central repository and make that information available to anybody so it doesn’t have to live in the head of somebody who might be leaving the team or the company, right? And how do we actually put that into a place that we can build analytics around and see how we are performing against and where we have opportunities for enhancements, right?
So it really comes down to repeatability for me with the ability to make small modifications as necessary as we move from one project to the next. And then also just continuing to measure on that. I mean our Connected Analytics platforms, such a rich data set of information, and we can learn so much from it as we actually start to leverage it for the full end-to-end life cycle. And we carry that digital thread, that same record from inception to operations.
Rob Bryant: Fantastic. Thanks Lili. Yeah. That’s a perfect, I think, a perfect summary of where things are just now. But of course that’s where they are today. And we’re just starting to touch on how we build on those foundations to help everyone leverage more and more of their IP within their individual organizations as they move forward. And continue to adopt the InEight Solutions as part of their transformation, as part of their behaviors, and the way they operate in terms of best practice.
So I think that’s fantastic. Thank you all very much for your time today. I think that’s been a really fantastic way to just round out 2021 in terms of our innovation series. We have got more coming, of course it doesn’t stop. March and the next quarter into 2022. It sounds like a long way away, but when you actually look at the weeks and the time and how quickly that passes we all know it’s not. So I’m sure we haven’t got too long to wait before we’ll be hearing more about those innovations.
So thank you all very much panel. Lili, Rick, Nate, thank you so much for your time today and the work that you’ve put in to bring that all. To bear and to put them into the hands of our customers. And for all of you listening, thank you for joining us. Thank you for tuning in. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to see the rest of the series already. If you haven’t, you can visit that page ineight.com/innovations. Find out more.
Make sure you register for the next series of those as they come up, /webinar if you visit ineight.com. And of course you can continue to get more information about exactly what we’re doing by visiting ineight.com/blog. And just stay up-to-date with all the latest little insights and snippets that the likes of Rick, Nate, and Lili are providing to you all. So thanks again. And we will tune in again. And look forward to talking to you all as we get into 2022.