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Capital & Contract Management

Manage contract workflows from start to finish, from contractor/supplier selection through contract closeout including the related buyouts, pay requests and change orders. With our capital and contract management solutions, you can facilitate contracts and changes throughout the project, resulting in a 20% reduction in turnaround time.

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Connected Analytics

Make real-time decisions as you gain visibility into metrics, KPIs and trends, driving continuity in operations.

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Document Management

Our document management solution helps you streamline the capture, review, management and distribution of project documents. Because all your project documentation is stored in a centralized repository, you can reduce processing time by 30%.

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Estimating & Project Cost Management

Our project cost management solutions help you create more accurate and timely project estimates, increase your forecasting accuracy, and improve the anticipated project ROI.

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Field Execution Management

Manage work packages and daily crew plans to deliver and capture predictable results in the field, reducing project costs 10%.

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Integrated Project Controls Platform

Only InEight provides a complete portfolio of capital project management software that supports enterprise-wide digital transformation.

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Safety, Quality & Commissioning

Capture and analyze safety, compliance and quality data directly from the field, reducing rework by 10%.

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Virtual Design & Construction

Use an aggregated 3D model as a common data environment, increasing clash resolution efficiency by more than 200%

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Owning Capital Projects: your upgraded view from 10,000 feet

 

Originally aired on 8/12/2020

51 Minutes

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Seeing a project from the best possible vantage point is finally possible in order to mitigate risks. This holistic view is not only possible, it’s necessary as projects are only growing in size and in cost. 

This webinar breaks down how owners can finally have the view of a project and its related data that was before siloed and previously not accessible.  

Scott Seltz:

Hello, and welcome to this webinar, Owning Capital Projects: Your Upgraded View From 10,000 Feet. This event is brought to you by Engineering News Record, and sponsored by InEight. Hi, I’m Scott Seltz, publisher of ENR and your moderator for today’s webinar. Thank you for joining us. It’s been said that an owner typically has a 10,000 foot view of their capital projects, he thinks only at a high level, but with advancements in today’s cloud-based capital project software, the view from above is greatly improved, giving owners more controlled than ever before. Today, we’ll discuss how cloud technology has greatly sharpened the owner’s view of the entire project life cycle, yielding better decisions and better project outcomes for all. Today’s presenter is AJ Waters, director of industry solutions at InEight.

AJ Waters:

Thank you, Scott. Good afternoon everyone, pleasure to be with you virtually today. And as Scott mentioned in the intro, we chose this title based on that old adage that I want a 10,000 foot view of what’s happening, right? Typically, the owner is seeing things in enough detail that they know what’s going on, they have a good idea of their project, but at the same time they need to see things holistically and see it from that 10,000 foot level.

AJ Waters:

They don’t need to be involved in every nut and bolt that’s happening throughout the day. And in selecting this title, what that did for us is it gave us a chance to reminisce a bit. A lot of you, if you’re like me, maybe are missing that view from 10,000 feet lately because you aren’t traveling like you used to and/or your traveling has at least been cut back.

AJ Waters:

And so we don’t quite have that same feel that we used to have looking out the window and seeing things from that level. So what we’re going to do today is as we walk through what advancements in technology have done for owners and what utilizing and capital projects solution can do for owners, we’re going to also stick with that 10,000 foot analogy and stick with the idea of traveling and/or seeing things from the air.

AJ Waters:

Because every traveler’s favorite phrase, regardless of how often you did it, was to hear you’ve been upgraded. And that’s what we’re going to talk about today. We’re going to talk about the upgrades to cloud based technology and what it is doing for owners. Because when we look at that phrase as a traveler, we think of things like no longer do I have to waste time in the busy hustle and bustle or the terminal.

AJ Waters:

I get to sit down in a nice, comfortable seat, have myself a drink, read the news, charge my device, whatever it might be, because I’m now a part of the club, I’ve been upgraded to the next level. Or maybe you get to board early and sit on the upper deck in the chair that has your own view of whatever you want to look at, whether that view is a map of where you’re currently at, whether that view is a movie that will keep you entertained, whether that view are the wind speed, the air speed, those sorts of things.

AJ Waters:

But you get to recline, you get the comfort, and of course you get the amenities when you’re upgraded, right? And so you have your own toothpaste, your own deodorant. So at the end of the long day, everything is clean, it’s up to date and you look great and you feel great. But let’s not forget the ultimate upgrade when it comes to traveling, when you are in complete control, you get to decide when you land, where you land and how fast you’re going to go.

AJ Waters:

And while many of us never quite get to this level of traveling, we can get to this level when it comes to managing our capital projects. So what we’re going to look at today is we’re going to take a dive through utilizing this analogy of seeing things from 10,000 feet, but take a look at how as owners implementing a cloud based capital project solution, and maybe not relying on whatever the contractor is using, how that can help us to become a part of the club and become a true member of the project team and not necessarily be held at that arm’s length.

AJ Waters:

Also, it gives us better views of what is happening. Not just looking, again, over someone’s shoulder trying to understand where we’re at, but having the full view of looking directly out the window to the side, to the front, the back and understanding where we are. We’ll take a look at how upgrading to cloud based technology gets the data there faster.

AJ Waters:

And it’s not just about trying to get the propellers sputtering a little bit and seeing what comes after a week delay or a two week delay or after all the data is aggregated, but what can we get now? What can we see real time? And of course, as mentioned, what can we do to take complete control of the project when things happen that require us to take control of the sticks and understand where we’re at, where we’re headed and what we need to correct to get there?

AJ Waters:

And then lastly we’ll end it with how these technologies also allow us to take a step back, and what the cloud has done to allow us to switch on that autopilot when it makes sense and manage those projects from afar. So we’re going to stick with this analogy throughout the session. And as Scott mentioned, feel free to ask your questions whenever they come to you.

AJ Waters:

Go ahead and type them into that Q&A chat box on the side and we’ll get to those at the end. We’ve also got a pole built in in the middle to try to interact a little bit, so be ready for that. But without further ado, we’re going to dive right in and we’re going to talk about becoming a part of the club, and what it means to get that first initial upgrade where you’re not just surrounded by the likes of everyone else but you’re treated like you truly belong to be there and of course like you own the capital project, right?

AJ Waters:

Because traditionally what has happened, traditionally as owners, right, wrong or indifferent, the contractors have kept us at a little bit of a distance, whether it’s they’ve got a certain plan in place and they want to make up some time and in certain ways so they’re not necessarily going to bore you with the significant details. Whether or not it’s you’ve got so much on your plate that it’s difficult to be in multiple places at once.

AJ Waters:

Whatever the reasoning might be, traditionally as owners we’re held at a little bit of a distance, especially from the overall data and where we’re at on the project. And what we have to rely on is at the end of the day, a piece of paper that is sent to us on a weekly, a biweekly, a monthly, whatever the schedule has been determined for a project, and hopefully that piece of paper has some sort of record of what’s been completed.

AJ Waters:

Maybe it’s in a few words, maybe it’s a few sentences, maybe it’s a couple of line items based on a schedule of values that we put together with the contractor. Hopefully there’s some sort of update on the percent complete of those items and a forecast to completion, what’s left to do, right? But more than anything, every one of those invoices is going to come with what we owe, what the contractor is looking to get from us for this particular project. And that level of information is good.

AJ Waters:

It gives us a snapshot of where we are in time, but it’s just that. It’s a snapshot of where we are at the moment that that piece of paper is printed. There’s nothing interactive, there’s nothing alive about it, and the second that it gets sent it is outdated. And so first and foremost, what upgrading to a cloud based technology can do and what implementing the software at the owner level, instead of relying on the contractor software or them allowing you access can do, is that automatically makes you a stakeholder of the project data, right?

AJ Waters:

If it’s your system and it’s cloud based, you are a part of the crew and it’s available wherever you are at. So if we are traveling through the hustle and bustle of the airports still, or if we’re in a different city because we’re managing a different project at this time but we want to check in on another, cloud based technology makes it available wherever you’re at.

AJ Waters:

But one of the things that that always makes people think twice about cloud based technology is whether or not that data is secure. And what’s great about today’s capital project software, if you really look under the hood of what folks are offering out in the industry, it’s that those technologies are already built on the same cloud stacks that you’re trusting for your daily operation.

AJ Waters:

As an example, many of you may be using Outlook or Office 365, that’s built on the Microsoft Azure cloud stack as are many capital projects systems. The same can be true for AWS or Google Cloud, whichever one might be your provider of choice. They all have the same security functionality for you in your email as they will have for you and your capital project software.

AJ Waters:

So it’s not only data that’s available everywhere, but it’s data that’s safe and secure and you can trust. And again, it’s not just roaming around that terminal out in the middle of everyone. But maybe even more importantly, what happens when the capital project software that the technology is implemented at the owner level, again, instead of relying on maybe what the contractor or the designer is providing, it removes the burden of those disparate systems and it helps to keep data clean and up to date.

AJ Waters:

So instead of seeing that snapshot in time on the invoice, you are seeing data that’s live, that’s interactive, and that’s up to date and you can drill into any tabs or features or numbers that you may want to get a deeper understanding of. And again, that’s all built on the technology of choice. For example, each of those cloud providers have their own BI capabilities that allow you into the depth and the tables on the back end.

AJ Waters:

And again, allow you to pick apart and see and interact with the data that is essential to you. And while upgrading to become a true stakeholder on the project is step one, it’s your data, let’s get you the most access to it. Step two would be, well, let’s get the best view of that data that we can possibly get. So not just let you be a part of the club, but let’s get you next to the window.

AJ Waters:

Again, we no longer want to have to try to look over someone’s shoulder to see out that window and get a view of where we’re at. What can we do then to increase our view set? And if we go back to our traditional look at where we’ve been in the past, a lot of it’s been based on where is that percent complete? Because if we go back to that invoice or whatever that static deliverable might be from your contractors, it’s difficult to understand exactly what goes into that percent complete.

AJ Waters:

And so the question always becomes, well, what exactly does 24% complete mean? How complete is that? Is that based on costs that we have spent today, or is it based on quantities installed? Another variable that people often refer to, and probably one of the most asked for things of our contractors is what’s the schedule? Where are we at? What does our resource and cost loaded schedule look like?

AJ Waters:

And what is our percent complete on those activities? So is it based on days? I would argue from experience that hopefully it’s some sort of composite of all three of those, right? Because any one of those could be misleading. You could be 50% of the way through your schedule days, but only 20% of the way through your quantity, because things are falling behind.

AJ Waters:

Or vice versa, you could have spent 50% of the cost but installed 70% of the quantities because you’re out in front, things are going well. But in some way, shape or form, there needs to be an understanding of what is wrapped up in that percent complete. And as you can see here, my list isn’t necessarily done. What about the hours on the project? Construction remains one of the most labor intensive industries that’s out there.

AJ Waters:

Unlike manufacturing or the automation of the auto industry, or even agriculture where tractors are driving themselves, it still requires a person to do a lot of the hammering and nailing. And so when it comes to the percent complete of the project, how many of those people have spent the hours that they were asked to do? And how does that equate back to those costs or the quantity?

AJ Waters:

Or another one, in today’s large oil and gas and chemical projects we see a lot of talk about advanced work packaging and what that’s doing for delivery. So is it based on turnover packages? There’s any number of ways that that percent complete can be calculated. But if you have an upgraded view and now are sitting next to the window, all of a sudden it’s not about asking yourself what made up this percent complete or what is that static view.

AJ Waters:

But it’s about looking out the window and seeing for yourself and having the ability to create line by line data structures that show that forecast gain loss, based on cost, based on quantity, based on manner or whatever detail you as an owner are after. And for some of you that could be rolled up at a very high level, for others of you maybe you’re very detailed focused.

AJ Waters:

But that line by line data structure has customizable views of the movement of cost and budget based on your requirements. And then finally that detailed look at the breakdown of the quantities, not just where are we in cost, but where are we in our percent complete quantity-wise and that aggregate of the two of them. When we think about having that view from the window in an airplane, obviously you can look out the window and look down and see where you are right now.

AJ Waters:

But one of the best things about having the direct seat next to the window is not just the ability to look down, but the ability to look ahead and have an understanding of where you’re going. And with the advancements in analytics, in cloud based computing and the speed at which they can do things, you’re able to take more proactive attempts at the data that’s available.

AJ Waters:

So instead of just looking down and seeing where you’re at, or if you’re in the middle seat or the aisle seat trying to peer out the window to the side and understand where things are, when you have that upgraded view from the window and you have that capital project solution that allows you access to the data and to the data how you want to see it, you can look ahead and see are the Rockies the next destination, or are we headed out over the Great Plains? Is this going to be a bumpy ride or do we have smooth sailing, right?

AJ Waters:

And not only the ability to look ahead but also the ability to look behind you, because it’s pretty difficult to predict the future if you don’t really know where you came from to begin with, and what your path has been to get there thus far. So taking the opportunity to implement the capital projects technology at the owner level and not just relying on those static report outs or whatever software the contractor is giving you limited access to will give you not only that true stakeholder vision, but it will give you that window seat that allows you to look in any direction and start to understand and see what the path is ahead.

AJ Waters:

And while we’ve already touched on it a bit, we’re talking about real time data, right? With cloud based computing and technology that’s always on, those things are immediate. Those things are data that’s coming to you right away. And if you think about the way we work and operate in our daily lives today, we used to look at letters and think letters in the traditional mail were considered snail mail, right? They were slow, they took days to get there.

AJ Waters:

But I would argue that if you look at your day to day operation now, email has almost become the new snail mail. Just think about how you may respond to a text message versus an email. Because what happens is whether it’s that invoice or it’s an RFI or a drawing update or a change request, or whatever type of communication might need to happen on the project, attaching that to an email, and then trying to make sure that it gets to every single stakeholder that is relevant becomes slow and inefficient.

AJ Waters:

How do I know who I need to CC from the designer? How do I know who on the procurement staff might need to be involved? What about the contractor? Who are we looping in? Are we looping in the project manager? Is the field engineer sending this to us? It becomes a maze of who got what and where did it go and who has seen it. But what happens with today’s connected technology and the ability to be always on, is you have that instant flow of data.

AJ Waters:

And the push notification concept that has become an integral part of our daily lives and interrupts us, whether it’s a text from a family member or it’s a notification from the bank, whoever it might be, it is something that we receive on average 46 times a day. And when I looked that up, I actually, I had to double check it because I wasn’t certain that 46 was enough. So I went into my phone and looked in the settings app and I could see my personal average is 140.

AJ Waters:

So that’s how many times this instant flow of data interrupts my day. Hopefully you’re not in that same boat. But to illustrate this just for a second, I would ask you what’s the current count on your email app on your phone, right? What’s that number in the red bubble on the email app on your phone? And so we’re going to do that. We’re going to open up a poll here.

AJ Waters:

Let’s take a look and see where folks are at. So you can see we’ve got some ranges, no number at all, all the way up to that common club having a thousand plus. Go ahead and select in here and submit which range you may fall into. It’s like we’re starting to get a few responses, and let’s see how close we are to a number. While these responses are coming in I’m going to pop mine open.

AJ Waters:

And just to give you an idea, looking at my phone right now my mail app currently has no number at all. I’m at the top. Looks like there’s a handful of you that are there as well. And that’s part of my personality, those red dots give me a little bit of anxiety and I treat them as to do list. If they’re there, I need to get rid of them as fast as possible.

AJ Waters:

We’ll take a look at the results here. And some of you, again, about a handful of you are a lot like me, no number at all, which is good. My wife, the opposites attract, my wife is very much a comma club. Looking at her phone gives me severe anxiety. But it works for her and she knows exactly where things are and how they work, and that’s just the nature of the beast.

AJ Waters:

But what you’re going to see here is over 50% of us, even over 60% of us have 10 or more unread emails on our phone currently. But what about other applications on your phone that might be business critical? Again, going back to the bank example, if you got a notification from your bank about something, it’s probable you’re going to open that right away, right?

AJ Waters:

If you got a notification from maybe a billing system or a business critical application that your company operated around, that badge probably has a smaller number than your email system. And that just goes to show, again, that that email tends to be slow and inefficient. It pops in, we see it, we’ll get to it when it’s time. And really what it’s been said is that the inefficiencies of documents being spread across multiple tools, it slows people down by 20 to 40%.

AJ Waters:

And a lot of that is just time devoted to trying to figure out where the item is. So if you’re utilizing a system like email and trying to determine who I’m going to paying and who’s going to be a part of this discussion, it becomes difficult to search and find and see who sent me that, where did it come from, et cetera. And timely decisions become difficult because they are requiring the data that we have to reference across multiple systems.

AJ Waters:

However, a single source of truth that’s leveraged throughout the project life cycle can create integrated communication and allow you to find searchable documents or resources or invoices or RFIs or et cetera, right? It gives you a searchable view of everything that is happening. And the only person who really has the ability to drive that for the entire life cycle of the capital projects is the owner.

AJ Waters:

And so implementing a capital projects technology at the owner level upgrades, not only your view of the data, but your speed at which you get the data and how relevant and easy it is to search. And of course, if all of that data is yours, if all of that data is there fast and if all of that data is searchable and referenceable, you have every opportunity to take complete control of the project, to grab the sticks and steer it in the direction that it needs to go, or if we’re looking at the year of 2020, to maybe hit pause really fast.

AJ Waters:

And out of nowhere, 2020 gave us a new definition for hitting pause on projects, right? Because out of nowhere entire country’s shut down, and we had to start to determine as owners of these large capital projects what’s our best path forward. We were left scrambling to assess where are we? We just had to out of nowhere and walk off the job. And at some point construction was deemed essential and we were able to return, but there was a brief pause of some sort on most projects.

AJ Waters:

And the difficulty in trying to assess where you were and trying to make decisions to move the critical path forward as soon as we were able to go back to work, those decisions largely depended on how much access to the information you had, and more importantly, how much access to the information you had from anywhere, right? If the systems were behind firewalls or were on premise or were difficult to get to, or were still on paper, it was a difficult way for owners and contractors to stay in a constant state of collaboration.

AJ Waters:

And so integrated project systems that are implemented across your entire capital portfolio gave you a whole new understanding and idea of how you could collaborate, how you could take that single source of truth and dissect out the impact, what exactly just happened and what does it mean for our design? What exactly just happened and what does it mean for our schedule? Probably the most important of all of the aspects, right?

AJ Waters:

And once we have an understanding on how it may be impacted design and schedule, we can start to get an idea of how it’s impacting costs, and then finally, how is it impacting execution? How are we going to package this all back together and get it back out to the field teams to move forward? At the end of the day, determining what is mixed and determining our best path move forward can be optimized and can be attainable through data that is all visible together in this upgraded view.

AJ Waters:

It’s about getting the right stuff to the right people at the right time in order to move forward. If you as the owners are at the center of that puzzle, then everything else revolves around, intersects, and comes together at the owner. However, if we’re relying on a system or a technology that’s either on premise or that we’re the outsider of, it makes it much more difficult to become that center that everything is revolving around, that everything is running through.

AJ Waters:

And construction may be the center piece and we’re off as a person hanging off. And then how do we get through the engineer and the contractor to work together? How do we adjust the procurement schedule based on what maybe suppliers are telling us or vendors are saying from overseas that have shut down? But if we as the owner have implemented the capital project solution at our level and we’re letting them in, then it’s all a matter of let’s collaborate together.

AJ Waters:

Let’s work around the owner and let’s get this project back on that best path forward, so at the end of the day we can switch this one into autopilot and go work on the next. A lot of times when it comes to capital projects owners like yourselves, you’re likely managing more than one project. And so there will come a time when you hope to turn control over to the contractor, let them take the wheel and check in as needed, but not be managing the day to day.

AJ Waters:

So whether you are a boots on the ground type person, having the ability to step back and access your project data, regardless of the circumstances, right? We looked at this image earlier when we’re moving onto the next one, or when we’re jumping back and forth between multiple locations, because we have a broad portfolio that maybe isn’t even regional, it’s global. You have that ability to step back when it comes to cloud based capital projects solution.

AJ Waters:

And also going back to the 2020 analogy, you have the ability to stay connected at a distance when maybe certain outside factors have put you in a location that you’re not typically working from, or when there’s certain family requirements that need you to be home or protected or staying at a distance. And it allows you to take the data that is coming to you in that faster, more immediate system, and allows you to sift through and find what is most important to you.

AJ Waters:

Because again, if you’re relying on a system that’s been implemented by the contractors or by the engineers or by some sort of joint venture that you have hired, when you are relying on their system, you’re kept at that arms reach and, and you’re fighting and working and trying to understand where the forest is amidst all the trees. But when it’s your data and it’s your system and you’re in control, you again have that ability to switch on the KPIs that make the most sense to you.

AJ Waters:

To sift through all of the different tables, all of the different columns, all of the different data that’s being collected day in and day out, out in the field and visualize the current state of every project, of every change order, of every portfolio, of every plan that you have in place. Because at the end of the day, one of the things that is something everyone can agree on, is that timely, better informed decisions, will be better for project success, right?

AJ Waters:

And the technology of today is allowing owners not only to get a better look and a better view, but to truly become part of the data driven culture that is changing projects through analytics. It’s fulfilling that desire to know why. Why is my project where it is? Why does my project needs to do X, Y, Z to get to where it wants to go? And understanding those things based on the data that’s been captured and the plan that has been assembled to move forward.

AJ Waters:

It also allows us to build on the past and better understand the present and the future, because the innovative, connected technology of today allows us to harness all of that past work. Instead of trying to dig up an old spreadsheet or trying to understand from a past cost report that could be years old, we have immediate access to all of the data to run the advanced analytics on and better understand that future graph, that chart and where we’re headed.

AJ Waters:

But most importantly, we all have gut fields on how our project is going. We all have this reaction to any sort of news or any sort of happening out on the job site. And what sifting through the data and having direct access and switching into your KPIs and your metrics allows you to do is it allows you to supply the facts that will support those instincts and become truly data-driven in your decision making for anything moving forward in the future.

AJ Waters:

Now, that was a lot of information really fast. And again, as questions pop up, feel free to throw those into the chat, but let’s just … Really quick we’ll go through a recap of what we covered, and then we’ll dive into those questions. So today our focal point has been on how today’s technology, specifically cloud-based capital projects solutions that can be implemented by owners, how those are upgrading that 10,000 foot view, that view from the sky.

AJ Waters:

And we looked at, first and foremost, if it’s implemented by you at the owner level, you are truly a stakeholder and have become a part of the club. You are now a true member of the team and no longer are you kept at maybe an arm’s reach or left looking over someone’s shoulder or waiting for information, but that information is yours and that information is readily available. And when that information is yours, you have the best view of exactly what has happened.

AJ Waters:

But not only does sitting at the window give you a really, really good view, but it allows you to turn your head back and see where we’ve been and turn our head forward and see where we’re going. So that full view from the window is not just about where you’re at, but it’s about looking ahead and where you’re going. And today’s capital projects systems, again, implemented at that owner level, what you have in control of the technology means is having that full view from the window.

AJ Waters:

And of course it makes the data immediate. As it’s captured it’s in your system. If you were the one controlling the progress, controlling the implementation, controlling what is being utilized to track everything out in the field, you were the one getting that information. And it’s become immediate, it’s searchable, it’s viewable, and it gives you the ability to take complete control to dissect that single source of truth and start to assemble and optimize and look for the best path forward based on whatever just happened and whatever pause button had to be hit.

AJ Waters:

Because even though 2020 is its own example of how to hit pause, issues happen on capital projects every single day. They have for years. The severity may differ, but the ability to take control will always be very fundamental and very beneficial. And then lastly, the ability to switch it back to autopilot, right? The ability to take a step back with cloud based technology that is yours and you have access to, and you’re utilizing your own single sign on your own modes or mobile devices to hop in.

AJ Waters:

You have the ability to step back and see whatever is important to you, regardless of location, regardless of circumstance, regardless of what needs to happen next. That’s just a quick breeze through, a quick overview of what today’s cloud-based capital project solution can do for owners if implemented at the owner level, if the owner takes control and does the solution themselves instead of relying on what is being forced to us by the contractors.

AJ Waters:

So with that, we’ll open it up and Scott will go through any questions that may have come in.

Scott Seltz:

Thank you, AJ. That was a great presentation. As AJ said, if you have questions now would be a good time to submit them. Simply type them into the ask a question space on your console and submit and we’ll field them to AJ as soon as possible. But I do have a few questions for you AJ as we wait for our viewers to give us a few questions. And the first thing that occurs to me is what do you see as the number one challenge continuing to plague owners in the capital project space?

AJ Waters:

That’s a great question, Scott. And the number one thing that we continue to see in our experience as we work with different perspective clients is the disparate systems. So whether it’s talking about communication, going back and forth between multiple systems, whether it’s talking about searching for a piece of data, what happens more often than not is owners are working with two, three, maybe four different systems across two or three, four different providers trying to aggregate that data to get a complete picture of where they’re at.

AJ Waters:

And we tend to rely on our good old buddy Excel, or maybe some other form of data aggregation through Tableau or PowerBI that that can pull in multiple sources, but you struggle with unique identifiers, you struggle with matching those data sources up. So those disparate systems, those data silos, continue to be one of the biggest challenges plaguing owners across the capital project space.

Scott Seltz:

Yeah. You mentioned also that you need to hit the pause button on projects, especially this year. Have you seen any changes in activity within your system due to the changes in the way the country is working this year?

AJ Waters:

That’s a really good question as well. We get this question a lot. Being a provider of a cloud based technology, a lot of folks have asked us what have you seen in the system? And we truly did see an uptake in performance, an uptake in the amount of users, in the March, April timeframe. It shot its way up and it hasn’t really come back down. And what was most interesting about that is while projects did hit pause, a lot of projects hit pause at least for a little bit around March, our system still saw an increase in users.

AJ Waters:

And as we dug into those numbers and into that data, what happened is even though the project had stopped the collaboration did not right. And people were still working together and trying to understand again where they’re at and when they could move forward again what was going to be the next steps. And so the collaboration was still happening. And once construction was deemed essential and many of those projects started back up, the user accounts did not really diminish.

AJ Waters:

They stayed high because people were finding that getting access to that data they were finding things faster. And maybe they were users that before hadn’t spent a lot of time in the system, and now the benefits that they were seeing from being in the system were worth staying there, right?

Scott Seltz:

Right. Final question I have, many of the upgrades in technology you mentioned today are widely available now. Is there anything on the horizon that InEight’s watching to continue to upgrade in the owner space like drones or artificial intelligence?

AJ Waters:

Yeah, that’s a good question as well. Most of what I talked about today has been upgrades in technology that people are used to, that people have seen. The smartphone’s been around well over a decade now, so that the push notification, the incident data flow, but at the same time it hasn’t been as widely implemented and accepted across construction. So we continue to talk about it.

AJ Waters:

However, looking to the future, there are many things that we’re tracking. Artificial intelligence is probably the number one thing we’re tracking right now. Between artificial intelligence and advanced data analytics, just the ability to predict the future a little bit better as far as what could or could not go wrong with a project. Also artificial intelligence, we have it built into a couple of our products to help you plan better for the next one, right?

AJ Waters:

A lot of times you may do repeatable type work. If you’re in a development type portfolio or if you’re doing a lot of plant work, the work may be repeatable. So utilizing artificial intelligence to read all of your past history and give you a better plan for the future. Instead of planning to fail, now you’re planning based on what you know you can do. The drones is another technology. It’s one of those that it looks fancy to folks because it’s a hot topic, drones flying around.

AJ Waters:

And they can do a lot when it comes to outdoors. We see them utilize for outdoor quantity surveys and also site photos. But again, it’s still in its infancy. And what’s great about technology is you’ve got all of these things that it can do, you really have to understand, why should do that? And drones is one of those where we’re, look at all the great things it can do and fly and maneuver and things. So now the next question we have to answer is why would we do it with a device like that, right?

Scott Seltz:

Right. We’ve got a few questions from our viewers. One of our viewers, Randy Lang, is asking, does InEight have predetermined KPIs, or can they be customized to suit the project?

AJ Waters:

Good question, Randy. InEight actually offers both options. We have predetermined out of the box KPIs that come with the solution in the dashboards and in the reports. However, when we talked about the different cloud stacks we chose Microsoft Azure as our cloud stack of choice, which allows us to integrate PowerBI. And you have the ability to customize whatever KPIs you may be interested in and we give you access to all the tables and the columns on the back end to do that customization.

AJ Waters:

So they are out of the box and we give them some ideas based on our experience, but at the same time let you go and determine what’s most important.

Scott Seltz:

Gregory Coil is asking, has the software been integrated into BIM models and/or DIIS models?

AJ Waters:

Yeah, another good question. So yes, the is the answer when it comes to InEight anyway. Our software has been integrated into three dimensional modeling and allowing you to go to that 4D, that 5D, and also we are starting to do some testing with with HoloLens and the GIIS type models. So that one’s a little bit more out there as we continue to try to understand what it can do for us and how.

AJ Waters:

But the BIM model side of it and having three dimensional progress updates, having work packages that you can view, three-dimensionally, tying the quantities from the model to the estimating system, all of that has been implemented today.

Scott Seltz:

That’s great. And I think that’s all the questions that we received. I want to thank you, AJ, for a great presentation, as well as our sponsor, InEight. If you have any additional questions or comments that you didn’t get the chance to pose, please don’t hesitate to click the Email Us button on the console and we’ll share those with AJ so he can respond directly to you.

Scott Seltz:

I also want to remind you that we’d love your feedback on our webinar survey to help improve our programs, which is available on your screen now, or it can be filled out at the conclusion of this event. Also be sure to visit the handout icon and download a two page summary of AJ’s presentation called Managing Capital Projects Like a VIP.