The digitalisation is a change in the way we do business in all areas of economy. Even in real estate, construction and engeneering projects. We talked to Bojan Petkovic, Ceountry Manager SEE at PlanRadar, a company specialized in this field of digitastion that entered recently on the Romanian market, to find out more about what is changing in the construction industry.
Business Review: What exactly does PlanRadar do? What is the solution offered to construction sites, what does it help them with?
Bojan Petkovic: The main idea is the digitisation of documentation and communications in real estate, construction and engineering projects. It can be used for fault and task management, building maintenance and inspection, construction documentation, handovers and more.
Specifically, the PlanRadar platform is a SaaS solution that operates and manages both construction documentation and the tracking of all processes in real estate projects in the cloud. The user of the platform uploads project plans and can report flaws observed on site or enter tasks directly via smartphone or tablet on the plan and then communicate or delegate them to project team members (teammates, suppliers, partners, etc.).
PlanRadar helps increase productivity during the construction phase. Mobile or tablet-based technology connects the office with the site and brings clarity on daily tasks for all team members, performance and expectations, resource status and real-time project progress. All communication and workflow is documented in the cloud, where it can be tracked or downloaded for monitoring, review, reporting. Users can use the platform in 16 languages simultaneously, including Romanian.
This helps managers ensure that all agreements, work and other important actions are accurately recorded.
Why is the site log important? Because it provides information on all the important events during the construction of a building and plays an important role in providing evidence of services delivered or in progress, as well as detailing the various challenges during execution. Thus, the documentation surrounding a project is an important basis for clarifying any facts and responsibilities.
Another relevant example is fire prevention, one of the most important duties of site managers. How PlanRadar helps
- Regular fire risk assessments.
- Direct reminder in the app alerting the team to the need for assessment (fire prevention drills, checking fire doors, checking and replacing light bulbs or other installations). The process is simple: a form opens automatically and must be filled in by the site manager (during the work) and the building safety officer (after the building is handed over).
- Maintain a digital history. A digital fire safety record for site managers. Using PlanRadar, all records will be stored digitally, in the cloud, at all times, which means there will be a digital history of what fire tests were performed, when and by whom.
- Digital evidence on the completion of the checks. There is always a danger that some staff members may see fire safety checks as a “tick box exercise”. With PlanRadar, you can upload photo-video evidence of each stage of the check, which is needed for the report.
What does it mean to use PlanRadar solutions for a construction site or a building? How much are costs reduced by using PlanRadar solutions?
Both amounts and working hours vary from project to project. As for cost reductions, they vary according to the size of the project. An employee spending 7 to 10 hours on reporting issues in a week means, through automation provided by the software, eliminating this cost for the employer. It is important to note, however, that in the case of a small company, the employee who is relieved of reporting and documentation tasks will be able to be more productive operationally, which translates into optimised execution times, even if the financial savings are smaller than in the case of a large company.
If we look at large projects, where we are talking about hundreds of employees, cost savings of up to 60 – 70% per year can be made.
How have the PlanRadar solutions been received by the market in general?
PlanRadar has been very well received worldwide. Some of the arguments are the following:
Since its start-up status in 2013, PlanRadar is today used in over 65 countries, by over 15,000 customers and by over 120,000 users.
The potential of the solution was confirmed by the $69 million funding round raised this year, the third largest in Austrian history and the largest for a B2B company in Austria.
It is Europe’s leading property tech solutions provider, with offices to open in the US, Australia, Latin America and the Middle East.
How much does it cost to implement the solution for a construction site?
There are three monthly subscription options, ranging 26 – 129 eur / user. With 10 active users using the Pro subscription, PlanRadar cost of implementation on a job site could go up to 1290 eur /month, 12900 eur / year.
How was the solution developed from the beginning and how has it evolved over time?
PlanRadar started from the very beginning with construction and real estate operations management components. Over time, the app has received more features, most recently PlanRadar Connect and Gantt View.
PlanRadar Connect is a feature that enhances the connectivity of technology solutions, allowing users to sync with other applications.
Gantt View is a new site planning tool designed to ease construction and maintenance challenges by providing clearer oversight of tasks and helping meet agreed deadlines. You can remotely view and assess key phases of a project. Last but not least, it allows users to create project schedules according to the standard Gantt model.
How used is the solution in Romania? Is the Romanian market different from other markets where PlanRadar operates?
A little more than a year after its launch on the local market, PlanRadar is used in more than 1000 construction sites in Romania. The company’s clients include Bog’Art, PrimeKapital, Porr, Strabag, Alesonor, Brisk Group and Workspace Studios.
If you look at the potential for digitisation in the construction industry, it is huge worldwide. Romania is no worse off than other more developed markets in Europe, there is a real and growing interest in digitisation in construction.