What It Takes to Drive Change

With roughly 80% of a construction project behind schedule or budget globally, change is hard to come by in this industry. What then will drive this change? Is it a global pandemic? Or is it something else entirely?
I recently sat down for a conversation with Mike Paul, managing director for EMEA at InEight, who suggested it often takes a generational shift in ownership or a new C-level officer to come in and say this can’t keep happening. The solution often comes in the form of digitization as a route to improve that.
When there is a generational shift in ownership, that is often a catalyst to make changes. “Leadership changes use this to make their imprint on the company,” he explains. “Change management is as important as anything we do.”
Construction executives are slowly beginning to realize the cost of lost data or wasted of time not having connected systems is too high. It leads to wasted labor and too many errors. Rather, having the correct information at all times and reducing the risk of double entry or entering information incorrectly are essential. COVID-19 helped to kick start this.
Enter a partnership between InEight and Microsoft. In June, InEight announced a strategic integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365, delivering Construction 365, which is a unified enterprise platform incorporating more than 30 different integrations to help businesses improve and standardize insights and information flow between office and field for capital construction project.
Paul recalls when he was part of the first implementation in the Middle East roughly four years ago, where the client created the demand. “Most of what InEight does is driven by clients one way or another,” says Paul. “A client wanted to select Microsoft Dynamics but wanted a product they thought could speak to it.” InEight built the integrations in partnerships with Microsoft and had a successful rollout of the joint system. At the time, it didn’t market the integration.
The integration unifies the data experience including CRM (customer-relationships management), estimating, project controls, BIM (building information modeling), risk management, document management, scheduling, accounting, and procurement, through desktop and mobile capabilities to deliver businesses with improved transparency. The result is better access, collaboration, and security across Microsoft and InEight applications.
“It evolved out of a customer need but has now presented itself in a way that makes the customer make it feel like it is a seamless platform,” says Paul.
Using the end-to-end, customizable platform, customers can now connect data and processes seamlessly and intuitively across systems to reduce errors, omissions, and redundancies while improving the outcomes of complex long-term projects.
Going forward, this type of integration will help improve productivity and performance, ultimately helping keep construction projects on schedule and budget.
“We are still somewhat agnostic in the ERP systems we integrate with,” he says. “We have I think with Construction 365 the most seamless offering. So we do offer that for companies that are looking for a complete platform. We are still building integrations with other platforms and other systems. So we are going to continue to connect to any system out there that seems reasonable to connect to. Without giving names, we have made connections to our own competitors.”
Outside of Construction 365, integration is still a big area of focus for InEight. Inside of Construction 365, Microsoft is a world leader in emerging technology and as InEight continues to follow Microsoft, construction professionals can expect more augmented intelligence, integration with HoloLens, virtual assistance, and better use of analytics and business intelligence. Paul adds in the future there will be more with point clouds, drones, and LiDARs. Opportunities abound and the sky is the limit, as I like to say.