As part of their Global Industry Council initiative, Oracle’s Aconex spoke with several industry experts about how organizations can move towards digital success and save $1 trillion by embracing digital transformation.
GIC members AECOM, Bechtel, Chiyoda Corporation, Fluor, Lendlease, and TAV Construction worked together to identify key challenges, outline solutions, and share examples of success.
In a recent webinar series, engineering and construction (E&C) leaders revealed how digital transformation can positively transform construction professionals’ day-to-day work.
- TAV Construction: Dr. Ahmet Citipitioglu, Director of Engineering and Design
- CIMIC Group: Ken Panitz, Principal for Methods, Lean and Innovation with EIC Activities
- Thornton Tomasetti: Jim Dray, veteran executive of AECOM and CIO of Thornton Tomasetti
What are other industries doing right?
Innovative E&C leaders are learning valuable strategies from other industries while simultaneously asking the question: “What can we standardize?”
Here are a few successful strategies developed by TAV Construction, CIMIC Group, and Thornton Tomasetti.
- TAV finds inspiration from the airport industry. Airports’ centralized technical operations centers (TOCs) inspired TAV to use Aconex— amongst other collaborative systems— to centrally manage their projects.
Ahmet says a centralized approach “broadcasts awareness throughout the entire construction team.” Ahmet’s team centrally captures and manages data throughout the project for all their ongoing airport operations.
- CIMIC emphasizes diversity within the workforce. Ken Panitz of CIMIC emphasizes the importance of forming central technology teams by recruiting E&C professionals who are passionate about change and innovation.
Ken says, “It is a mindset more than a skill set. As soon as something is not impossible, then it quickly becomes the norm. Find those people who are willing to dream it . . . and then go do it.”
- Thornton Tomasetti seeks innovation from the IT industry. Jim Dray of Thornton Tomasetti builds teams with experience incubating new small companies to test and trial new technologies. A team devoted to testing new technologies frees up time for project managers to focus on their project deliverables.
Jim’s team aspires to “create different revenue streams and a competitive advantage” by exploring new technologies. “There’s a beautiful link between what other industries have done and what we’re trying to learn in engineering,” says Jim.
Digital transformation success stories from global E&C leaders
TAV Construction: Five steps to supporting ongoing operations leveraging data
Ahmet seized an opportunity to improve how project information is managed and handed over, stating “The amount of detail we provide to operations is orders of magnitude greater than before”, because we follow these five steps:
- Organize data leveraging BIM.
- Develop a digital SWAT team to manage the handover.
- Set up flexible data structures– keeping in mind a designer can interpret the same data differently than a contractor or an operator.
- Establish processes to ensure data is up-to-date and usable.
- Integrate BIM with GIS to provide context for the models.
CIMIC: Achieve process excellence leveraging these six tips
Ken references Bill Gate’s rule of automation, stating, “If you automate an inefficient process, it magnifies the inefficiency.” Ken’s mantra is, “People, then process, then technology. Don’t be slaves to the system; be masters of it.”
Here are CIMIC’s six steps towards process excellence:
- Ask the question, “What does this process buy us?”
- Do not replicate effort.
- Optimize a process by eliminating it.
- Unite operations and IT to innovate.
- Look for open solutions with APIs. (Ken warns: It’s a big red flag if a tech vendor doesn’t have an API).
- Develop a culture of looking for opportunities.
AECOM: Maximize project benefits with “Centers of Excellence”
Jim discusses how AECOM’s Centers of Excellence (CoE) help alleviate project risk and improve new technology adoption. He says, “Our SWAT team’s approach lowers resistance to change” by providing ongoing support and guidance.
The CoE delivers tangible value to projects and organizations in the following ways:
- Helping project managers define requirements as well as adopt and support the right technology.
- Leveraging technology to win new business during sales presentations.
- Executing specific goals: ie, designing the Building Information Model execution plan and writing BIM standards for internal and client use.
Optimization, automation, and centralization: Steps your organization can take to embrace digital technology
The CIMIC Group has successfully integrated process improvement and digital transformation throughout their company. For example, after reviewing their procurement process, Ken concluded, “If we went into a grocery store and followed their procurement process we would starve, thanks to our complex purchasing process.”
As a result, the CIMIC Group expedited processes from two weeks to 1.5 days— reducing staff from 8 to 4 people— by optimizing and automating their processes.
TAV Construction uses a centralized system and BIM to capture information and manage data and designs, providing 10-20 times more detail for handover. “BIM was the perfect tool to combine all the data,” said Ahmet, with a centralized system supporting complete data capture.
Operations and maintenance— by far the longest phase of any project— is the ultimate beneficiary. TAV also uses cloud technologies to eliminate IT capital investment and associated costs.
To learn more, watch our full webinars:
“Five Steps to Digital Transformation” with Jim Dray from Thornton Tomasetti and Santiago Ferrer from the Boston Consulting Group.
“Five Keys to Unlocking Engineering & Construction Performance” with Dr. Ahmet Citipitioglu of TAV Construction, Ken Panitz from CIMIC, and Andrew Newsome from The Boston Consulting Group.