Buildsys is a trackable and mobile construction management tool that helps ease the construction process. One of the least digitized industries in the world, construction historically lags behind other markets in the adoption of technology. Based in Delhi, Buildsys is a construction productivity application that reduces paperwork and makes field-to-office communication faster, trackable, and mobile. CPO and Co-founder at Buildsys, Yukti Arora discusses the application of their product. She also discusses its trajectory and real-time benefits in pandemic times.
Being a designer-founder, it has been fulfilling to delve into all stages of the design process, from ideation, prototyping, testing our products with our pilot clients, to releasing them into the market.
Can you take us through the evolution of your practice? How did it start, the vision, the research and the thought process that made this a reality?
The concept for Buildsys came into existence when Prateek and I were transitioning from a previous startup. I like designing products and Prateek comes from a technical domain. We desired to combine our skills and make impactful digital products. We met people from different backgrounds and researched in different industries, such as telecom, healthcare, power, retail, construction etc.
As a collective, we thought the construction industry stood out as one of the least digitized industries in the world. It is only second to agriculture. We also identified it as an inefficient industry in terms of productivity with frequent time delays and cost overruns. On further analysis, we found huge gaps in planning and coordination among teams managing construction projects.
An understanding of the whole system helped us establish how people are connected and communication is key in construction. As a result of little coordination and communication gaps, a lot of delay and rework takes place in construction. Thus we agreed to resolve this issue. In early 2017, we started working on the first prototypes, while tackling a much larger scope. The first prototype was completed in January 2018. Over time we have further modified our product to a point where we are happy with our final prototype.
What were the challenges and learnings that shaped the studio into its current form? In this process driven construction industry where people are not keen to try new things, how did you spread your construction tool?
As an entrepreneur, I felt the need to design products that bridge the gap between site and office communication. This was in order to reduce errors caused due to problems in data management. It is challenging to get an entire industry and its various stakeholders to adapt to a change. Due to limited resources, there is less elasticity to bring about a change in the AEC domain. It was years of rigorous marketing and product demos. Being a designer-founder, it has been fulfilling to delve into all stages of the design process. From ideation, prototyping, testing our products with our pilot clients, to releasing them into the market.
Time and financial constraints prevented us from hiring the best talents. Finding designers trained to innovate was tough. After months of brainstorming and hard work, we were able to curate a healthy team culture. It was a moment of joy, when my team followed certain design thinking tools and systems designed by me. With guidance through the abstract journey of the innovation process, the team researched ideations and came up with tangible innovations in the end.
Can you provide us with a brief working process of Buildsys construction tool?
Buildsys is a construction productivity application that reduces paperwork, and makes field-to-office communication faster, trackable, and mobile. Buildsys helps project managers, contractors, owners, designers, and architects collaborate easily from their mobile devices and desktop computers. It helps in managing drawings, meetings, tasks, files, photos, RFIs, and submittals.
We, at Buildsys, want the construction industry to be more organized. We want construction project teams to waste less time on menial tasks so they can focus on planning and decision-making. We see ourselves as innovators in improving project information management and making data collection easier. We wish to provide the most advanced tools that not only improve existing processes, but also identify and propagate new and efficient ways of doing things.
Buildsys is a construction productivity application that reduces paperwork, and makes field-to-office communication faster, trackable, and mobile.
How did your software prove to be more beneficial in the pandemic in comparison to real-time meetings?
The pandemic brought unique challenges for the AEC industry; one had to learn how to work remotely with efficiency. People working from a home office have been required to be productive and well connected with each other. Communication management was made possible by software and applications that work on all smart devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets etc. The Construction domain had to switch its operations to such similar cloud-based storage and communications technology where they are being updated about a project through real-time monitoring.
With Buildsys, they can document data and tasks, minutes of meetings, construction drawings, assign and manage tasks and keep all stakeholders updated about the progress of a project. While researching at our end we realized that mobile notifications were likely to be 80% more effective and efficient in comparison to emails especially in case of project reviews and updates. Therefore, we designed and integrated a designated notifications panel on our software interface, making it engaging and user-friendly at the same time.
What are the future endeavours for Buildsys in terms of upcoming products, research and initiatives taken that we should look forward to?
Buildsys as a product has seen many recent developments and is now deemed as feature complete and we don’t plan to add any new features over the next 12 months. The software is still being tested for compatibility with other softwares for a seamless working experience and to make it an industrial favourite for construction projects. We look towards integrating our product with tools such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Procore, Microsoft Office 365 and more. This strategy will thus make Buildsys compliant with all industrial tools required for various aspects of managing construction projects.
Eyeing to promote digitisation in a continual manner, we recently curated a webinar on the ideation of Paperless Construction as a live session on Instagram under the #learnwithbuildsys series. The major takeaways indicated how the industry is more than willing to move to digital operations and how the costs on staffing have reduced, increasing employee productivity at offices as a result of improved communications, due to responding to notifications on smartphones. This ensures a harmonious work environment even during the ongoing pandemic, welcoming some desired respite.
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