How the lead innovators in construction can benefit from the network effects of enterprise platforms

Over the past two decades, the construction industry has benefited from the rapid increases in computing power that were anticipated more than fifty years ago and gave rise to the concept of Moore’s Law.

Today, UTS (University of Technology Sydney) in collaboration with Hansen Yuncken is demonstrating how lead innovators in general contracting can benefit from the network effects of enterprise platforms. In 2013, a partnership blossomed between Hansen Yuncken and the UTS. A common interest in the use of digital construction data sparked numerous opportunities … fast forward 5 years and UTS researchers have undertaken a series of research projects that seek to understand the opportunities enabled by new information management technologies including Hansen Yuncken’s innovative and industry leading enterprise platform development, HYway.

For tech-savvy construction contractors, data collection either occurs automatically through embedded sensors and small consumer devices such as smartphones – or in a semi-automated way via standardised workflows and structured process roadmaps. Analytical sophistication ranges from simple comparisons to the use of complex models involving many relationships and elements of data. Because of these rapidly evolving capabilities in computing, it is not surprising that main contractors are seeking new ways to leverage the vast amounts of data generated on projects, across programs of projects, and throughout their organisations’ functional business units.

Hansen Yuncken’s development and deployment of its bespoke integration platform, HYway, takes an integrated approach to the flow of digital information and its utilisation in the delivery of construction project and business intelligence. As an exemplar of the rapid innovation that is changing the way contractors do business, over 5 years, HYway has rapidly transformed our approach to construction services and corporate decision making.

One of the key achievements of HYway surrounds the integration of data with standardised project, program, and corporate processes, which were first mapped and optimised prior to implementation. Taken together, this process-oriented approach to enterprise information management drives change and consistency across the enterprise - informing decisions in real time, harnessing project information captured at the source, utilising data derived from BIM models, and reporting across all levels of the business using sophisticated analytics and user-friendly role-specific dashboards for visualisations.

By providing access to live, relevant and contextual data for the management of projects, regional programs and the business as a whole, HYway is capable of helping designers, managers, and senior executives select the best solutions and make more informed business decisions.

As technology advances, HYway’s integration platform is playing a key role in our approach to deliver intelligent construction services. HYway advances the management of safety and environmental performance using proactive data-driven workflows; it also facilitates more effective online management of project related data pertaining to time, cost and quality performance criteria. The digitisation of buildings requires the systematic handling of large volumes of data. Structured data captured and generated via BIM applications are connected with construction management data to help inform project performance.

HYway’s flexible systems architecture allows the business to adopt innovative, best-of-breed technologies to support project and organisational functions. Its alignment with the broader business strategy has resulted in leaner, consistent and more transparent corporate processes. It informs decision making at the project coalface and in the boardroom, creating positive impacts on not only the triple bottom line but also on organisational change, fostering an environment that encourages innovation and increasing the efficiency of work processes.

The more data collated via HYway, the more “intelligent” it becomes. As a research study shows, it is the people at Hansen Yuncken who are adding value through HYway. The lion’s share of this value can only be realised via HYway’s ability to support consistent data and information management across all aspects of business. In this way, HYway ensures that the value of its people and processes continues to flow to each level of the organisation.

UTS’ research into the adoption and use of HYway is revealing new insights into the technology’s network effects and how this is accelerating Hansen Yuncken’s reputation as a leading construction innovator.

Click here to read the full article published in the “Building Economist Sept 2017”
Author: Julie Jupp, Associate Professor Digital Design and Construction School of Built Environment Faculty of Design Architecture and Built Environment at UTS.