The future of the construction site is digital.
"We want to digitize the blind spot in construction processes - the construction site itself - and make it completely transparent."
Together with our business partner Umdasch Group Ventures, we presented our joint project Contakt at BAUMA 2019, the world's most important trade fair for the construction industry. In the future, the digital platform Contakt will bundle all analog construction site processes and make them digitally manageable. We asked Dr. Lucas Winter, Managing Director of Contakt, for project insights.
Asked straight forward: the biggest challenges in the construction industry today?
One of the major challenges is to make it clear to the various stakeholders that in such a physical environment as a construction site, digitalisation and new technologies will lead to a completely different way of working in the future. This reality still seems far away. Imagine that: On a construction site it's loud, it's dirty - can you imagine that this could be different? The greatest challenge for us is therefore to find partners - both development partners and customers as partners - who will join us on this path of digital transformation in our industry.
What role does the human being play in the digital transformation process of the construction site? The digital construction site 4.0 should be used by all those involved - such as construction workers or polishers.
Good for a wide usage is that every construction worker owns a smartphone, as most colleagues live in accommodations during the week and the smartphone is the only way to stay in touch with their families.The use of the smartphone is therefore not an issue for the colleagues on the construction site. The exciting thing, however, is that although the colleagues mainly do physical work, they absolutely wanted to try out the first digital solutions from the start of the development of Contakt. This enabled us to implement the sclable approach well, namely to incorporate customer feedback efficiently - in slices - into product development. The digital solutions that we developed together in this way were also understood as upgrading the workplace and the roles on the construction site. The colleagues felt picked up - because their feedback is part of the product development. This is an exciting setting for us.
The idea for Contakt was on the agenda before the business plan?
The construction industry is the largest industry in the world, but productivity is mercilessly poor. Everybody admits that. It was clear to us that we are working in a field that offered great potential and that we need to solve the problems that are causing the costs. At the same time, however, we must prioritise above all those problems which, once resolved, will result in the highest level of acceptance on the construction site. The fact that this has been successful so far is also due to Sclable's working method.
What is Sclable's working method from the customer's point of view?
The merciless customer-oriented approach that translates customer needs into requirements slice by slice. This allows you to verify very quickly through feedback whether the path you have chosen is the right one. This is diametrically opposed to classical thinking, namely building castles in the air in a quiet chamber.
Contakt, the digital construction site, where will it be in five years?
In five years, Contakt will be a platform with which we can digitize the blind spot of data in construction processes - the construction site itself - and make it completely transparent. For me, transparency is an exclusively positive word in this context, because it is only through transparency that we can ensure productivity and thus meet the construction requirements of the future.
Which markets are strategically important?
For us, industrialized countries are exciting, because we have to aim our solution at building more productively. And the pain is of course particularly big where a lot of material and people are used.
How should Contakt's product world expand?
Our products will always combine three facets: Software - mercilessly trimmed for the user - hardware and sensor technology, and thirdly artificial intelligence.