Roeland Contzé, Manager Partners at Bouwend Nederland, knows that a construction company’s planning strongly depends on the weather. Four years ago the trade association found a partner in Infoplaza to let construction companies make faster decisions when it comes to that planning. “We build a dashboard for and with contractors. Infoplaza’s active attitude fits well with that.”
Any construction company wants to limit failure costs because of bad weather as much as possible. “If a hiccup presents itself in the planning, you know you’re suffering a financial loss on a construction project,” says Contzé. Apart from that, he knows members of the trade organization are always looking for a solution to make it easier for them to apply employers to unemployment benefits in unworkable weather - for instance when a delay happens due to frost.
To respond to these needs Bouwend Nederland wrote a tender offer in 2017 for a couple of weather services. In Infoplaza the trade organization found a party willing to improve the weather information for their members through the Bouwweer dashboard. That innovation process started off with a user panel that was asked for ideas.
The panel consisted of employers of members that have to deal with weather influences and planning on a daily basis. Amongst them a few big corporate groups – like BAM Infra – and several SMEs in construction. According to the panel the dashboard had to provide quick insight on when and why the weather has a negative influence on planning a project. Those criteria had to be able to be adjusted by the clients themselves. “Each construction company works with other materials that determine the workable weather conditions, like temperature. One company for instance cannot work at 6 degrees Celsius and receives an alert through the dashboard. But another company uses a new, innovative material and IS able to work at 6 degrees Celsius and so it doesn’t want to receive an unnecessary alert. That functionality is very important.”
Workability windows per project
Because of that, Uitgebreid Bouwweer – with free login access for members – is focused on users creating a project themselves and setting specific operational activities based on the weather criteria. Those who take their time at the start of the project and set up their project, receive a daily, detailed weather forecast for the selected location. In the dashboard you’re able to tell instantly which workable windows you’re dealing with in the next seven days. You’re able to set alerts for each user as well.
A third of the members of Bouwend Nederland actively uses this construction related weather information, resulting in 3.100 accounts for the digital dashboard. Still, a lot of them use the general weather information by Bouwweer when making the planning. To encourage members to create a project there’s a short video in the application guiding the users. Contzé absolutely sees the added value of creating projects in Uitgebreid Bouwweer: “It’s a small time investment that serves you a lot during the rest of the project. Without creating a project you still receive very detailed construction specific weather information, but you miss out on the alerts and automatic recording of the weather forecast. The latter is important – for example in case of excessive damage caused by an unexpected downpour – because the insurance company can ask about why no precautionary measures have been taken.”
Report unworkable weather
Aside from the possibility to customize Bouwweer’s dashboard to fully serve your needs and wishes, there’s also the option to make prognoses about the amount of downtime per project, to report the number of days and archive them. That way Uitgebreid Bouwweer provides immediate insight, also for the construction companies’ orderers, on the number of (non) workable days since the start of the project. Gertjan Damsteegt of the titular construction company writes the following in his online review of Uitgebreid Bouwweer: “Every so often I compile an overview for clients that include the unworkable weather. I use it at construction meetings. That way there is never any doubt about the number of remaining days per project.”
In the past Infoplaza already worked on making the dashboard for tablet and mobile devices more user-friendly. Contzé keeps listening for feedback from both big and small construction companies. “We are continuously developing to make things easier for members. We build it for and with contractors. Infoplaza’s active attitude fits well with that.”