Do you have all the information you need on a project in order to make the right decisions? Do all of your partners? The ability to manage information in construction helps ensure all parties have the right means for which to organize, find, and share data with ease and intuitiveness. Based on that notion, technology providers continue making moves that will help position them as your one source for all things information management.
Newforma, www.newforma.com, Manchester, N.H., for example, has been making an aggressive push to contractors with its set of solutions designed around the idea of PIM (project information management).The company’s products focus on connecting multiple disciplines within construction to each other through integrated processes, while integrating with building information models. Its products have been well entrenched in the architecture and engineering realms for quite some time.
According to Dan Conery, vice president of customer satisfaction and construction solutions, Newforma’s PIM strategy has been developed for the software to perform as individuals think and work. He says, “Newforma understands that while architects, engineers, construction managers, owners, and all the subs and consultants in between may all be working on the same construction project, their roles are all different. In order for PIM to be effective, it must allow each of them to organize, interact, communicate, and share information in a way that makes sense for them, but still within the context of the overall project.”
The idea of more information being shared across multiple disciplines in construction continues to shape the way in which software vendors are building out functionality in their products. Meridian Systems, www.meridiansystems.com, Folsom, Calif., for example, announced the acquisition of assets from Dimension 5 (D5), which has long been an ISV (independent software vendor) party of Meridian’s. D5’s Encompass software helps with the collection, verification, distribution, and storage of paper-based and electronic project information.
Part of the appeal of D5 is the ability to capture data intelligently via mobile devices and email, or directly from files systems and FTP sites. When integrated with Meridian’s Prolog project management software, the ideas is that customers will benefit from enhanced functionalities around workflow, forecasting, and cash flow.
As described by Sue Watkins, director of marketing, Meridian Systems, incorporating such a product into the Prolog product helps remove complexity for customers that typically do not want to deal with multiple products. As the demand for information extends beyond the dataset that has been traditionally housed in project management increases–not to mention the multiple ways in which that delivery occurs–Watkins believes this is a trend that will only continue.
These days information is power in the construction industry. Everything associated on a job, from emails to RFIs (requests for information) to change orders, hold essential data valuable to at least one constituent on a project. Technology that can help bring it all together in a way that can be easily shared across the team will be of most value moving forward.