A new platform from Pype aims to help contractors analyze project drawings more efficiently.
There’s been a movement in the industry to include much more information directly in a set of drawings, according to Satyam Verma, director of partnerships at Pype, but that data is often unstructured. Pype created SmartPlans to help contractors analyze that data and turn it into something structured so that they “can focus more on leveraging their own knowledge and experience of how this information impacts their projects, as opposed to what they’re doing today, which is just doing a lot of manual input and review of documents, and transcribing it from one piece of paper into an Excel sheet.”
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SmartPlans’ algorithm identifies data from documents uploaded to the platform, including schedules, permits, coordination notes and any submittals, Verma explained. Pype works with stakeholders across the AEC industry, and has analyzed 30 million different data points that the plans are compared to.
“Those 30 million data points are [based on] what information is coming out of a spec book or a drawing plan, but it also includes how are these end users manipulating it? How often are they merging two similar types of submittals? How often are they deleting data that they believe is irrelevant? How often are they adding things that don’t actually exist in the document, but they do think are relevant?” Verma explained.
The platform makes recommendations about potential redundancies or gaps in the plans.
“By identifying those gaps, it’s allowing teams to be proactive; instead of having a gap pop up in the middle of their projects—at which point it’s really a dispute about who’s going to pay for it—they’re able to understand these gaps from day one,” Verma said.
He noted that this kind of technology is not just a way to help contractors be more efficient, but can help them address labor problems as well.
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“We’re seeing time and time again that the fresh product engineer out of college, when they’re looking to choose between contractors, and one contractor is providing them a full set of technology tools that allow them to focus and leverage on knowledge and experience, versus a contractor who’s stuck in the old days where a lot of manual work is still required, that new talent in the market is going to contractors who are providing that tech,” according to Verma.
He believes that the industry is contracting as GCs who can’t adapt to new technologies fall behind.
“With margins that are so small, and the greater velocity at which we’ve seen technology being adopted, the sheer number of GCs that exist today is smaller than what existed 10 years ago,” Verma said. “It’s going to continue to get smaller because the ones that are not adopting technology are going to get pushed out of the market.”
Danielle Andrus was previously the managing editor for Colorado Builder, and is currently Editor for the Journal of Financial Planning.