One of our clients is a company that builds turnkey family houses. In various stages of implementation, 20 family houses are usually under construction at the same time. According to the process maturity model (BPM), the company is at the 2nd level. It observes a certain discipline necessary for performing basic repetitive processes. It achieves its results through previously successful procedures. Learn more about the levels of process maturity here.
What problems the company had and how they were solved
- Compensation for late delivery of constructions (reason: poor planning)
Customers usually checked up on what the current state of their construction and whether it was going to be completed on schedule. However, the director of the company did not have enough information about the status of their execution (or they were not updated). This then caused delays in orders and clients then asked for financial compensation.
Solution: As soon as the relevant information was entered into ApuTime, the application calculated the most realistic and optimal deadline. Then it made sure that each employee worked on the most important task at the moment, so that the project was finished on time. Additionally, ApuTime was also able to account for scenarios where workers were late, absent, or involved in other tasks by creating alternate schedules (thereby streamlining workflow and preventing unnecessary meetings). With ApuTime, no meetings were required, as the application immediately created a new alternate plan for all employees affected by the downtime. What's more, the business owner always had an up-to-date overview of what each employee was working on and how close the project as a whole was to completion.
- Onboarding new employees
Another problem the construction company had was insufficiently described processes. Although the individual steps of building houses were repeated, due to the high turnover of employees the company spent considerable time and effort on training new employees.
Solution: In this situation, we helped the company to map all key processes and import them into the application so that:
- Employees were able to look at process maps and learn about the sequence of processes and were more independent in making decisions.
- Process visualization helped new employees intuitively orientate themselves in the processes and therefore it was not necessary to train them.
- Thanks to artificial intelligence, ApuTime was able to plan work schedules for each employee, in accordance with the needs of the entire company.
- Force majeure
Even well-planned construction process steps may not lead to success if there are other variables involved (eg. bad weather, injuries, etc.). This can easily delay deadlines despite the use of artificial intelligence to plan schedules and processes.
Solution: If it wasn’t possible to work on a certain stage of construction due to bad weather, the team leaders reported it via the application. Artificial intelligence then automatically rescheduled the rosters and delegated the work to managers who were then responsible for responding.
- Implementation among workers' professions
Initially, the biggest challenge was the implementation of the application among employees of workers' professions and the establishment of its regular daily use and the provision of feedback. In this case, one advantage was that the vast majority of workers in the manual professions tend to rely on smartphones. In addition, the ApuTime mobile application is very intuitive and simple.
The overall implementation was as follows:
- Training of key employees
- Mapping of all processes in the company
- Determination of the responsible person of the processes
- Inserting processes into an application
- Updating project statuses
- Using the application on a daily basis
- Setting up regular meetings with employees to get feedback to answer their questions
It seemed faster and easier for people sitting in offices to manage projects using email communication (forward, reply). For this reason, parallel communication via email and the ApuTime application lasted at least two months. Unfortunately, there was always less information in ApuTime than was provided in the emails. This experience led us to pay more attention to initial training in other projects. We mainly dedicated these trainings to establishing the confidence of employees that the new project management technology was feasible. Thanks to this, we managed to significantly speed up its implementation in the company.
We were surprised by the implementation training among the manual professions. The selected team leaders were aware of the effects and consequences of frequent changes, unexpected situations, and construction delays, which often led to criticism from management. The task of the team leader was to record the progress of the contract using three buttons: Working, Postponed, and Done. After two weeks, we noticed a faster shift in use than for employees from the office profession. After the first month, this group took full advantage of the mobile application (and provided management feedback).
The last group was project managers.The one who knows the processes in a company the best is also often the owner and founder, and they bear some responsibility for its course. In our experience managers mastered the application very quickly, and were able to start planning new orders independently.
Thanks to closer supervision of managers on the workers' performance in the field, they were better able to communicate with their customers and could offer reasonable and informed explanations for delays if and when they occurred. Another benefit was the optimization of processes. By being able to better visualize what they look like in a company, employees found they could familiarize themselves with their tasks quicker, and overall efficiency increased. From the point of view of BPM, the company has moved closer to the 3rd level of the process maturity model.