Arnar Agustsson, Director of Product Management
For the longest time, advancements in construction management software have stayed confined to vertical construction projects like skyscrapers, apartment buildings, and offices, among others. Over the years, this created a huge gap in the construction software market for heavy civil construction projects like bridges, tunnels, and highways to ride on a similar digital bandwagon. When it comes to managing heavy civil projects, construction contractors still rely on dated and siloed tools along with manual methods to plan, schedule, and manage on- and off-field tasks. However, due to the immense digitalization storm that has unfurled globally, the time is ripe for heavy civil construction projects to also join the ‘digital’ legion. Taking them one step closer to achieving this is Bentley Systems [NASDAQ: BSY], a leading-edge infrastructure engineering software company. The company provides a comprehensive suite of innovative software to help streamline and simplify the design, construction, and management of heavy civil infrastructures, such as roads and bridges, rail and transit, water and wastewater, public works and utilities, buildings and campuses, mining, and industrial facilities.
“When we started out, we noticed that there are three major problems affecting the heavy construction project management space,” shares Arnar Agustsson, Director of Product Management, Bentley Systems. The first problem is the huge discoordination between on- and off-field personnel, which invariably leads to the second issue—the inability to streamline all the construction documents (blueprints and 3D models, for instance) and optimize the daily logs, schedules, and inspections. “And the third problem is manual working processes. Because of the manual processes involved, the contractors have to depend on hand calculations (or guesswork, at times) to deduce the quantity of actuals from the design models for the project,” states Arnar. These are precisely the challenges that Bentley Systems set out to address and mitigate.
“Our first step toward this mission was acquiring the SYNCHRO 4D system four years ago. Now, building on that same solution suite, we have added two more digital solutions—SYNCHRO Control and Field—aimed at making the task of heavy construction management easier,” highlights Agustsson. The addition of the Control and Field module makes Bentley Systems’ SYNCHRO portfolio a complete assortment of integrated applications for digital construction management of heavy civil projects. It not only enables construction teams to gain real-time data at their fingertips for faster project management but also wins new projects as it can deliver work more efficiently and with higher gain profitability. It is a SaaS web-based construction management hub that connects construction resources, workflows, and all project data in one centralized location.
SYNCHRO Field and Control – Cutting the Gordian Knot of Project Management
Offering a peek into Bentley Systems’ latest offerings, SYNCHRO Control and Field, Bethanie Buerger— Director of Product Management at Bentley Systems—begins by elaborating about SYNCHRO Control.
Bethanie Buerger, Director of Product Management
It allows constructors to have the project insights necessary to make fast and efficient real-time decisions while remaining in control of time and budget. Furthermore, construction personnel can use this application to perform daily tasks, including filing requests for information (RFIs), documenting issues, observations, and site conditions, updating the status of assigned tasks, documenting inspection and test plan results, and providing automated weather recording.
Equally impressive is the SYNCHRO Field mobile app, built for quick and easy collaboration starting with field personnel. SYNCHRO Field is a virtual field management tool, which connects the entire construction project team by providing real- time data from the field to the office through an integrated mobile application. How can the solution help construction companies? SYNCHRO Field benefits construction project managers at two levels. Firstly, SYNCHRO Field automates and simplifies the documentation of day-to-day project progress. Secondly, the mobile app can also be used to access plans, tasks, photos, and files, both with and without the internet. Simply put, by using the solution, project managers can log their daily project progress to the centralized hub directly from the field. Even if the mobile app is being used offline, the on-field information gets automatically synced when back online. Thus, everyone has access to the latest progress, and there are no data duplication issues either.
The company provides a comprehensive suite of innovative software to help streamline and simplify the design, construction, and management of heavy civil infrastructures
When it comes to real-time reporting and site task management, SYNCHRO Field is a strong companion for field staff. SYNCHRO Field can also be used as a real-time reporting and task management tool. “If an on-site staff flags an issue on a certain mile marker point, instead of having to go back to the office to report about the problem, they can update it on SYNCHRO from their location. With field staff on the go, project managers can quickly assign remediation tasks to them. Invariably, this leads to faster task execution and management along with better project outcome,” explains Bethanie.
A Proven Testament to Bentley Systems’ Capabilities
Bentley Systems’ SYNCHRO construction management platform is enabling teams to deliver winning projects easily and more efficiently. Recently, a user was looking to digitalize their project status information. The user was running everything out of SharePoint, which was manually done every week to keep the information up to date. However, the time-intensive nature of the task pushed the concerned the user to adopt Bentley Systems’ SYNCHRO suite. SYNCHRO Field helped the user in digitalizing their document management processes and allowed them to capture accurate information minute by minute, facilitating an easy audit trail.
In another instance, Andy Kaiyala, VP of Bid Development, The Lane Construction Corporation, says, “The SYNCHRO platform helps the Lane Construction Corporation have access to all our project level data. Our Field and Corporate Managers, along with the Executives who lead them, now have timely access to critical business information through SYNCHRO. It is access to this information that helps forward-looking decision making improve. Our industry has been far too reliant on backward looking reports and analysis. It is time to start looking ahead and planning for success. SYNCHRO helps us make a plan we can rely on.”
These are but few of the numerous success stories that Bentley Systems has crafted over the years. Moving forward, the company will keep pursuing more ground-breaking innovations and drive more growth in the heavy civil construction management software landscape. “Our mission is to help our users win more business, deliver their projects on time and on budget, while not undermining efficient safety record. Through all our endeavours, we will continue doing that,” concludes Agustsson. The future, therefore, shines bright for the company.