Plug-and-play prowess with InEight

InEight is creating the next generation of capital project management solutions that embrace modularity and interoperability, helping to shape the future of construction design, execution and management.

The ability to leverage previous project information to accurately predict timelines and budgets reduces confusion and generates greater cooperation between contractors and asset owners.

Data capture and advanced project control represent an opportunity to change the face of contracting methods, increasing transparency and reducing the adversarial nature of traditional contracting.

Real-time data displaying accurate information over the course of a project gives all parties visibility into project progress and encourages better outcomes.

Today’s future-focused project controls use datasets electronically collated and presented in simplified dashboards. This information can improve corrective actions, productivity and cost outcomes over the lifecycle of infrastructure assets.

Project controls connect all dimensions of information associated with the feasibility, design, delivery, maintenance and operation of a capital asset through its lifecycle, from concept to decommission.

This data can be used by companies to become more effective and efficient, with the potential to make project outcomes equivalent to expectations.

Ian Watt, Regional Director Asia-Pacific at InEight, says for the past quarter of a decade, organisations have been largely relying on point solutions to manage project control.

Unfortunately, these point solutions create complicated many-to-many data relationships and coding structures that are incapable of working together.

Mr. Watt says the secret to success for a next-generation platform is interoperability, with all modules supplying data and working together to determine the right corrective actions.

Interoperability enables the creation of pre-connected data that is useful throughout the lifecycle of an infrastructure asset, some of which will have lifespans of up to 100 years.

“While this project control information is critical for decision-making in the two- to three-year construction phase, that phase only contributes around five per cent of the whole value invested in the asset. You need to be able to leverage all the dimensions of connected data for the asset’s entire lifespan as a Common Data Environment (CDE),” Mr. Watt says.

A key differentiator of InEight’s cloud-based project management platform is its plug-and-play format. It can take existing data-collecting capabilities and implement these into the platform alongside InEight’s products.

“External solutions can be plugged into the platform to act as independent data sources. Our connected data schema can reconcile those external sources alongside our internal solutions to form the CDE information knowledge base,” Mr. Watt says.

“The platform also boasts a consistent user interface, reducing the impact of organisational change associated with complete technology reconstruction.”

In the past, he says, project controllers have been forced to make assumptions due to the lack of connected data.

Connected project data within InEight’s platform generates a number of reports and dashboards to provide asset owners with critical performance indicators derived from the data.

The platform uses Microsoft’s Power BI analytics service, embedded in the system, which comes with pre-defined dashboards each user can configure and extend to display the performance indicators needed.

InEight can take existing data-collecting capabilities and implement these into its cloud-based project management platform.

In Australia, more than $50 billion of road and rail infrastructure projects have adopted the InEight platform.

“It gives owners good visibility of exactly what contractors are up to rather than having to wait for claims and progress reports to be submitted,” Mr. Watt says.

He adds that this can have positive knock-on effects for project calculations.

“The platform creates an ecosystem not only for an individual contractor, but for consortiums, public-private partnerships and asset owners. The connected, real-time data removes any confusion as to what the statistics of a project are, or its detailed information,” Mr. Watt says.

This transparent, connected, trusted data then facilitates modern, cost-effective, collaborative contracting methods such as NEC4 as it helps to break down the traditional adversarial nature of contractor/owner relationships.

At a project’s initiation, crews can be out onsite within a week using InEight’s solutions to collect data, almost instantly reporting consistent and usable information.

“This way, when a project’s information is sought out in 50 years’ time, companies will know what was put there at the beginning,” Mr. Watt says.

Information can then be viewed visually through InEight’s platform using 3D digital engineering visualisation capabilities or Building Information Modelling.

“Exploring projects visually is going to have enormous long-term benefits that we cannot even conceptualise, and that future generations will be able to make use of in ways we can’t imagine,” Mr. Watt says.

Alongside possible future benefits, Mr. Watt says he’s had a great deal of current positive feedback. While visiting a site earlier this year in America, he met two engineers over the age of 60 using the platform through an iPad.

Mr. Watt recalls one the of engineers had always filed paperwork late and was consistently in trouble for late reports. “After being introduced to the platform, this man could log his work quickly and easily and was getting home to his grandchildren 15 minutes earlier every day,” he says.

“From the outset of projects right through to 50 years later, this is a platform that is future focused. It represents the next step beyond pieced-together point solutions and the future of capital project management software.”

To learn more about capital project management software solutions from InEight, visit InEight.com/plug-and-play


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