Finland’s largest building services company Caverion Finland started a development pilot on making use of situational awareness and production control know-how together with Fira Smart in early 2021. As building services can take up to half of the turnover especially in renovation projects, Caverion finds it important to develop not only how they lead with data, but also how the data-based practices bring transparency to the collaboration with the main contractor. The common goal for all construction projects, after all, is a satisfied end client.
The pilot combines developing both digital tools and management practices that produce data from the daily site operations, especially in terms of schedule management. On-site scheduling is done in the Fira Sitedrive software, and as the project managers update the realized percentages of the tasks, the scheduling data is combined with the work hour data from Caverion’s ERP system. This processed information is shown in browser-based dashboards.
”It is extremely important for Caverion to get to participate in the schedule management and schedule monitoring, the transparency. In this pilot, the practices on leading with data have been developed precisely in transparency, so that problems are openly brought to daylight and solved together,” says Riku Mandelin, Senior Vice President at Caverion Finland. ”When we have a shared understanding with the main contractor, we can take corrective action to reach the best possible outcome. We can better help our sites to succeed.”
Project Manager Minna Rantio confirms: ”Data dashboards show us really quickly, without filling in separate spreadsheets, what the situation is on the site. We can see, for example, if the work is progressing as scheduled, or where we are behind.” Important monitoring in the situational awareness data is, for example, comparing realized work hours to the budgeted hours, and following up on critical tasks. During the pilot, the data dashboards helped monitoring the demolition works together with the main contractor to see how work areas and tasks open up for the MEP works. Shared monitoring made work timing much easier. ”It creates reliability for our operations, and improves our ability to predict,” Rantio states.
The developed data dashboards and management practices were tested out at the Saturnus hotel site in Helsinki, Finland, where, at the time of the pilot, the renovation project was in the preparation phase with the property owner. The renovation is to turn the 19th-century historical buildings into a hotel block consisting of over 200 rooms. Caverion Finland oversees all of the building services works in the project, including a full renewal of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing, as well as the ventilation and automation systems of the buildings. After the demolition works, the re-construction can begin in spring 2021, and the site plans on continuing to make use of the dashboards and practices developed in the pilot. Moreover, Caverion sees significant potential in benefits on bringing the new digital practices also to their other construction sites.
”Situational awareness allows us to foresee and solve problems beforehand, before they surface on construction sites,” Mandelin continues. ” Of couse it brings cost savings to Caverion, as well, when schedules are shorter, there are less errors, and quality is better. Unnecessary waiting and waste are eliminated. It’s beneficial for all.” Rantio continues: ”It improves the collaboration, when we can address deviations earlier and also influence the main contractor positively. And we can correct our own activities earlier, if we see this is not going to work. It enables us to address problems immediately, in our daily operations.”
Working together in the development pilot has been fruitful. ”The collaboration has been really smooth,” Rantio praises. ”Weekly, we’ve had several check-ups with the Fira Smart team. They have made suggestions and done further development, and then we’ve together ensured that the solutions meet our needs. All feedback has been taken really well and the development work has been super-constructive.” Rantio recommends also the Fira Sitedrive scheduling software: ”It truly is easy to use. I learned it in just a few sessions. It makes leading with data so much easier when you get situational data out of Sitedrive without having to fill in any separate spreadsheets. I hope that we implement these practices to all of our sites, going forward.”
”Our cooperation with Fira Smart has been really smooth,” Mandelin confirms. ”It’s probably because they have construction professionals who understand what we’re after, understand the MEP works and our needs. Doing this together has been really proficient.”
In the spotlight
Caverion Finland employs about 2700 professionals in Finland in the building services project and maintenance business as well as in building management services. Globally, Caverion has 15 000 employees in 11 countries.
Senior Vice President at Caverion Finland, Riku Mandelin, manages the project business at Caverion Finland, including 200-300 construction sites around Finland from the southern capital region to the northern Lapland.
Project Manager Minna Rantio supervises the progression of building services works, currently at the Saturnus construction site, making use of the Fira Sitedrive scheduling and real-time construction intelligence.