|The Andreessen Horowitz investment team weighs in on the future of construction|
The encroachment of Silicon Valley upon the construction industry brings with it some interesting perspectives.
It was after listening to these two podcasts from the a16z site that I was motivated to create this list.
At Cycle Rate Performance, we know:
- That they key to unleashing a technological breakthrough for construction will come by unleashing our skilled trades professionals to solve problems, perform their craft, and be appreciated for their ability to do so.
- That the power of the current technological boom (read: the information technology boom) increases our ability to forecast and be proactive with accuracy. More timely reporting and more data, though possibly useful, is only reactive and misses the sweet spot by a considerable margin. For example, we can use information technology to get the instillation right the first time and avoid rework (proactive) rather than catching an improper install sooner (reactive).
- Our ability to simplify the complex (i.e. the construction material supply chain) is what makes our solution unique and powerful.
- Empowering the skilled trades professionals in field with the right materials and right instructions, rather than tablets and complex software, will result in 20% - 40% increase in productivity. Further, we have all the technology we need to get that done right now.
- We don't currently have a skilled labor shortage in the construction industry. We have a broken supply chain that is inhibiting our workforce's ability to perform its craft.
Some key quotes that jump out at from the "Info Flows" episode are:
Referring to the waste created by the disconnect between the office and the field:
"…By borrowing some from aerospace the collaboration between engineers, architects, building owners, and all the constituents is fairly integrated… It's the minute you get all the entities go into a building which is a very flat structure from…people digging holes in the ground to sophisticated robotic factories making curtain walls - and try to bring that all into a site in a timely way - it is less efficient now than it was a 1960…"
"Honestly, the waste has increased and the schedules have increased."
"Building are delivered later now than they were in 1960 and more over budget than they were in 1960, because of this problem of getting those two (2) things together."
Discussing the amount of information/data on today's projects:
"150 drawing set for a $100 Million building was kind of a lot - and now you would expect 1000 drawings. So, it's like these poor builders are drinking from a fire hose."
Some key quotes that jump out at from the "The Build" episode are:
On the importance of timing in a fluid work space:
"In construction, your work space changes every day."
"If I'm a day off on getting my fire sprinklers installed I could hinder the duct guys from coming in and doing their job."
"You know not to sound too trippy but it's a great time and space kind of problem. If you don't install what you promised at the right time at the right place, which could sometimes we have an inch quarter inch accurate, you could create like a massive ripple effect. And sometimes these issues are discovered 2 or 3 weeks later there was a project."
On how to complete projects more quickly:
"Well, pace is generated by our ability to plan."
- Michael Farley
Cycle Rate Performance