Securing your margins | Construction News

Tracking all the myriad jobs on a project digitally can significantly increase efficiency

Lukas Olbrich

The construction industry’s perennially tight margins mean every pound counts. A 1 per cent uplift in margins might sound small, but on a £300m project it provides a substantial saving. Step forward software provider Sablono. Chief executive Lukas Olbrich says the solution can easily boost margins by allowing project managers to keep better track of onsite and supply chain activities by organising scattered, inaccurate individual records into a shared single digital workflow.

Olbrich explains: “Redoing work leads to reduced margins; a digital platform that helps precisely track and manage the day-to-day execution of the job can help lift these margins by boosting production, so you win additional profits from it.”

“The key is to use structured, granular real-time data to truly understand the status of works so you can make decisions faster and get it right first time”

Project managers can waste up to four hours a day trying to understand the status of work and organising the data from manual workflows. “That means people don’t really focus on creating the value and delivering the product but, rather, spend this time on non-value adding activities,”
Olbrich says.

“With a digital workflow, everyone understands exactly what has been done – for example, that a facade has been installed, or the fix needed in apartment number 222 has been done. “There’s so much going on with a construction project, it’s hard to keep track of all of the thousands of activities. We simplify monitoring each of these activities so that it is clear what is really happening on a project.

“Too often we see a lack of on-site coordination cause costly mistakes. Walls get closed up before the electrician has installed the wires, trades arrive before the previous job has been completed – the list goes on.

“An important factor in improving margins is collaboration between supply chain partners. We provide a digital platform that connects them all in real time and can be used as a workflow or process management platform. This way everyone knows exactly what they’re expected to be doing, at any point in time, and can easily document their activities,” Olbrich says.

From residential to refurbishments, the Sablono platform has been used to help deliver projects for clients like Lendlease, Laing O’Rourke and Bouygues. It embeds the full supply chain into a single digital workflow, providing a fully accountable audit trail of what has been done, when it has been done, who has done it, who signed it off and more.

“There are lots of progress monitoring systems, but many are not useful when it comes to enhancing execution workflows as they are based on outdated snapshot visual data that fails to provide a real understanding of a project.

“The key is to use structured, granular real-time data to truly understand the status of works so you can make decisions faster and get it right first time. The Sablono platform was created with this in mind and has saved clients hundreds of hours worth of time, translating into savings of over £10,000 per month per project.”

When it comes to margins, although there is not much we can do to control external factors, what we can do as an industry is optimise our processes.

Sablono has produced a white paper to explore this topic, Using on-site digital technology to secure margins

Download your copy at


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