RIB’s Connect, a fully cloud-based data warehouse for RIB Candy and BuildSmart solutions, which enables online information sharing between multiple stakeholders and real-time decision-making in construction, is testimony to RIB’s commitment to ongoing innovation.
Connect is a one-stop-shop that allows users to access, process, manage and extract intelligence from the RIB suite of products, connecting all estimation and contract project data with financial data in one central place and allowing users to gain sight of every single aspect of their project, providing one source of truth for an organization.
The brainchild behind Connect is RIB’s Head of Innovation, Joe de Klerk, an ex-estimator and long-time RIB Candy consultant, – two roles that place him in a unique position to understand customer challenges and look for ways to overcome them.
“While our customers immediately see the value of our estimating solution, Candy, some of the questions they ask got me thinking about how to optimize the data produced by Candy to promote the sharing of information between project sites and office and help them streamline operations by enabling real-time decision-making,” explains de Klerk.
After a two-year development process, de Klerk and his innovation team came up with a solution that gathers all RIB solution data – not only from Candy, but BuildSmart too – into one central repository, allowing users to review, analyze and deliver accurate answers to business-critical questions – anywhere, anytime, on any device – in real-time.
“There is not another core, like-for-like solution that consolidates, draws insights from and reports on Candy and BuildSmart data like Connect does,” says de Klerk.
Instead of waiting until the end of the month to run Candy and BuildSmart and consolidate their costs, Connect gives users access to information on a daily basis – this means challenges and discrepancies can be identified on the go and be nipped in the bud before they become major and often costly issues.
“Many of our companies have operations in different parts of the country. With Connect, Candy users at each site can access data from everywhere else. In this sense, Candy has essentially been transformed into an enterprise system,” notes de Klerk.
As part of its offering, RIB has introduced a business intelligence (BI) tool – Connect BI – which allows for the dashboarding of information and delivers a ‘project on a page’. “Connect BI gives the user a snapshot of a particular project – all projects can then be consolidated to provide a ‘company on a page’, which requires consolidating all BuildSmart data. Connect BI does this too,” adds de Klerk.
He says while the idea for Connect originally came from him, the outcome is a collaborative effort. “Connect may have started as my idea, but the final product is a result of input from multiple talented people within the RIB organization, around the globe.
“Importantly, we garnered major input from our clients, who were very specific about what type of functionality they wanted. We built an application to meet our clients’ real-life needs, rather than something we thought they may need.”