Construction case study: ViiBE and Bouygues Construction
The collaboration between ViiBE and Bouygues Construction underscores the growing trend of fruitful partnerships with key actors looking to support start-ups who provide construction-specific technology. When asked whether the best way to address contemporary challenges in the industry is through startup-major collaboration, Guillaume Bazouin, Head of Startup and Intrapreneurship Programs at Leonard, was enthusiastic about the solutions resulting from these partnerships. He noted that global financing trends for construction technology support this optimism, as investment doubled from 2017 to 2018 to more than 6 billion USD and was expected to exceed 10 billion USD in 2019.
ViiBE’s record with construction majors continues to grow as it was selected to join Impulse Partners’ Construction and Building Accelerator. Proof of ViiBE’s contributions to the sector, however, extends back to 2018 when ViiBE and Bouygues Construction first began to work together.
Bouygues Construction’s worksite commitments
Bouygues Construction Matériel, the supplies the Bouygues Construction worksites. This team is committed to responding to any emergency or breakdown within three hours if it takes place in Paris or five hours in the countryside. Quick response times are crucial in the industry because machine downtime is costly as it leads to decreased production, project delays, and expert displacements on-site. To ensure a fast and quality troubleshooting process, Bouygues Construction deployed a crane call center to centralise calls and optimise interventions for its more than 300 tower cranes.
Cranes are central to the work performed on construction sites, but they are expensive, complex pieces of machinery with high maintenance costs for repairs and depreciation. Therefore, resolving any issues with cranes must be done quickly, but correctly for the safety of the workers and the continuity of the project. It is highly-specialised and technical situations such as this that have encouraged key actors in the industry to partner with start-ups to find innovative solutions to their problems.
ViiBE and Bouygues Construction: a successful collaboration
Establishing the crane call center was a positive first step towards optimising problem-solving communication. However, when a field technician needs to resolve an issue on such complex machinery, the crane expert at the call center can only offer limited help with traditional, voice-only communications. This need for remote, visual assistance is what led ViiBE and Bouygues Construction to establish their partnership. ViiBE was deployed in these call centers to optimise construction site operations and reduce the time required to bring machines back into operation after a breakdown.
Results with ViiBE
These deployment goals have indeed been met. Following the proven success between ViiBE and Bouygues Construction, Jérôme Minier, Head of BIM (Building Information Modeling) and Innovation at Bouygues Construction Matériel confirmed that ViiBE is a “simple, efficient solution that [does] not require API downloads or additional hardware”.
As a result of this collaboration, Bouygues Construction highlights an increase in feelings of proximity and responsiveness between its teams as well as increased satisfaction following faster resolution rates. In terms of productivity and efficiency, tech dispatch to construction sites has been reduced thanks to ViiBE, thereby increasing machine and worker efficiency. Finally, since integrating ViiBE into their workflow, Bouygues Construction has achieved a 20% savings on breakdown costs.
The increase of major player and start-up collaborations in the construction industry is highly beneficial, optimises costs, and reduces machine downtime. This trend and the associated investments are projected to continue to rise, although there might be an initial slow-down following the Covid-19 pandemic. Given the successful cases studies like ViiBE and Bouygues Construction who, together, have reduced the troubleshooting time required to remotely intervene and fix tower cranes on construction sites, it is clear that these collaborations are mutually beneficial.