The Story Behind

A good friend who runs a construction company used to always complain about the myriad of excel sheets he had to daily go through to analyze what was happening at each different construction site and had people who used to collate all the excel sheets into one to one master excel data set, which also lead one of his resources to spend a considerable time daily on this. While sipping coffee he mentioned the problem to me and we asked this preliminary question- What if we brought data of all the construction sites on one software platform? He got excited about how easy his work will become and we were excited for a chance to build a new product. A lot of time was initially spend in defining and understanding the problem by asking right open ended questions to decipher what precisely our friend and his team wanted and what would specifically motivate his entire team to adopt this software and make their current way of solving problems obsolete. After surveying all the stakeholders of the team, we found three pressing issues:

  • Data. Lots and lots of data being generated from construction sites and sent to the HQ by email. How to manage it? Searching for relevant site data on email is as good as finding a needle in a haystack.
  • How to analyze the collected data to optimize the processes? There have been instances where we clearly see a process which can be optimized but because of lack of meaningful data, we can’t do anything.
  • Finding leaks in the pipeline. Equipment operator didn’t come on a particular day but he billed it. How do you reconcile the attendance when billing? Assumptions are bad for business especially when you’re billing a third party.

One of the key learnings that we have gone through multiple times while building products is that clients say something and do something else, so it was important to spend time wearing the glasses of an anthropologist and observe keenly as to what the client does in his daily tasks and identify what he REALLY wants. The process of gathering requirement involved the above steps and the information to be managed was easy to get as our friend already had Excel sheets which were of use to him even before we came up with the idea of iCore.

Impact of iCore:

  • Data is now stored centrally in a database and the dashboard give easy access to it. It can used remotely on any computer with an Internet connection.
  • Data can be entered using the same Spreadsheet/Excel like UI resulting in getting more things done instead of struggling with the software. All the site workers/external entities feels home with the Spreadsheet like UI.
  • Strong authorization and authentication rules which allows access of only selected modules to a user. No need to worry about your data being seen by prying eyes. Admins can assign the modules separately for each site.
  • Assigning external entities like a subcontractor to a construction site is easy and can be done is very few clicks. The UI can be customize to add relevant fields.
  • The iCore dashboard gives ability to view historical data for analytical purpose. It’s now far easy to make sense of the data and to make informed decisions.
  • It’s now very easy to find leaks in the process pipeline. A subcontractor didn’t show up on the site? Simply search for his entry in the dashboard and verify before billing his man-hours.
  • No hassle of logging into an email account and sending daily reports to everyone in the team by attaching an Excel sheet. Simply open the software link and enter data straightaway and use the valuable time in building great structures around the world!