Digitalizing the Construction Site – Interview with Tenderfield’s Jason Kamha

Here’s my interview with Jason Kamha, Director at Tenderfield, an Australian construction software company.

Can you say a few words about yourself and your company?

Tenderfield is based in Sydney, Australia and was established in 2014. We provide a software-as-a-service (SAAS) platform that enables construction firms to collaborate on large construction projects throughout the tendering and project management phases.

A bit about myself, I have been working in the construction management field for over 10 years as an Estimator and a Contracts Administrator. I have always been interested in how technology can improve productivity and collaboration in construction. I worked on large projects and witnessed first-hand what can happen when information and people are disconnected.

Before we discuss your solution, can you share us your views on the Australian construction industry; how digitalized is it today?

In Australia, we have some of the best construction companies in the world. Most of the large Tier 1 companies have adopted technology to manage their projects.

However, mid-tier companies still seem to be using mostly manual systems such as email, Excel spreadsheets and non-construction specific solutions such as Dropbox. There is a view that people working in the industry are not interested in using new technology. However, I believe that that there has simply not been a solution that can cater for the many construction processes, easily collaborate people and information, and is simple enough for project-wide adoption.

We recognize that the Construction industry is on the verge of a technology revolution over the coming years and it is our mission to ensure the Australian industry is a leader in the adoption of technology.

What are the biggest challenges that construction companies have when they want to improve their productivity and implement digital processes and tools?

There are two main problems that companies face when they try out new digital tools in construction. One is the lack of collaboration with all stakeholders. Most applications require all project participants to join the system in order to collaborate with other project stakeholders. This creates barriers to collaboration and leads to inefficiencies when you can’t get 100% of participants to join.

The second problem is the degree of complexity in construction applications and the inability to adopt them project-wide from start to finish. Construction professionals have huge workloads and will always prioritize their project work over learning how to use complicated systems, especially if there are additional costs for training and support.

You have software-as-a-service for a variety of construction site functions. Can you explain briefly what you offer?

 Tenderfield’s platform focuses on 4 areas that are all connected:

  1. Construction Lead Network – Providing a network for construction companies and subcontractors to receive free project leads related to their business by completing their Expression of Interest (EOI) profile.
  2. Tender Management – Managing the tendering process for each aspect of a project by creating bid packages, inviting contractors to the tender and receiving bid submissions.
  3. Document Control – Automating the document control process with our unique Construction Document Manager (CDM) bot which auto matches new versions of documents with old versions and sends updated transmittals to the people who need them.
  4. Project Management – A growing library of management tools that companies can use as they need for their projects. It’s like your own construction app library. These include defects management, variations/change orders, site diary, Safety Inspections, RFI’s, meeting minutes, safety reports, etc.

We offer a customised monthly subscription to companies who wish to manage their own projects and offer free collaboration accounts to all companies working with our clients.

Who are your customers and users?

Our customers are generally mid-tier construction companies and developers who manage between $20m – $300m in turnover annually. In terms of users, in addition to the head contractors staff, all types of construction professionals use the platform, from architects and engineers who manage and issue new document sets, sub-contractors who price and manage their aspect of projects and clients who oversee the progress and approval process.

Every Company, no matter its role, can have its own account with Tenderfield and access information for multiple projects with various companies all from the one account.

How many of the features does your typical customer take into use initially?

How customers use our platform really depends on their specific job role. We build our features with specific roles in mind and aim to address the problems of each role with our technology by developing and then adding the solution, starting with the major issues first.

Project managers, contracts administrators, site managers, estimators and consultants all use the platform in different ways, in-line with their normal day-to-day activities.

All tools are usually used at some stage throughout a project, with more of an emphasis on the tendering modules in the earlier phase, to the field management functions throughout construction.

As an example, this month we launched our Safety Inspection feature which will typically be used by site managers. By digitalizing this weekly process and automating safety notices, we estimate that it will save site managers 80% of the time spent on completing safety inspections and will ensure that specific people are accountable for dealing with safety issues.

What are the main benefits that your customer can expect to get by choosing your solution?

Our customers can expect a simple to learn platform that can centralize all project information and automatically collaborate all stakeholders.

Tasks and project-related items can be actioned quickly and easily with our interactive email notifications. Status updates can be performed at the click of a button and comments can be made by simply responding via email. All email replies are automatically logged in the related area of the project.

All accounts are customised and branded to our client’s company and projects and we look to continually add new construction features for our clients free of charge with their subscription. We are currently working on an exciting new platform design which will be released before the end of this year.

All users are offered free training and support, whether they are a paying client or just collaborating on a project.

Is Tenderfield specifically made for the Australian market or could companies in other countries use it as well?

Our platform is built from the start to be a global product as the construction processes are generally the same other than the names of certain processes. We have the ability to easily update our language content based on the user’s country. Our focus now is the Australian and New Zealand markets but we are looking to expand into other markets in 2018. 

Is Tenderfield “stand alone” software or do you build integrations with other systems?

We have an open API and can integrate our platform with any complementary applications and services. We are about to partner with some great Australian companies to add further value for our clients.

How can companies start using Tenderfield?

They can sign up for a 30-day free full feature trial at https://www.tenderfield.com. We will customise packages based on the company size and the features they require for their projects. 

Where can our readers get more information on Tenderfield and how can they contact you?

By taking a look at our features page, sending us an email at info(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)tenderfield.com or by booking an online demo.

 

Product photos and Jason’s headshot are courtesy of Tenderfield.