Rhumbix: A Productivity Platform for Construction – Interview with Guy Skillett

I had the pleasure of interviewing Guy Skillett, head of construction at Rhumbix, a construction industry IT startup. In addition to the audio interview, here’s a summary of our conversation.

What is Rhumbix?

Guy Skillett RhumbixRhumbix is a construction data platform that replaces manual reporting processes like timekeeping, daily reporting, installed quantities and production tracking.

The genesis of Rhumbix was a large construction project in Chile where Rhumbix co-founder & CEO, Zach Scheel, and head of construction, Guy Skillett, managed timekeeping for a craft workforce of 7,000 people using manual timesheets.

Being empowered to improve productivity, the two were looking for clues in the data that would help identify where performance issues were arising. Realising that performance data gathered from the field didn’t really deliver the sorts of insights that were required, they set out to build a platform that gathered better data, including all of the much-needed and usually absent qualitative context around performance and production issues, in one simple, easy-to-use platform.

What are the problems that you want to solve with Rhumbix?

The ongoing lack of digitisation of construction field processes and the problems that arise from not having access to reliable field data. The industry remains defined by slow adoption of technology and the enduring use of manual processes to gather vital production and performance data. If the industry wants to benchmark performance and move towards a more adaptable, robust industry that leverages data in a more effective consistent way, it has to first resolve the field data issue and replace manual processes with something more appropriate for the 21st century. This is the enduring industry legacy issue that Rhumbix is working hard to solve.

Can you describe how Rhumbix helps on a construction site and what are the main benefits it offers?

Rhumbix is a powerful reporting solution that can be used by foremen to automate field reporting of timekeeping, daily reports, field photos, daily production, impacts and delays and changed conditions. With this data foremen create a data-rich record of what happened on the jobsite during the shift. By using a mobile solution, Rhumbix keeps the foremen in the field with his crews, where he can be most effective and deliver the greatest value.

At the end of the day, the foreman’s field reporting and administration duties are complete. Accurate and reliable field data can be communicated immediately to the office for use. Rhumbix not only improves the quality of the data that is gathered, but automates the performance analysis that management teams need to understand what is happening on their projects. Questions like, were we productive today, and, how much money did we earn or lose, become far easier to answer with Rhumbix.

rhumbix-1

Who should take Rhumbix into use and what does it take to get the full benefits?

Any company that still struggles with reliable field data and uses manual processes for field data collection can benefit. Rhumbix is a pretty intuitive and easy-to-use solution so firms that are worried about the difficulty of deploying mobile technology can definitely obtain value from Rhumbix. The platform sits between the field and customer’s existing software tools for payroll and production tracking, augmenting existing systems, but not replacing them.

Companies can deploy Rhumbix without having to endure painful integrations, but of course we support integrations for companies that want to seamlessly include Rhumbix in their software suite. We believe that the greatest benefit from the Rhumbix platform comes from companies that use Rhumbix not only to manage timekeeping and field reporting, but firms that also leverage its strengths for daily production tracking and profitability analysis. In this way, Rhumbix saves foremen in the field valuable time, but also delivers real savings to supervision and management who are looking for reliable data and insights around what is happening on jobsites, and where to make critical interventions in support of project objectives.

What are the steps in implementing Rhumbix, where is it available, and what are the costs?

rhumbix-2It is very easy to set up. You just download the app from the Apple store. Rhumbix is only available on iOS right now while we develop its full capabilities. You then load up your project data and your crew lists and get going. Rhumbix can be free for small crews, and enterprise costs for larger companies are based entirely on the number of workers whose time is recorded in the system. As many admins, managers and supervisors can use Rhumbix data so you never need to worry about seats and licenses, and you only pay for what you use.

Where can our listeners get more information and how can they contact you?

Feel free to connect on our website at www.rhumbix.com or for any specific questions around deployment and technology contact Rhumbix head of construction Guy Skillett at guy(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)rhumbix.com.

About Guy Skillett

Guy Skillett worked for Bechtel for ten years on five continents managing mega-projects in the civil infrastructure and mining and metals space. He left to pursue a MSc in International Construction Management and now heads up the construction department at Rhumbix where he assists in product development and the execution of interesting productivity study deployments.

Guy is a visiting research scholar at the Project Production Systems Laboratory (P2SL) at UC Berkeley where he researches how deployment of technology can empower the implementation and measurement of Lean Construction.

Product images courtesy of Rhumbix

Listen to the interview (also in iTunes)