Open Project: Digitalising construction management with PlanRadar
How Open Project has automated work processes and streamlined communication between all the stakeholders on-site thanks to the PlanRadar platform
Open Project is an advanced Italian architecture and engineering company, a pioneer that has paved the way for past and future experiential constructions since 1984.
Thanks to an integrated and flexible team of more than 50 highly specialised professionals, Open Project is able to offer a vast range of services.
Architects, engineers, designers and technicians work every day to provide solutions to every aspect of architectural work, from conception to construction, enhancing human experiences through technology, and finding solutions compatible with a modern, sustainable concept of architecture.
In the last year the firm has increased the turnover from 3.4 to 4.1 million euros and the value of its order book from 4 to 6 million euros, specialising mainly in the fields of hospitality, student housing and workspaces.
The issue is that Construction Management is different nowadays and it needs to be approached differently.
It’s not exactly news that the construction industry, starting from its building sites, has undergone substantial changes in recent years. Several factors have had a major influence on the industry, from innovation and technology to new skills, the involvement of new stakeholders, and an increased focus on sustainability.
Innovative and ever-evolving companies like Open Project have embraced these challenges by adapting their ways of working. A core team of engineers has been established within the firm to deal with Construction Management charged with finding solutions in order to streamline and automate processes.
Michele Lodi, Senior Engineer & Steering Committee Member of Open Project, tells us that “Today, the Construction Management Office is involved with many more stakeholders than it used to in the past. For example, the owner is increasingly present at the construction site and often appoints a project manager’s office to follow the construction site directly on their behalf.
So the number of stakeholders who, as our customers, require us to produce documentation and answers that were not necessary a few years ago is growing. Therefore, the amount of work is increasing, but there are more people other than just the contractor to talk to, interlocutors who require a more complex language and ability to relate than in the past”.
“The project managers involved need to have hard data, a constant overview of the work in progress, which means writing and compiling numerous reports summarising all activities within the site. Reducing the paperwork and targeting resources more effectively to respond to the context are challenges to which an appropriate solution must be found”, adds Matteo Lustriero, Engineer in charge of Construction Management in the Open Project team.
The in-house committee of multi-disciplinary experts with a focus on construction management therefore realised there was a need for a technology to coordinate the work and track these changes on site.
The solution: use software to streamline reporting activities and much else
The search for a tool that could help the work of the Open Project’s Project Management’s team stemmed from the desire to streamline the reports produced, with different and specific reports for each existing project.
After the Construction Management team began scouting for software, they realised that a solution like PlanRadar not only solved the issues with documentation, but also allowed to manage activities more generally.
“We saw the opportunity to go beyond the simple management of reports and documents, and to move on to managing on-site activities from a technical point of view through the ticketing system,” explains Michele Lodi.
“We create a ticket for each site topic whenever the situation requires it, not necessarily because of a problem as is happens with many other construction companies. We tend to write what is happening for each topic within the text fields of the application, taking advantage of the fact that the software records a proper paper trail.
Therefore, if a client requests an account of what happened we can reconstruct it, even after the event. Or if we think an issue may prove problematic in future we can print out all the texts entered in that ticket (under that topic), to quickly reconstruct a paper trail without having to waste time by searching for and adding up elements that without the use of PlanRadar would be found in emails, messages, notes, etc.,” concludes the Senior Engineer of Open Project.
The result: we realised how useful PlanRadar is to deal with a growing number of tasks
“We started using PlanRadar for the final phase of a project, mainly for large-scale snagging operations and writing over 5,000 tickets. Today, we use it on site from the very beginning of the project and often for the entire duration of the job. We started out using the platform only for one on site project and now we’re using it for six, and we’re planning to use it for new ones on the way.” This is how Engineer Matteo Lustriero highlights the excellent results achieved thanks to PlanRadar.
He goes on to add: “We’re using it to write our reports and snagging lists, and to take the minutes of our meetings. It’s also useful to draw up the paper trail of the project, using the platform feature of recording what is written down in each field.”
Besides the uses described in this article, our platform is opening up new avenues for the future.
Michele Lodi, Open Project Senior Engineer and Steering Committee Member, concludes by relating his recent experience using the PlanRadar platform: “We had the pleasure to collaborate with another company that also uses PlanRadar. We’re part of their project on PlanRadar, where we operate by opening tickets and managing activities on site. This not only allows us to move emails, minutes and documents to one platform, but also allows us to explore tickets sharing functions.
This experience is proving extremely positive, showing us how different professionals from companies working together can speak the same language, that of PlanRadar, further developing their relationship and creating new synergies”.