Digital Innovation Shaking Up The Construction Industry
George Smithies and Aaron Vousden are two passionate and ambitious Civil Engineers, turned entrepreneurs from Pembrokeshire, South Wales and Anglesey, North Wales respectively. Both are graduates from Cardiff University and share a joint passion to revolutionise the construction industry through their digital platform innDex, helping bring automation and transparency to the forefront of construction.
Having both worked in the construction industry for the past 7 years, they became increasingly frustrated by the mundane and drawn-out processes that sat mandatory alongside a project from start to finish. They found themselves spending hours of their day carrying out tasks that were paper-based, manual, repetitive and provided no further purpose than to comply with health and safety requirements.
George and Aaron spotted the opportunity and in January 2019 they launched phase 1 of their integrated digital platform, innDex. They set out to change the way the construction industry operates by revolutionising the way that data is captured and harnessing this to improve productivity, communication and efficiency. The results of effectively implementing the software will bring huge improvements to the industry, driving sustainability, minimising the negative social impact of projects and bringing big improvements to health and safety on site.
The innDex platform makes it easy for each worker to create a profile which hold their personal details, documents and qualifications (automatically verified by external training companies). This profile can then be shared by the user with the management of each project for review prior to attending site. Transforming this process into a digital platform, saves the management team on average 4 hours of manual work per new user. Additionally, the platform encourages communication across the site with various in-built features. These features allow each worker to voice their opinion, suggestions or changes they believe are required to support the development of the project they are working on.
Lack of transparency and communication is seen as a common challenge across multiple areas of a construction site, with on-site staff feeling that they are sometimes working in isolation instead of part of a larger team. innDex aims to provide real-time data and information which can be viewed via any mobile device allowing true visibility across the entire project team.
Both founders share a broad vision for innDex and are continuously developing the platform with more and more useful tools that everyone in the industry can utilise. They are currently building interactive dashboards which enable each contractor to manage their workforce with greater ease. From this dashboard, the business is able to monitor their staff movements on each site, map out their skills, competence, experience and potential gaps within their team from a UK wide perspective.
From the insights provided, the platform can be used to guide government and industry decision-makers to more efficiently plan construction projects around the availability of a skilled local workforce, improving on sustainability in the form of social, economic and environmental impact.
To ensure the team stay innovative and at the heart of the ever-changing and exciting landscape of the industry they work alongside a number of contractors and construction experts who continuously give feedback to help develop and shape the design of the platform.
With a desire to keep their business roots firmly set in Wales, George and Aaron plan on expanding their current team to 20+ over the next year between their main office and second office in London. This number includes both full time and part-time staff, aiming to support people at different stages of their careers/life, creating an inclusive working environment.
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