Around this time of the year, we remind ourselves how everyone decorating their Christmas tree is going through a similar journey as a construction company delivering a building project. With the risk of oversimplifying the construction process, at Geometrid, we use this analogy to illustrate the issue of visibility across the supply chain. Whoever has placed an order online could tell how tracking on the e-commerce platform was important, especially if they were supposed to get their orders before some deadline, such as tree ornaments before Christmas.
Decorating a Christmas tree doesn’t start with putting the ornaments on it the same way the beginning of construction isn’t the on-site installation of building elements. A typical buyer journey would consist of a couple of stages.
Assuming that we already have a tree, we would then need to buy some ornaments. We usually do this by going to the e-commerce platform of our choice, finding an appropriate decoration, checking the delivery time, and finally making a purchase. Once we place our order, the next step would be to go back regularly to the website and check the delivery status using the tracking option.
Since we are working on a fixed deadline and possibly a tight schedule, our delivery must come in time. Without the decoration before Christmas, the entire exercise would have been in vain. On top of that, imagine having to explain to your family why the tree is bare this year.
Now imagine there are tens of thousands of ornaments to put on your tree. You would need to go through the same ordering process, except that this time, there is no single e-commerce platform to place the order. When it comes to putting the bulbs and stars on your tree, there are different procedures and dependencies, and there is always a sequence of decorating to follow.
Your deliveries would need to be arriving just in time according to the defined sequence. There are dozens of suppliers delivering your ornaments that all come in different types, shapes, materials, sizes, etc., and there are hundreds of sources of information you need to rely on for tracking your deliveries.
You are still working on a fixed deadline, and you have no idea if you will have your tree decorated before Christmas. That is where construction professionals could easily relate.
Construction professionals deal with this kind of uncertainty daily, with too many moving parts to handle and too many conflicting data sources to make sense. Not only is the information trapped at various stages along the supply chain, but also it takes a lot of error-prone and time-consuming manual work to consolidate this mix of physical and digital inputs into a meaningful report. By the time this report reaches the decision-makers, the information is completely outdated.
The more complex the projects, the more stakeholders depend on complete, accurate, and timely information to keep up with the progress. At some point, relying on phone calls, spreadsheets, scribbled notes, paper drawings, etc., to exchange progress information becomes ineffective and even counterproductive. Miscommunication leads to mistakes and disputes that ultimately cause projects to go over their budgets and deadlines, significantly increasing financial and scheduling risks with the project complexity increase.
At Geometrid, we keep our focus on enabling access to building information and fostering real-time participation on the project across the board – from workers in factories, warehouses, and construction sites to executives in the back office. A simple click, tap, or a QR code scan from across the supply chain will instantly update the building’s progress.
As we continue to democratize the building information, our team at Geometrid wishes you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.