We’re thrilled to be announcing a fantastic new feature of our mobile app, Foreman Feedback, available today with our Rhumbix PRO offering. Foreman Feedback represents the critical next step in our product roadmap: closing the loop between the home office and the field by creating a two-way flow of communication with the foreman.
On most construction sites, data is a one way street. Field data is shared with management but nothing is ever sent back down to the foreman. They are resigned to guess how they’re doing or wait until their project manager or superintendent initiates a conversation.
Now, for the first time ever, foremen have a feedback system to see how their team is tracking to cost codes on a daily basis. The result is heightened awareness of project performance and better communication between the field and the home office.
Rhumbix co-developed Foreman Feedback in partnership with Modern Niagara. Shortly after a successful first pilot in 2016, we began more in-depth discussions with Chris Ovens, Modern Niagara’s EVP of Strategy & Innovation to prepare for a wider rollout and adoption of the Rhumbix mobile app. The foremen who had piloted the app were thrilled to be doing less paperwork, but they wanted more. “Rhumbix is really about giving foremen insights into how they’re doing on the job because they are the guys that can make a difference,” says Chris Ovens, EVP of Strategy & Innovation at Modern Niagara, “where this thing will pay dividends is by allowing foremen to have better information into the business of being a foreman.”
Our data science team worked together with Chris and his team of foremen who had piloted Rhumbix to understand what they needed to see, and how they needed to see it, to derive actionable field level insights. Every detail of the dashboard was informed by working with Modern Niagara’s team, testing new features and understanding what was going to make the most successful analytics solution for the field.
How it Works
Accessible from the main menu, Foreman Feedback is a dashboard view of budgeted, versus actual hours, displayed by cost code. The dashboard automatically updates when new timekeeping data is submitted so Foreman can be sure they’re looking at the most up-to-date progress metrics on their project.
Foremen can also see the hours remaining for each cost code, and the to-date percent complete for the entire project. This helps them proactively identify potential delays and challenges and communicate with project managers and project engineers so they can get them the resources they need to resolve challenges at the field level.
The Power of Feedback
Foreman Feedback is creating a scoreboard where nothing currently exists. Most construction software on the market has project managers and project engineers as their end user, while the extent of technology available to foremen is pencil, paper, hammers and hand tools. Foremen really are the underserved bottom of the pyramid when it comes to construction technology.
What we have heard consistently from our customers is foremen want to know how they are doing. They want to be able to measure their performance, and they want to know how to get better.
Feedback is the seed of behavioral change. A few years ago, Alex Laskey, founder and president of Opower gave a TED talk on how his company uses behavioral change to encourage utility customers to use less energy. By delivering personalized reports that shows how a home’s energy consumption compares to their neighbors in similar sized homes, they have seen an average of 95% of homes who received letters decrease their energy usage.
Foreman Feedback can drive large scale behavioral change at your company. By highlighting your most efficient workers and projects, you set a clear goal for others to work toward that motivates your teams to take ownership for their productivity. Setting a standard of efficiency reveals that there is better way. And what we have found across the board is that everyone - from the owner to the project manager to foremen and workers - want to get better at what they do.
Empower the Craft
Foreman Feedback is a big step forward in our company mission to empower the craft workforce. More tools to micro-manage the craft is not going to solve the construction productivity problem; the key is providing the craft workforce with the data they need to take ownership for labor productivity at the field level.
Unlock the Foreman Feedback feature today by purchasing or upgrading to Rhumbix PRO.
Image courtesy of wiseGEEK