Gråkjær builds a service station in a Norwegian forest while racing against time and winter
In a Norwegian mountain area, with trees as far as the eye reaches, Danish main and turnkey contractor Gråkjær is building the biggest agricultural building of the year. The area is carefully selected by professional building and breeding company Norsvin, far afield from civilisation and humans, which reduces disease transmission. The location also poses some challenges to the building of a farming center far from everything and in a harsh climate.
Morten Malle – Director Agricultural Production, Gråkjær
Most construction and project managers would without a doubt consider the 4,500 km2 project with an even greater land area as its construction site with envy and with concerns for satisfactory conditions for construction site coordination. Although space restrictions are on the plus side, it is necessary to operate within a strict schedule with the biggest challenge being winter, which is approaching with a fast pace. With winter comes also the prospect of guaranteed snowfall and more than 1 meter of snow.
Intelligent project management on a tough schedule
“One of the cornerstones of Gråkjær’s package is time” says Gråkjær’s Director for Agricultural Production, Morten Malle. “We build following the same building legislation as others but we have some projects in the back catalogue and a story that makes customers choose us. We have proven that we can do the impossible.”
Breeding company Norsvin selected Gråkjær because they needed to have the facility built 2-3 months faster than what would normally be possible. The two companies have been working together before, and Norsvin knows Gråkjær’s more than 15 years of experience in construction projects in the area.
Schedule extensions are not an option because piglets have already been ordered and promised to be delivered when the project is completed. The first milestone is to shut the house in late November. “The main challenges for us is time, and then of course winter, as we should close the house before the snow falls.
Time is a challenge for us because we have a strict schedule and daily changes occur.”
Ongoing process of converting dead into dynamic
”The project management tool GenieBelt is the right tool for us due to several reasons. First of all, we need a simple way to disseminate and communicate progress and pictures from the construction site, which is indispensable for distance management. Secondly, it is necessary for us to actively involve all parties, from the builder to consultants and contractors in the project schedule to be able to realise the project. Third, the tool must be simple and easy to use, so everyone can participate. GenieBelt meets all the three requirements fully.”
User-friendliness is a big part of what makes GenieBelt interesting, says Morten Malle. It is so easy to use that everyone can join in, which leads to subcontractors and other project participants embracing the system themselves. With frequent updates from the construction site, in the form of status updates and attached pictures, one gets a complete picture of progress and the challenges that should be addressed, and thus an opportunity for informative decision-making in management meetings.
“In the past we had a sea of dead documents to be manually updated in several places. This might speak for itself, as that is the starting point of where errors and misunderstandings occur. In relation to time management, logistics and coordination, it is GenieBelt that shows our builders what we have planned and what is actually happening on the building site. GenieBelt takes our dead documents and makes them 100% dynamic” adds Morten Malle.
Communication across departments on one platform
Gråkjær Agriculture has approximately 30 projects in Denmark and about the same number in Norway. In addition, Gråkjær has projects in Romania, Lithuania and several other countries. In addition to Agriculture, Gråkjær A/S has 3 additional departments: Commercial, Aquaculture and Environment. Currently, project management and communication are being tested via GenieBelt in the construction phase, but there is a desire to add also the design phase and the sales phase, so that the entire organisation’s communication and overview would be dynamic, accessible and structured and in the same place.
“We spent some time to reach the right level of detail between administration, time and yield. By using GenieBelt, we ended up making our planning a little more detailed than we would normally do, but the benefits are clear. We’ve hit the mark now and can easily scale the system over the rest of our projects in agriculture and commerce” says Morten Malle, and continues:
“The goal for us is to have a dynamic overview of our entire portfolio including all phases of the project. Gråkjær is among the best in its league because we can steer our projects safely to conclusion, and GenieBelt is a strategic tool that enhances our competencies and fits our vision.”
Everyone gets the same information at the same time – it's mega strong.
GenieBelt helps us to eliminate 'dead documents' that we would otherwise use, and makes our project management and communications 100% dynamic.
Gråkjær A/S was founded in 1973 by John Gråkjær, and currently employs 120 people. The company performs commercial, aquaculture and agricultural building projects and handles the construction process from the first design to the final screw.
With 40 years of building experience, Gråkjær has the expertise to implement projects such as turnkey projects. Professional consultancy with experience results in optimised buildings at the right price – delivered on time.