Founded in 1954, Grupo Provivienda has a well-established presence in Panama, Colombia, El Salvador, and Mexico. With a 25% market share in the house building sector in Panama, Provivienda has delivered 130,000 homes since their establishment. The company covers the complete construction package, from site selection, site planning, land purchase, construction and development of projects, to project sales and customer service for all types of house building projects. GenieBelt is used as their real-time collaboration and communication tool in their volume house building projects.
Construction is old-school
The biggest challenge for Provivienda is the low entry barriers in the industry they operate in. In order to battle that, they focus on maintaining good relationships with their customers, perfecting their sales process and improving the construction processes on site.
“If we analyze construction sites and the actual construction process, it’s still a very old school industry where you have all the players coming in from different places with different backgrounds and experience trying to put it all together without any help from technology,” says Raul A. Hernandez Sosa, VP Business Development, at Grupo Provivienda.
Without technology, work has to be carried out using manual processes, which leads to low efficiency and productivity rates. As the industry predominantly employs low skilled labour, Provivienda’s on-site teams used to report and perform tasks manually using pen and paper.
“GenieBelt brings us the ability to have control of what’s happening at the site in real time. Not only that, we have a complete vision of the construction site and multiple teams collaborating to get work done. That means, the suppliers, main office, procurement, on-site workers, and subcontractors are all connected and managers are aware of everything,” says Raul Hernandez.
This has enabled managers to solve problems quickly, and make changes and adjustments to the schedule in real time from anywhere.
We believe we can save 10-15 percent in production cost. There are many benefits in not having to have inventory on hand and not having those downtimes that we currently face
Lack of data in construction
Before GenieBelt, Provivienda had faced issues with lack of data in construction. There was no process behind data collection and analysis in order to bring stability to construction projects.
“There is next to no data in construction. As a volume housebuilder, we repeat the process over a thousand times a year and we don’t have any data from it. So we can’t overcome issues that happen on site and avoid them in the future.” says Raul Hernandez.
With GenieBelt, Provivienda is able to see how different teams are collaborating on site. By reporting progress on tasks assigned, pictorial evidence of problems or tasks performed, managers are making data driven decisions regarding their projects.
“We can now start predicting what’s going to happen in the future and make adjustments to the programme if needed. So GenieBelt has helped us to be on site without actually being there. It is also helping us control the people on site so that they do what they are supposed to be doing,” says Raul Hernandez.
Subcontractors arriving on site in vain
Having subcontractors arriving at the right time is very important to Provivienda as they develop multiple projects at a time. But without a live schedule, it gets difficult to coordinate with multiple teams.
“If your programme is not updated frequently, problems on site escalate because they have not been communicated to the right person. In most cases, people on site are not the right kind of people to resolve the problem. By the time the issue is communicated to the right person, it is too late and we are dealing with delays and downtime,” says Federico Salazar, CEO at Grupo Provivienda.
Another issue Provivienda faced before the implementation of GenieBelt is labour scalability.
Subcontractors would often show up on site without knowing the number of people needed to get the job done.
“So now with GenieBelt, we are able to visualise everything and see exactly the state of the project at every moment. The relevant person is alerted about the problem and has a deadline to get the job done. We are also able to communicate and collaborate with multiple subcontractors, instantly,” says Federico Salazar.
GenieBelt reduces cost and time overruns
With the implementation of GenieBelt, Provivienda has seen immediate results.
“We believe we can save 10-15 percent in production cost. There are many benefits in not having to have inventory on hand and not having those downtimes that we currently face,” says Raul Hernandez.
On a similar topic, Federico Salazar discusses the time benefits GenieBelt brings them.
“Before GenieBelt, it was taking us 330 days to construct a house. It was due to the downtime between activities. Now the same house is built in 60 days. The thing that changed it was a live programme that helped us avoid downtime between activities,”