Next in line for my set of interviews with MetaProp’s PropTech accelerator companies is with Niran Shrestha, from onTarget.
onTarget’s web and mobile Construction analytics software promises to streamline the currently time-consuming and fragmented Construction industry with one central visual interface that will bring efficiency into the renownedly techphobic sector.
So, without further ado, let’s get onto the meaty stuff:
MetaProp Prodigy: onTarget
1. What made you apply for the MetaProp in the first place and what is your ultimate ambition during the time you have there?
I met Zach through Dave Lerner, who is the Director of Entrepreneurship at Columbia Startup Lab. Both Aaron and Zak come from a background of Real Estate and Construction, with immense knowledge and network, NYC being the hub of Real Estate and Construction in the US.
Zach is a thought leader in the industry, with investments in very innovative and disruptive Real Estate and Tech companies, and, as such, I couldn’t be more excited about working with Metaprop.
Our ultimate goal is to grow and scale our company. September has been great, with double digit growth with several ENR Top 10 companies onboarding, partnerships, and growing our team with world’s best engineers and sales professionals.
2. What is onTarget all about and what problem are you trying to solve?
onTarget is a web and mobile-based construction scheduling platform, which enables on time and on budget delivery of projects, by collecting real time data from various teams, software and processes.
The Construction industry is plagued with cost and time overruns. We lose $250bn in a $1tn Construction industry due to fragmented teams, data and software. onTarget integrates, through in-built capabilities and partnerships with external applications for 3D models, project management, document management, and real-time communication. This provides a singular visual interface for the entire team, for timely and efficient execution.
Imagine an orchestra, where the conductor is conducting a symphony and keeps track of the various musicians in real-time. Similarly, onTarget is the conductor of the Construction project that enables harmonious collaboration between General Contractors, Contractors’ Subs, Architects and Owners.
Using their mobile app, project managers in the field stay updated on mission critical schedule activities, and have an ability to visualize the exact location in the virtual model. Progress and bottleneck is communicated in real-time, ensuring accurate reporting of data and saving hours of time previously spent on paperwork. The result is real-time, data-driven actionable insights that save time and cost.
3. Why do you think the Construction sector has been so slow to adapt to new technologies like onTarget?
The adoption has been so slow till now because of fragmented teams and processes. Since the owner is the highest beneficiary of the implementation of technology, onTarget provides a solution that enables owners to have a 360 visibility of the project. The entire Construction team, from the Architect and Contractor to Sub-Contractors and Owners stand to benefit from onTarget.
onTarget has been growing very fast, and hence the Construction industry is ready for the solution offered by onTarget. The time is right now because mobile phones have become ubiquitous, allowing real-time collaboration between team members. Improved cybersecurity has enabled cloud-based software, and a vast majority of Construction firms have moved towards cloud – the opportunity of predictive analytics has become possible now.
4. BIM is central to your platform. Here in the UK, it still feels like there is a resistance to its uptake. What is your number one recommendation for Construction personnel here about implementing BIM into their workflow?
BIM is a visualization feature in onTarget. Many customers use onTarget without using BIM in their workflow. We aim at helping companies prepare a technology implementation plan so that everyone is aligned with the workflow and benefits, from the fragmented data that we collect every minute to get actionable insights. We have seen the Financial, Health, Sales, Transportation and Marketing industries transform using collective data. It’s now time for the Construction industry to adopt, too.
There are several reasons why there exists resistance towards BIM implementation. One of the reasons being that the uses are limited, with the on-premise software that requires high expertise and powerful computers.
The majority of Architects in the world are working with BIM for design, visualization and coordination. This process doesn’t currently get transferred to the Construction firms. There are related liability issues that prevent Architects from sharing the model with the Contractors. Hence, the redundancy of having to build the model again is a huge investment that is preventing the industry from getting more collaborative and innovative.
Project owners play a very important role, since they are the highest beneficiary of a successful project. Incorporation of more collaborative terms in a contract would result in better outcomes. We shall provide case studies and templates for such contracts, and help bridge the divide where possible.
5. What are the challenges you face as a business in this space to achieve your ambitions?
The Construction industry is very slow to adopt technology of any kind. The industry’s process, software, teams, and contracts are fragmented. The US Department of Commerce study shows that construction productivity has been declining since 1960, compared to other nonfarm industries. Practices and operations haven’t changed in a long time. There has to be a top down approach from the owners, for educating and implementing technology to deliver a successful project, and to realize the highest potential of a technology.
We have already been able to save $0.5m in a $50m project with Malbro Construction in the Build It Back project. There is an evident ROI which has minimized the challenges to illustrate our value proposition.
Find out more about onTarget by visiting them online, and stay tuned for more from the MetaProp accelerator interview series!