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Boosting productivity by democratising data

Boosting productivity by democratising data

Author: Mark Berg, A14 Integrated Delivery Team and Costain senior project director

When you work on large-scale infrastructure schemes, a problem in one area can have a significant knock-on effect. Costain is continuously assessing, developing and evolving new digital tools to help its teams stay on track. The Andon app, which was deployed on the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement project, provides real-time data on the progress of work on site. It uses a simple red, amber, green system to show if work is ongoing, on hold or if it’s stopped. It also enables workers to quickly and easily highlight the challenges they’re facing.

The app enabled us to have data-driven discussions with our suppliers. As an example, keen to continually improve productivity, our surfacing partner Aggregate Industries embraced the data gathered by the Andon app across the pavement works. It enabled them to identify the root cause of 65 percent of all stoppages and working closely with the operational team and the company’s directors, together they were able to identify a solution that led to a massive 50 per cent improvement in productivity. It also helped us identify which days were more productive than others, and understand why.

The improvements driven by the data and the app made a significant contribution towards the entire scheme being delivered on budget and ahead of time. 

"We are heading into a digital era whereby digitalisation will take lean project construction to a new level across all stages; from data supporting the identification of sustainable solutions, to using digital tools that produce the quality data that will support preventative asset maintenance for whole life value. We are always keen to collaborate and support the trial and use of digital tools in construction. Essentially digital tools help us to learn, can lead to efficiencies, improved productivity and increase safety on site, so when the IDT approached us to trial Andon on the project we were happy to support the initiative.”

Paddy Murphy, Managing Director of Contracting at Aggregate Industries

Read the full article from Mark Berg, A14 Integrated Delivery Team and Costain Senior Project Director, for more on how data and digital technology improved productivity and contributed to the early delivery of the A14 with efficiency savings of £196m.

More than meets the eye