Oct 8, 2020

Artificial Intelligence and responsible materials tracking

Tracing the amount of responsibly sourced materials used in repairs and maintenance is hugely important to maintain a strong reputation and to avoid costly mistakes.

However, tracking the flow of materials is a massively labour intensive. Due to the high volume of data on most sites this process is highly fatiguing making it prone to human error. To be able to rely on the data to accurately reflect your performance and reduce environmental impact, it’s important that the data is complete and accurate.

Luckily new Artificial Intelligence Technology can be used to simplify the process – goods receipt notices are simply photographed using an operator’s phone and the technology behind it does the heavy lifting, to automatically digitise the data and store this in the cloud, ensuring a complete and accurate data set without the risk of human errors.

The technology has been used on projects saving an average of £200,000 a year.  Savings arise from:

  • Reduced instances of rework – a large amount of construction rework comes from undetected mistakes such as the wrong material going into the build. Once these mistakes are detected, the project team are required to tear down portions of the build to address the issue. With an immediate flow of data relayed back to the project team, erroneous deliveries are flagged instantly and the mistake can be mitigated before it escalates.

  • Avoided risk – with pressure increasing from the environment agency and local authorities, construction projects are under greater pressure than ever to abide by environmental requirements. If projects are found in breach of these requirements, they can be put on hold, costing both the contractor and client a substantial amount time and money.

  • Reduced workload – manually reporting on the large volume of data from construction sites is time and resource intensive. Teams don’t often have the available resources or skills to do this effectively, leaving the opportunities in their data untapped. This technology can support teams in doing this in an automated fashion, meaning resources are freed up to do what they do best.

There is also evidence that demonstrating your performance on responsible sourcing of materials can help with staff retention and recruitment costs by attracting people who want to work for an employer who does good.

We are running a research project on using this technology, so if you are interested, please get in touch [email protected]