I have always been passionate about how I can deliver more value to the design and construction industry through technology innovation. Throughout my career, I have focused my energy driving lean practices and principles into construction projects by leveraging cloud and mobile tools. I believe that through software innovation project stakeholders become empowered to make better informed decisions and gain more in-depth insights into their projects and teams. What is more, the AEC industry as a whole is lagging behind other industries in terms of productivity because of their inability to effectively use technology. A large part of this has to do with the fact that until recently much of the technology has not been purpose built and doesn’t work well with the mobile workforce of construction.
A few months ago, I was chatting with an old colleague from Autodesk, and he was telling me about a new startup he was involved with that addresses challenges in the transportation inspection process. Now, at first I thought to myself, that seems like a niche market but as I learned more about Pavia Systems, I came to find out there is a much more compelling and wider reaching story here.
As the conversation progressed, I learned more about how Pavia Systems formed out of a research lab at University of Washington more than 10 years ago, and how their cloud and mobile based inspection tool was developed from that same lab through a joint research effort funded by several State Departments of Transportation. These agencies inherently trusted the company as both George White and Si Katara, two co-founders of Pavia Systems, had been collaborating with them for the last decade on various technology solutions from educating their workforce through online training to delivering mobile and web-based applications to better manage and distribute design, construction, and performance data throughout the organization. George and Si were then tasked with understanding the impact of mobile technology on the inspection process. What is impressive, is that before a line of code was even written, Pavia spent 6 months in the field with inspectors, engineers, and all levels of management to really understand the problem and their pain points. In order to streamline the process, they mapped out how things got done today and worked with the end users to test different approaches that would make their lives easier. Seems like a logical place to start, but you’d be surprised to know that 99% of technology does not get developed this way.
What developed from this research effort was the platform called HeadLight which offers an easy to use mobile-first project inspection tool built specifically for the transportation infrastructure industry. In less than a few months of being commercially released, HeadLight is now being deployed in practice throughout various DOTs including Washington, Texas, California, Minnesota, and Alabama. The customer love from the initial deployment of Headlight since June 2015 is like nothing I have ever seen in the construction space, and the return on investment metrics are staggering.
What has me most excited about Pavia Systems and its people are the vision and long term approach the company is taking to fundamentally challenging the status quo in order to evolve and improve the infrastructure that underpins our lives and economy. They are looking beyond simple solutions to a few isolated problems, as they are beginning to connect the dots with some workflows that are inherently dysfunctional by nurturing a direct relationship with their customers and end users. The systems and processes they have built from automated sales and marketing in Salesforce to complex customer outreach campaigns rivals that of long standing, Fortune 500 companies. At the same time, Pavia is a nimble, fast-paced company that is able to pivot in order to respond to the market needs. Whether it is paying your subcontractors by linking work in the field to pay applications automatically, or setting up approval workflows that elegantly connect projects and their construction documentation electronically, or allowing for seamless integration of cloud and mobile technologies for communication from the back office to the field instantaneously, Pavia is boldly forging the path for the construction industry to adopt technology and achieving astonishing results!
In addition to the value to the inspection workforce of federal, state, and local government agencies, Pavia works closely with construction and engineering firms who also perform field inspection work. I believe that we are at a turning point in the design and construction industry where purpose-built and mobile-first tools like Headlight will transform the way work is being completed. The rest of the world is finally taking note as well, as within the last year we have seen a surge of hundreds of millions of venture capital dollars being invested in technology innovation for construction.
Reach out to me via LinkedIn if you are interested in learning more about how we can work together (either through implementing our technology, integrating as a technology partner, or joining our team) in bringing better productivity to the AEC industry. To learn more about Pavia Systems and our solutions visit our website.