Irish company Initiafy offers an integrated digital platform that reduces the number of on-site hours
The rise of digital facilities within construction continues to grow and while Building Information Modelling (BIM) is now an accepted part of project development, other aspects of the overall process are not always maximised from a technological point of view.
Two experts in safety training spotted a gap in the market when they realised that contractor management could be streamlined with technological innovation, and so they developed a new software programme and named both it and their company, Initiafy.
Julie Currid, co-founder and chief operating officer for Initiafy, says: “The construction industry, with its reliance on having project-based contractors, provides a great opportunity to use technological solutions for operational efficiency. At Initiafy, we realised there we could innovate with the use of a digital platform that can help construction firms manage various aspects of contractors’ working practices.”
Initiafy provides customers with various resources for practical workplace use, as well as complying with national standards and regulations; it can be used on PC, tablet or mobile. The platform enables users to register subcontractor companies and individual workers with tailored forms, provide health and safety training and site-specific orientation online before going onsite, manage company documents, monitor workers’ activities on the jobsite, assess legal compliance documentation, provide forms in different languages, and generate custom reports via a bespoke dashboard.
“Initiafy offers far more flexibility than traditional contractor management systems; workers can take training courses on any device in their own time and are ready to work before they step foot on-site, saving company time and money,” says Currid.
“Training can be standardised across multiple sites so the site managers and supervisors have peace of mind that every worker receives a high level of orientation.
“An online solution also allows for the easy retrieval of documents and helps keep information secure, something that is critical given the ever-growing concerns about data protection.”
Clarity of onsite management
Initiafy has two key onsite aspects – Access Control and a Traffic Light System. Access Control enables remote worker check-in and check-out to validate that they are meeting all mandatory requirements and gives supervisors visibility of who is checked-in at any given time. If a worker logged into the platform exceeds the time estimated, the app notifies administrators at the control centre so they can then send someone out to make sure the worker is safe. The worker can also extend their time following an email prompt sent automatically from Initiafy.
The Traffic Light System makes it easier for companies to manage temporary workers, using a simple red/amber/green colour scheme to represent the status of worker documents, as well as managing behaviour. If a contractor does not have valid safety training documentation, they will be marked as ‘red’ and will not be allowed on-site. In another example, if a worker is caught smoking in violation of site rules, they may be given an ‘amber’ status. They may still be allowed on-site but their manager will be alerted that there is an issue needs to be monitored.
“This is a simple visual aid for site management and provides clarity of any situation,” says Currid. “Overall, with Initiafy, construction companies can approve contractors in advance of arrival onsite and configure the platform to gather contractors’ documentation and company details such as risk assessment and method statements, training records and insurance policies.
“They can register and train workers and deliver customised, site-specific orientations that will adapt to the worker’s role and language. It also captures their identity to ensure the right person shows up on site, and monitor behaviour, restricting access if orientation, qualifications or documents expire.”
She adds: “I think more and more construction companies will see the benefits of using a digital platform that is user-friendly, collaborative and provides accurate multilingual site management.”
Initiafy, was founded in 2012 and is based in Dublin, with offices in London, New York and Toronto. The company has been helped in its international growth by Enterprise Ireland, the Irish government’s trade and innovation agency.
John Hunt, Enterprise Ireland’s senior market adviser for the construction industry, says: “Driven by the demand to build ever-more complex, large-scale projects in shorter timeframes, Irish construction services and engineering companies have been at the forefront of introducing a range of innovative technologies and work practices. In recent years, Irish companies have been ahead of competitors in adopting digital technologies and BIM.”
Co-Founder and COO