Keano Chang and Allar Ahtmann of iknowa look at the new technologies that are addressing inefficiencies in the planning industry, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)
For years, directories (lead generation sites) have helped connect homeowners, property developers and tradespeople to contract building and renovation projects but have been underserved by inadequate management tools that have been built upon legacy infrastructure, preventing existing companies from additional scaling opportunities whilst increasing bottom-line costs.
Solutions include; the comprehensive verification of a reliable workforce (new and existing), data-driven management tools to analyse the quality and performance of a project, and automated administrative tasks. Integrating these solutions to existing and new platforms, AI/ML can address current concerns head-on for homebuilders and homeowners, whilst resolving; quality, reliability and miscommunication issues in the market.
Verifying a reliable workforce
One of the most common features that are lacking on current platforms is personalised support in building a reputable business portfolio. This is critical to all tradespeople as it can demonstrate their reliability to get a job done along with the quality of work they perform.
Most lead generation sites don’t provide in-depth background checks of tradespeople, meaning a homeowner or property developer could be hiring someone who does not meet the necessary criteria to get the project done efficiently or properly.
By using artificial intelligence and machine learning, we now have the ability to incorporate various security checks to ensure homeowners and property developers find quality tradespeople who are up to the task. These technologies have the capability to perform a multi-layered security check to determine whether or not a tradesperson meets certain qualifications, including a full criminal background check, confirming whether or not they are insured and if they meet accreditation boards.
Additionally, this technology can perform further in-depth analysis of a person by screening their social media pages, business operations and any government affiliations. This is critical information that homeowners and property developers don’t generally get from lead generation referral sites, but a tool that offers these sophisticated analytics can provide transparency and peace of mind.
Project management tools
Project management tools assisted by AI and ML empowers decision-makers by enabling them to understand the project, from start to finish, at a deeper level analysing multiple hypotheses. A simple litmus test that you can run includes; analysing who is working on a given task, the progress of each task, resources used, and time it has taken to complete each task.
Whilst this can be overlooked, AI and ML give the ability to run simulation tests to; understand and proactively prevent issues that may crop up later due to poor planning.
This is a simple use case where AI and ML can assist decision-makers in effectively planning and addressing issues that occur when reactive strategies have to be considered.
Integrating cognitive technology into platforms, provides users with effectiveness as well as transparency. With added abilities to present proof of work which can be analysed, users have access to this means live updates of their project which will be further supplemented by digital data to ensure high quality of work.
This is a critical component that homeowners and property developers have not had access to in the past. Not only can they see the progress of the project but can also evaluate the work being done on a given task and request changes to personnel if necessary. For instance, if a homebuilder hires multiple carpenters, by using a cognitive, AI-platform, they are able to monitor progress as it happens through the platform as opposed to waiting for the final product.
This tool allows homeowners and property developers to assess performance, comparing tradespeople to each other to see how to best utilise their skill sets. If they feel the need to address any efficiency or project standard issues, they can do so immediately by using the tech-enabled platform to either swap roles or hire a new tradesperson without delaying the project or running into long-term quality of work issues.
It is also worth noting that AI and ML integration makes it easy to submit and process claims for unsatisfactory work. Should a homeowner or property developer conclude that a portion of the project does not meet the standard or quality agreed upon, platforms that use AI/ML make it easy to submit and process a claim through the site. Similar to the way a tradesperson shows their proof of work, a claim can be made and processed using the same documentation.
Reducing time and money spent
The cost of resources such as materials can add up quickly and, in many instances, tradespeople will quote and order more than needed to accomplish the project. However, by utilising AI/ML technologies, keeping track of what is ordered and used has become accessible. With advanced tech, homeowners and property developers have the unique ability to access a log of how much material a tradesperson orders for their project, how much they estimate to need, and evaluate if more is needed as the project progresses. This unique feature helps to track deliveries, resources used and provides an accurate estimate of costs.
Without a doubt, tradespeople have struggled with receiving payments, especially in a timely fashion, hindering the industry and the reputation of current lead generation referral sites significantly. Integrating technologies such as AI and ML allow sites to now act as a middleman and a safe payment option in order to eliminate any delays. With advanced tech, these sites are able to collect payments ahead of time and only distribute to tradespeople once the work is complete. However, it is important to note that only sites that are covered by a banking license can carry out this action.
It is important, homeowners, property developers, and tradespeople all have a reliable and trusted source that which offers continuous support, ensuring projects are successful without any additional stress and undisclosed but acknowledged obstacles.
By adopting and implementing cognitive technologies into the building and renovation industry, we are able to further build; trust, transparency, reduce risk and provide greater efficiency and safety across all projects.