As I sit and write this from my makeshift office in my bedroom, on April 19th, 2020, in the midst of a global health crisis and one of the most uncertain economic times in generations…I find myself doing what many business leaders are doing: Meticulously analyzing every aspect of our business, evaluating our processes to see what is needed and what is not, making some tough but necessary decisions and shifting into a cash preservation mode. This is the reality for many business leaders and it’s the playbook coming from industry veterans who have been through things like this before in ‘08/’09 and the dotcom crash of the early 2000’s. Not the ideal macroeconomic conditions for us to be launching a new software product, our cmCore productivity platform that we have been working extremely hard on for the last 2 years…or maybe I’m wrong?
While this crisis has brought upon suffering and hardship for many, and my heart goes out to those people, there are some positive unintended consequences that have emerged. There are two that stick out for me:
1) Wide-spread deployments of digital technologies across all types of organizations, seemingly overnight, forcing many people to adapt or die (video conferencing, digital task management, digital documentation, etc);
2) Work from home is increasing time efficiencies by avoiding the few hours a day we spend commuting and talking about non work-related things at the water cooler, freeing us up to spend more time researching new business process improvements, technologies and revisiting those R&D projects that kept slipping to the bottom of our list due to incessant busyness.
Similar to the deep introspection we are doing internally at our business, we believe pretty much every other business leader in the construction industry is doing the same. In a post-COVID world many construction company leaders are realizing that moving forward we need to do more with less and adopt new technologies to replace old workflows. In recent history, some of the most impactful innovation in technology has come on the heels of hard economic times, so in a way, while we didn’t mean to time it this way, we think this might be a great time after all to be launching the cmCore platform.
So what is the cmCore platform?
So what is the cmCore platform? cmCore is a 100% web and model based platform that allows you to take care of four specific construction jobs:
1) You’re an owner and/or builder, you need to plan, schedule, cost, run rapid scenario analysis and deliver your project while collaborating downstream with sub-contractors, fabricators, etc. We built cmBuilder to do this job.
2) You’re an owner, builder, designer or sub-contractor, you need to coordinate drawings, models and data on you project from inception to completion with full collaboration among all project stakeholders. We built cmThread to do this job.
3) You’re a sub-contractor or fabricator, you need manage the complete production of your project, from raw material batches to supply chain integration to final installation and sign off while collaborating up stream with owners and builders. We built cmExe to do this job.
4) You’re a builder, designer or fabricator, you need to easily collect, digitize and disseminate knowledge throughout the entire organization in an effort to get better every day. We built cmKnowledge to do this job.
Why are we building cmCore?
Since we started CadMakers in 2014, we have seen a significant acceleration occur in the construction industry with regards to overall BIM/VDC adoption and a shift to digital project delivery. Simultaneously, we are seeing a big push to advanced means and methods, with prefabrication, volumetric, component-based design, etc. But this acceleration has skewed heavily to the largest players building the largest projects in the industry.
That’s the systemic look at what’s happening, so why is it that still the vast majority of construction companies at scale have still NOT adopted these types of digital technologies? We have worked with a lot of different companies from all sides of the value chain over the past 5 years and we have made the following observations:
1) The vast majority of these companies have a tough time justifying the total costs of purchasing and implementing the most common AEC software stacks.
2) Ease of use is critical. Construction software just needs to be super easy to use or else people will give up.
3) Current typical AEC software is NOT built with manufacturing principles in mind (i.e. MES), so as the industry shifts its means and method, its lacking the digital technology to drive the prefab movement.
We believe to achieve true product market fit that can gain wide scale usage across the construction industry, there can be no long drawn out software implementations and steep learning curves, there can be no complicated locally hosted on-premise solutions and there can be no spec for $3,000 computers to run the software, needs to be tablet and mobile optimized.
So how are we addressing this need in the market?
1) cmCore is 100% web (no installations at all) and model based (leveraging openBIM principles).
2) cmCore is built with learning from the advanced manufacturing industries but designed to be super user-friendly and easy to use by all construction users, tech-savvy or not. We want all construction companies to be able to afford and use cmCore to its fullest extent.
3) cmCore is purpose built to meet the business needs of construction companies with a flexible and cost effective subscription model: Any company can 1) subscribe either for a single project at a single price that allows for unlimited users internal and external for free but for that single project; or 2) subscribe at enterprise monthly; or 3) subscribe at enterprise annually (enterprise allows for unlimited projects and unlimited users internal and external for free to the subscribing company).
4) cmCore is obsessed with customer feedback leveraging our built-in cmFeedback app to provide the community of users with a direct channel to our development team and product owners to post feature/enhancement requests. Any user can upvote the best ideas and the user gets emailed when the feature has been accepted, is in development and has been deployed, all in a transparent web interface on cmCore.
Message me directly or please go here if you would like to learn more about how you can get your hands on these products and take them for a spin! As I wake up each day, I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing companies in the construction industry, to partner with and push the industry forward. Wishing you all the best of health and technological advancement in these crazy times!
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