As the digital revolution continues to sweep major industries across the board, one sector that may often get overlooked is the construction industry. To put this in perspective, the industry is set to reach $12.9 trillion by 2022 with an annual growth rate of 3.6%. And as countries throughout the GCC ramp up investments in high-value infrastructure to capitalize on rising oil prices, the construction industry in the greater MENA region is growing at an impressive rate of 6.4% between 2018 to 2022, the highest in the world.
What is most noteworthy however, is how the construction industry has become a vast arena where digital technology comes into play, transforming the industry to become more streamlined, accessible and efficient.
To illustrate this point, within this respective industry investments in streamlined technology has surpassed the $10 billion mark within the past few years, and continues to grow. From AI to machine learning and even supply chain optimization technologies, the construction industry has not only embraced the latest technologies but has become the arena for cross-cutting technologies to spearhead future innovations.
MENACatalyst had the great opportunity to speak with Founder and CEO of CONPASS, Amr Assi to explore how his startup is introducing the latest technologies to the construction industry in the MENA region.
How did you come up with CONPASS?
It all started when I joined CCC (Consolidated Contractors Company) back in 2008, I was involved in many challenging projects with CCC and learned a lot about the construction industry. From there I joined the Midfield Terminal Building (MTB) project in Abu Dhabi in 2012, as Senior BIM (Building Information Modeling) Engineer. Afterwards, I joined Abu Dhabi Plaza project in Kazakhstan as BIM Manager and most recently in Oman for the Mall of Oman project as BIM Manager.
Coming up with CONPASS really was a group effort. Our team’s passion in technology and innovation trends in the construction industry is something we all share. From our experience in the AECO (Architectural, Engineering, Construction and Owner Operated) industries over the last 15 years, we realized that there were a lot of challenges and deficiencies in the industry performance overall.
However, the construction industry suffers from many shortcomings, including the slow adoption of technology; traditional and sometimes outdated processes and workflows; and decision makers have been conservative and teams were resistant to cooperate and embrace new technologies and fresh ideas.
There have been many challenges that can become real opportunities in the construction industry and we decided to capitalize on these opportunities.
What is CONPASS?
CONPASS is a start-up that offers technology advanced solutions on top of BIM technology. Embracing digital engineering and transformation is our goal to develop effective solutions that can boost construction productivity. We strive to shape up the future of project delivery in construction into healthier, safer and better terms by leveraging the power of digital technology alongside BIM capabilities.
The CONPASS Application is cloud-based solution that includes mobile and web applications. The application incorporates digital technologies, designed to streamline daily construction activities through real-time data sharing, integration, and coordination across stakeholders. The application was developed on top of 3D BIM technology, in which users can enjoy prevalent 3D interactive experience. Using CONPASS, tailored BIM models and information will be provided anytime, anywhere, to meet user needs.
How does it work?
CONPASS is a digital construction compass that can provide guidance / support to construction teams (field and office). Through their desktops and portable devices, users can use BIM Models interactively to retrieve construction documents (drawings, activities, BIM models... etc.) linked to their scope of work from BIM Visualized Database, as well as update construction information (such as progress percentages) and synchronize it with centralized databases to be shared with all teams instantly. Users can take tailored latest construction information on their screens in a few clicks, rather than monitoring this data from loads of papers.
Can you talk a bit about the team behind this pioneering enterprise?
We are a team of 4, including founder Amr Assi who works on Business Development; founder Abdelrahman Salous on Product Development, founder Ahmad Udwan on Software and Application Development; and finally founder Mahmoud Yaseen who is our BIM specialist
Who are you targeting with CONPASS and how do you spread the word?
Our target customers are all construction and engineering firms, whether they are contractors, consultants or owners.
So far, our marketing efforts are minimal as we did our MVP weeks ago, but our marketing efforts will concentrate primarily on digital marketing initiatives such as professional networks, social media platforms and communities to accommodate our restricted budget. In addition, we approach associated summits, meetings and activities to take part in and show our product.
What does the future of CONPASS look like?
We have plans to develop CONPASS on multiple levels. On the product level we have already completed our mobile application with all of its features. We are now working on integrating AI into the CONPASS application and developing our web-based desktop application. On the Business Level, we are working on our core service which is the Software Development and later on we will introduce BIM Consultancies and BIM Development services.
What is the impact you are working to accomplish with CONPASS?
Overall, our startup will have an impact on the environment, as the core concept of our business is to digitalize the traditional procedures and operations, our application in the construction industry will significantly help to reduce printing and replace loads of printed papers with electronic documents on mobile devices. (Transforming to paperless workflows)
Our application will also provide very accurate quantities for construction projects, thereby helping to minimize material waste. Finally, our services will support performance analysis and the design of houses to be more sustainable and effective.
What type of support will help you take CONPASS to the next level?
The most significant form of help we need as a startup is networking and customer channels as our startup targets large projects (more than $100 million). The funding will be used towards IT & infrastructure; hardware; software upgrading; and the rest towards operational costs.
To learn more visit: https://www.conpass.me
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