Warren Kudman, Vice President & Chief Information Officer at Turner Construction Company, on his first visit to India spoke to Buildotech on the company’s road map for India.Explaining the growing role of information technology in construction sector he said that, “In the building segment, most of the important work happens outside the office and people from various companies are involved in a project. This requires mobile solutions and cloud based solutions for real time connectivity resulting in rapid adoption of IT practices within the organizations. The latest mobile solution sand cloud based solutions offer storing and accessing of large files by all stakeholders, instant project updating and changes in drawings with immediate access to documents.” Some of the technologies being used by Turner at enterprise level include ERP and SAP that form the company’s financial backbone by keeping track of finances and change management of individual projects. Project teams are using IT tools to manage requirement of information, submittal to clients, scheduling tools, collaborative tools, cloud based solutions for sharing information with external partners and to increase workflow capabilities.”
Kudman briefed that at Turner, the engineers constantly keep experimenting with emerging tools and platforms and the company is in the process of creating a live solutions catalogue of all the technologies,updating it real time, so project teams at various locations are aware of solutions being used elsewhere in the organization and if the same can be utilized or customized for the specific location. “This would help us identify the technologies that can be scaled up to use across the organization and those tools where making further investment would not be of value as also learn from mistakes made at one location and fine-tune it to be used in another geography” he added.
According to Kudman, connectivity could be the biggest challenge in India as mobile & cloud based solutions have reduced the emphasis on physical infrastructure and increased focus on high capacity fixed bandwidth, 3G and 4G networks. In the next few years, he expects more staff placed regionally in Asia or India and developing of core ERP customized for India. “We are working with Indian IT firms based in India and USA for developing data warehouse and business intelligence platform for India, ERP support and pilots for mobile applications. Till now, the company focus was on American operations but the business standards used there may not fit in India and therefore the standard ERP template need to be modified to fit Indian regulatory bodies, financial model etc. Also, India has the potential to offer 24×7 IT support to Turner international offices due to favourable daytime India hours.” he said.
Satya Vakkalanka, Head – IT & Ops. Support at Turner India added that the growing number of clients in India now recognize the importance and usefulness of IT tools; even government departments are giving more weight age to technology tools and are open to adopting new systems and solutions for building construction. He commented, “Turner India is working on some highly complex projects in India and has introduced new technologies and innovations for construction management. In this respect, Kudman visit to India is to understand the unique business and infrastructure challenges of the country and develop IT solutions accordingly.”