John Paul Construction, an Ireland based general contractor, has carved out a rich legacy for itself over its 70-year journey. With a focus on commercial residential infrastructure projects, the company has witnessed significant growth over the past five years, diversifying its services across mission critical infrastructure, life sciences, pharmaceutical, commercial residential, and more. For John Paul Construction, a pivotal part of their remarkable transformation journey into becoming a premier builder in the Irish market, has been the adoption of a digital-first approach throughout their operations. This has been personified by their partnership with cmBuilder.
Ray Blewitt, Head of Digital Construction at John Paul Construction, recognizes the power of digital transformation and how it can enhance project delivery and workflow efficiency. He leads the Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) department, with a goal to standardize and absorb digital structures for all project deliveries.
Emphasizing the role of technology, Blewitt stated, "I want to see a standardized and absorbed kind of digital structures for all of our project delivery. That's an end-to-end project life-cycle management platform. Digital processes that can combine and stitch together all of our departments. So, the flow of information is a bit more consistent and accessible from all parties involved in project delivery." With Blewitt’s leadership, John Paul Construction is developing a standardized approach to streamline the flow of information, while ensuring that they remain ISO 19650 compliant.
Yet, “standardization doesn't mean limiting flexibility”, says Blewitt. His team is working on building out an "optional menu" of digital workflows, allowing their project teams to tailor their services to the project's complexity and the client's requirements. From data analytics to digital quantifications, the aim is to offer an extensive range of digital tools without overwhelming the client or the project.
Blewitt also emphasized the importance of digital transformation in their operations, starting with the financial and accounting side. This shift has allowed the company to centralize processes, reduce redundancy, and streamline operations, which in turn, improves efficiency and productivity.
Partnering with cmBuilder has made an immediate impact to John Paul Construction's project planning and execution processes. The platform provides a host of benefits, including advanced 3D and 4D site logistics planning, health and safety presentations, and constructability reviews. In addition to this, the user-friendly nature of the platform allows site teams to drive processes independently without needing help from the technical experts on the VDC team.
“Our cmBuilder rollout has had as much engagement on site by our non VDC people as any platform that I've ever worked with. Our project teams are leveraging this platform because it's easy to use, hits the requirements needed and is saving us time, while driving productivity and efficiency.”
- Ray Blewitt - Head of Digital Construction at John Paul Construction
Blewitt recalls the first moment when he realized the immense value of cmBuilder: "The first benefit I saw with leveraging the cmBuilder platform was for health and safety analysis and the presentations we can make using visuals. It is extremely valuable to have a platform where you can make changes live and on the fly. There is huge benefit for both us and the client, as we can create an almost live presentation as opposed to just slides."
Notably, cmBuilder has also played a crucial role in identifying potential issues that could have resulted in time and cost overruns. "We were in a meeting and had a boom swing issue that we just would have totally missed in any other environment. Somebody on the team caught it by simply rotating a boom in 3D and identifying the issue immediately. It completely changed our demolition structure of how we were approaching that particular project," shared Blewitt.
As John Paul Construction charts a bold path forward, technology, digital transformation, and platforms like cmBuilder are poised to play a defining role. The company's digital journey reflects a model case for the construction industry, illustrating how the right digital strategy and partnerships can revolutionize project planning, execution, and management, leading to better business outcomes.