SiteMax platform continues to digitize the construction industry
The tech company says digitization can help with a project’s three most significant factors for success: schedule, budget and compliance.
SiteMax software transfers construction processes and documents into the palm of your hand.
It started off as another job for brand strategist James Faulkner, but it soon turned into a project to help transform construction. Before he was the CEO and founder of construction management software company SiteMax, Faulkner was running a successful agency rebranding blue-chip companies across Canada. Everything changed while on a project for a general contractor in the construction sector.
“I was contracted to rebrand them and also build a web application for them. It started off with daily reports – laptop to laptop,” said Faulkner. “I suggested we put large TVs around the concourse of their office to show some project consciousness of what’s going on out in the field. And it sort of evolved from there. One of their subtrades walked in, saw the images on the TV screen and said, ‘hey, what is that? I would like that.’”
Faulkner saw the potential in digitally connecting the construction industry and applied his workflow and technology approach. In 2017, seed financing was raised after several years of incubation, and SiteMax was unleashed on the broader construction world.
The company offers a software product designed for the field-to-office communication needs of a commercial general contractor. The essential construction management software solution has generated millions of daily logs, safety reports, photo records, time entries and more worldwide.
But construction isn’t your average industry, and its software can’t just be like any other software. SiteMax knew it had to be built by builders, for builders.
Built for the construction sector
“Knowing how the mind of a construction professional works is essential to any successful software built for the industry,” said Christian Hamm, SiteMax COO. “Use the wrong wording, size text wrong or put buttons in weird spots, you’ll lose their engagement. Builders want to build, not manage software.”
Hamm has construction experience in spades. Before SiteMax, he spent a decade as a construction project manager on commercial, light industrial, hospitality and multi-family residential projects. When he heard about what SiteMax was doing to digitize the construction process, he knew he wanted to be a part of it.
“I started out of high school swinging a hammer doing formwork and framing,” said Hamm. He adds, “My mother had a cut-out from a Vancouver Sun article featuring SiteMax and what they were doing for the construction site. I read through, and it made a ton of sense, and I believed there was a real need for this.”
Keeping it simple
Simplicity and ease of use for builders have guided the system’s development. Hamm explained that while customers will always want new features – and SiteMax has ensured that the essentials are there – the software’s daily use drives the product.
“Simple is easy to say, but simple is hard,” said Hamm. “The construction industry is full of complex challenges. If anything creates wasted time, including the use of software, people will move on to that which provides a more expedient resolution to the matters at hand.”
Schedule, budget and compliance drive all construction work. Hamm explained that the most significant benefits of digitizing construction documentation and process are found in those key areas. Reducing paper and improving communication can save time, money and the headaches of not having your ducks in a row regarding compliance.
In the case of Fusion Projects, a design-build tenant improvement firm in the Lower Mainland that specializes in creating customized work environments, SiteMax helped boost their health and safety efforts and achieve COR Compliance.
“The greatest success we have achieved to date with SiteMax is our COR certification,” said Fusion. “Being able to develop, implement, manage and track the success of our health and Safety documentation digitally has had a profound impact on our ability to achieve COR certification. Through our use of SiteMax, we have also been able to improve our results year-over-year.”
And they aren’t stopping there. Next, Fusion says it plans to integrate its vendors/subcontractors into its SiteMax platform so they can drive information directly between them and the Fusion team.
The next phase of innovation
While cloud-based construction tech solutions have existed for nearly two decades, SiteMax believes significant greenfield space still exists.
“Anything that will bring further ease to collaboration and communication to achieve desired timelines and project outcomes will have a shot at mass adoption,” said Hamm.
And SiteMax wants to be that solution. They currently work with hundreds of general contracting businesses and their subcontractors, or tens of thousands of construction professionals, daily, providing them with their essential app for daily construction operations.
In their effort to create even more community and connection in the construction sector, SiteMax also launched the Site Visit Podcast, which focuses on construction leaders and their day-to-day experiences in the industry.
Looking ahead, the SiteMax development team is focused on the general contractor and subcontractor relationship.
“Our strategy for the year ahead lies in creating more meaningful ways to streamline interactions between the two, broadening our reach within the industry,” said Hamm. “We believe that workflows, automation and predictability are critical to the success of this interaction moving forward.”
As work to refine SiteMax’s digital tools continues, Faulkner is optimistic about the road ahead.
“In the early days of SiteMax we were pioneers, with many firsts in the digital transformation of construction,” he said. “Today, we have grown significantly and are excited about our next phase of innovation. It is who we are and how we are built.”
To keep up with SiteMax’s journey, follow them here.