VEBIDAK: the construction industry could make good use of time saved

“Companies that digitise (heavily) are more likely to increase their turnover,” write Rabobank economists in a recently published study. Logically, there are many companies that therefore bring processes, as many as possible, from paper to a screen. But that does not apply to everyone. In the same study, they state that when looking at industries, the construction industry is still lagging behind in this respect. The fact that VEBIDAK is not one of the parties that has a hard time digitising, is evident from their efficient way of working. To find out more, we talked to André van den Engel, who is deputy director and Head of Technical Affairs at the trade association.

VEBIDAK – a short introduction

“VEBIDAK is the trade organisation for bituminous and synthetic roofing companies, of which around 170 companies in the Netherlands are members at the time of writing,” Van den Engel begins. “We focus mainly on the entrepreneurship of our members, but our field of activity also includes clients such as owner associations, housing corporations and private individuals. In addition to supporting a lot of things on paper, VEBIDAK also has a technical advisory department that carries out inspections for both the member companies and their clients.”

Not to mention the time saved.

You can learn to inspect

Van den Engel continues: “The technical advisory department consists of a number of advisors and an inspector who perform roof inspections, mainly on flat roofs. We need a lot of equipment for this: equipment to make incisions, measure moisture levels and work safely. The inspection was done previously with a piece of paper and a pen, to be later worked out to a report. That is why there was a need for a system to inspect and report digitally. We already did the digital reporting, so we didn’t come a long way, but the digital inspection was really important because we noticed that more and more clients were doing it too. And that’s only logical, because it allows you to exchange data very easily. Not to mention the time saved inspecting digitally. That’s how we ended up with Pro4all’s Snagstream.

Gain time with Pro4all tailored to your needs

We were looking for a party that could help us with the digital inspection and Pro4all could really deliver custom work, explains Van den Engel. “Of course this was done in consultation, we had a number of wishes about the reporting forms we wanted to include and this was quickly achieved. It is also good that we can continue to work on it with Pro4all, our contacts are a great help.”

A word about saving time

Besides the custom work that Pro4all delivers, Van den Engel is very pleased about the time that Snagstream saves the company on a daily basis. He says: “That’s already in the fact that you can enter text in predefined fields with your iPad on the roof, and that you can upload pictures with it. Thanks to the text blocks that are already standard in the Snagstream program, you can make a report with minimal adjustments. In addition, before you go to a roof, you can already fill in part of your report, such as the building details. That is already known in advance. After that, all you have to do is carry out the inspection and you have all the data together. This has shortened the turnaround time for reports. It is certainly not the case that we have all started working half-days, but by working efficiently in one area, we have more time for activities in another area.”

Besides, the weather is better. And with good weather, you are able to fix roofs.

The construction industry, and therefore VEBIDAK too, could make good use of the time saved

Van den Engel agrees that saving time is very important: “It has to do with many factors, such as the changing and increasing demand. We have to deal with rising prices of materials, scarcity, the shortage of people and high demand from clients. The latter has to do with postponed work, due to corona-related issues, for example. Which means that we are now catching up with postponed projects, too. That means we are actually always busy and we can make good use of the time.”

Building the future

“I think the role of software will only increase in the future. Think for example of BIM in which you can link all parties together, but the role of technology in itself. Digitalisation is so closely related to construction quality that it makes sense to me that this will only increase and that the entire (construction) sector will have to go along with it.”