Hendrik Schumacher and Hendrik Mai, Otto Wulff Bauunternehmung GmbH
"A tool has to be simple, fast and functional and I have to be able to add something myself quickly. And this is working perfectly with OLMeRO."
Otto Wulff Bauunternehmung GmbH was founded in 1932 as a timber construction company, is still run today by the Wulff family in the 3rd generation and now employs approx. 500 people. Otto Wulff is above all an expert in residential construction and works mainly as a general contractor.
OLMeRO met with the IT manager Hendrik Schumacher and the construction manager for shell structure Hendrik Mai to learn a little more about the use of OLMeRO List Manager on a large construction site.
Mr. Mai, Mr. Schumacher, I would like to begin by asking you a brief question: How did this project evolve and what was or is the challenge?
Hendrik Mai: The big challenge with this project is probably the development. There is only a 1km-long road along the 11 building plots, all of which are gradually being completed. This means that at the end of the road there will already be a move in, while we are still building further ahead. It is also the largest construction project we have ever completed.
For the construction project "Tarpenbeker Ufer" you use the defect management, the photo documentation and the construction diary. Why did you choose OLMeRO?
Hendrik Schumacher: At Otto Wulff, the subject of digitization is a major one. It allows us to be more efficient and faster. With this digital step, there is an absolutely entrepreneurial thought behind it.
And why OLMeRO in particular?
Hendrik Schumacher: For our management, the price-performance ratio and data security were convincing. It is also an advantage for the integration in the company that we administer our projects on the platform itself and that one is free in the design of the terminology. In addition, subcontractors do not need their own account in order to be integrated into the value chain. So to cut a long story short: The most important things are there and work very well. Many programs today are also simply overloaded and very complex. A tool has to be simple, fast and functional and I have to be able to add something myself in a timely manner. And this is working perfectly with OLMeRO.
Hendrik Mai: Defect-free construction simply does not exist and working with Excel tables for large construction projects is extremely time-consuming. That's why we site managers were all very quickly convinced by the OLMeRO solution.
How was defect management structured in your company and what was your role in it?
Hendrik Schumacher: I sit down with the site managers at the beginning of a project and collect all the information we need to configure the platform. As a trained administrator I configure our projects independently from OLMeRO support, so everything goes super fast. After the configuration we go through everything again together with the site manager, so everything is correct.
How did you experience the whole integration of OLMeRO List Manager? Were there many problems with acceptance?
Hendrik Schumacher: We've tried not to just say "Here's a new tool you have to use now," but to make the effort to explain the benefits to the people. Not everyone is enthusiastic about such a tool, if one has already been working the same way for 20 years. Then I simply asked them how they did it so far and showed them how the new tool makes their work easier and saves them a lot of time. Most people are convinced by that.
So it has more to do with internal processes than with the tool itself?
Hendrik Schumacher: That's it. It also helps that I can, for example, configure terms individually. At OLMeRO there are no restrictions or specifications. If a site manager can decide that he now wants the term to be "level" and not "floor" and can participate in the decision, the acceptance immediately increases. People must feel that they have a say in decisions. This makes integration easier.
How exactly have you been working with subcontractors since you started using OLMeRO List Manager?
Hendrik Mai: We record the defect ourselves on site with the app, including photos. After that, we have two ways: Either we send the defect via OLMeRO, then the subcontractors get a link and can report back when they have fixed it. Or we classically print the list on paper and take it with us to the construction meeting, which is a great advantage in cooperation with some subcontractors. Once the defect has been remedied, it is confirmed at the next meeting.
Do you plan to use the OLMeRO List Manager again for new projects?
Hendrik Schumacher: OLMeRO is currently a fix tool for us, we work with it on every new project. We are considering to use the product in the entire Otto Wulff Group.
Is there a certain type or size of project where you would say that the List Manager is best suited?
Hendrik Mai: The bigger the project, the more urgently you need such a tool.
Hendrik Schumacher: As the costs are staggered according to construction volume, it is actually worthwhile for any project size.
In a nutshell: What are the most important advantages of OLMeRO for you?
Hendrik Mai: For the defect management in any case the simple handling. You record the things on site with the app and then have them directly on the computer, so the tedious reworking is completely eliminated. And anyone can access it at any time. In addition, the evaluation, i.e. the dispatch to the subcontractors, goes super fast and is also much clearer than the best Excel spreadsheet. That's what's most important to me on the construction site.
Hendrik Schumacher: In addition, it is also much easier in the warranty phase. If years later I look for something and then I don't have to search through archives and maybe find a colleague who doesn't work in the company anymore in order to be able to trace something, then that's a big time saving. What you save in the warranty phase is simply priceless. If we have well documented a critical defect, the money for commissioning OLMeRO can be well invested even with a single defect.