Constructed Futures

Alec Thomson: Capturing Real-time Job Costs With Riskcast

Episode Summary

After years in construction jobsites, Alec Thomson and his partner Reggie Arichabala created Riskcast to make collecting an analyzing jobsite data easy and useful. Alec walks us through his team's relentless drive to make the software easier, more intuitive and more useful for project teams in the field, and in the office.

Episode Notes

You can learn more about Riskcast here:



Episode Transcription

Alec Thomson

[00:00:00] Hugh Seaton: Welcome to Constructed Futures, I'm Hugh Seaton. Today, I'm here with Alec Thomson CEO of Riskcast. Alec, welcome to the podcast. 

[00:00:10] Alec Thomson: Hey Hugh, thank you very much. 

[00:00:13] Hugh Seaton: So let's start, like I always do, with what is Riskcast do? 

[00:00:18] Alec Thomson: Fantastic. I appreciate the, the lead in question. Riskcast is construction analytics software for job sites. And what we do is capture data at the job site level for tracking labor equipment and materials. Then on the analytics end, we've got core data, we give real time information to project teams about, productivity, job cost related forecasts. 

[00:00:43] Hugh Seaton: So I'd like to anchor this sort of thing on what is the problem? What is the problem you solve? What made you say we got to go build this thing. 

[00:00:51] Alec Thomson: So Reggie, my co-founder and I, we're both heavy civil construction guys for many years and supporting applications out in the field job site teams, Reggie from the IT side, we're both civil engineers, but he went and got a computer science degree, so he coded this solution. 

We were trying to solve a problem outside of, let's get real time information instead of fancy Excel sheets for forecast. Like, how do you capture labor equipment material for a self performed contractor? That was really the crux of everything we were trying to figure out at the beginning.

[00:01:25] Hugh Seaton: And the, the reason for that, I mean, I know it sounds self-evident, but let's talk a little bit about what made you say, look, man, two day old, three day old data isn't working, what, what, what kind of, what was the pain that you guys were speaking to? 

[00:01:37] Alec Thomson: It's funny, you set up the answer, which is like, Hey, you're making decisions on old data, right?

That should be bad. a hundred million dollar jobs making decisions on two week old reports, but what, what was even maybe worse and less self-evident unless you're on the job site living it is the process of forecasting takes engineers hours away from their job, to prepare a forecast for an executive back in the office.

because you're talking about cobbling together multiple spreadsheets and different job cost reports and labor cost reports. so that process in itself wastes time and energy, and is very evident on the job site. But, but of course, to the larger world, I mean, you're, you're running these multi-billion dollar jobs with two week old at best reports.

[00:02:27] Hugh Seaton: So you got two problems that you guys are that we're talking about. Number one is this idea of getting, getting data that's more current, whether it's immediate or whatever. And let's talk about how you guys do that. 

Before I go on, you got two problems we're talking about. One of them, it sounds like is, how to capture data in a much more timely way.

And the second one is how to quickly do smart things with that, and whether it's graphing it or analytics or so on, let's start with how you grab data from the job site in a better way. How do you guys. Yeah. 

[00:03:02] Alec Thomson: So that's the funny part was not part of our product plan originally. And our first customer helped us with this, that user experience of capturing data.

If you think about a job site and a crew foreman, running a crew of people, typically it's, a paper time card has all this really wealth of information. So we've talked about a construction timecard internally is it's much more than timekeeping. 

It has not only who was on site. It has what did they do? It has the weather. It has notes about the activity that day. What got delivered, what didn't show up. So much rich information, but it's on a paper time card, and then it's translated to the office in multiple different formats. All we did, and it sounds simple, super complex and construction, but we, we basically digitized that we made a really simple, data entry port, call it a timecard.

On an iPad and you can just quickly enter all that information that I was just describing plus more. And then of course, once the data's in the system, everybody knows you can get it out in multiple different ways with buttons. 

[00:04:06] Hugh Seaton: And this speaks to an interesting point that, we we've talked about before.

You know, everybody talks about how 10, 10 years ago, software was very focused on the office. It was coming from accounting systems. It was just not made for people out in the field. And now, you see things that are maybe evenly balanced between useful in the office and useful in the field that you guys really engineered and focused all the way at the other end of the spectrum.

[00:04:35] Alec Thomson: We did. And it came, I think from Reggie, his passion of out there on the job site, serving that the project teams, we would be charged with rolling out a new software that had a fancy report that was sold into the executive suite. So really great, really great report looks awesome. But the process of getting the data that report no one ever looked at right when they bought the report, because the executive bought the report and out on the job site to get that report.

To work properly. There were all these manipulations that had to happen and it was just wasted time and effort. And we thought if you could clean the whiteboard off and get just pure basics, if we could capture the data at the source of the data, which is the people doing the work, then everything else is downstream easy.

[00:05:21] Hugh Seaton: And what's the difference in terms of how much data you get when you're doing it that way. Is it, is it just that it's more current or are you finding that you've also, you're also able to get more. 

[00:05:33] Alec Thomson: So it's more current, like that was our goal. We're finding from the anecdotal reports back from customers is that long-time superintendents and foremen are actually giving better notes. Like they're actually recording more information than they ever were because on a piece of paper, they would write the bare minimum in pencil.

And, but they can tap the microphone button and speak to the system and tell them what they did. And that's recording the note on that time card in a daily log and suddenly, this person who was maybe giving you a word is giving you a paragraph. 

[00:06:07] Hugh Seaton: I love that. So, so one of the points of this engineering for the field is removing barriers, right?

You're making it easier for people to do things. And when you make it easier for people to do things, they do more of those things. Is that what you guys find? 

[00:06:21] Alec Thomson: You said it perfectly. Yes. 

[00:06:26] Hugh Seaton: How much testing do you do then? Or is it, did you just make it so dead simple that there didn't need to be a ton? Or did you get out there and try different things?

[00:06:35] Alec Thomson: So Reggie and I were, Reggie's super smart. I'm super tenacious. And we wound up with customer number one, who really ran us through the ringer for six months on user interface. And they, they really were basically a product manager and two people at that company really kind of took it on to make this work for them.

They saw it enough to know it was gonna work. and that six months was, was the really proof testing of getting it where it is today. 

[00:07:05] Hugh Seaton: I love that. And it's funny, I see this and successful software companies in, in construction a lot, right. Or either it came out of a contractor who gave it, sometimes years of time to really work through the kinks or other times I've heard of the six months or nine months of time where you got real attention, where somebody who actually uses the thing, didn't just give you quick feedback.

But dug in and really was a, was a development partner. That's really awesome.

[00:07:33] Alec Thomson: Yeah. We can never say enough about them. They were our early customer and yeah, that six months, that data collection piece has gotten us... now we're two and a half, three years into the system. We're now just getting there to the piece that was really our vision, which was unlocking this job cost, and productivity data.

we just had our first product meeting about forecasting and where that's going to go in the system. But we're only able to get there because that core data that gets in quick and easy and the complexity of that in construction, if you've never lived the industry, all we have to do is start talking about union roles or prevailing wage rate jobs, or some of those nuances.

And suddenly the people that live in payroll offices know what we're talking about. 

[00:08:20] Hugh Seaton: How interesting. So in addition to voice, what are some other lessons learned about making it easy? 

[00:08:29] Alec Thomson: We would like to think user interface is important and I guess it is, but in truth for us boxy and familiar was important.

[00:08:41] Hugh Seaton: I love that. 

[00:08:43] Alec Thomson: Thank you. we, I mean, seriously, we, We often hear like, this is perfect. Our guys, like this looks just like what we use that's our best compliment. Yeah. 

[00:08:57] Hugh Seaton: That's awesome. No, I liked that because it, it kind of flies in the face of what some designers will tell you, which is sort of slick and nice.

And your point is clear and familiar means they don't have to think about what they're looking at. It's like, oh, I know what to do with that box.

[00:09:13] Alec Thomson: Back to your point earlier, they do more of it if they understand it. 

[00:09:17] Hugh Seaton: Yeah. I love that. Well, let's shift gears real quick to, to the other part of the, of what you talked about, which is the analytics.

So, so how did you guys, well, talk about what you guys do from an analytics standpoint. 

So, this 

[00:09:30] Alec Thomson: is where Reggie's vision, really started getting crystallized. Reggie was a cost engineer on a construction site and went back and got his enterprise architecture degree, computer science degree, all these, again, smart degrees, but all of it to solve these problems more smartly.

and when I say that, the fancy Excel sheet is what a lot of companies use for forecasting. So if you pull back the layers of big construction companies, A fancy Excel sheet is at the core of a lot of them. Reggie had understood that we could be better than that, and really wanted to design out an analytics platform that if you had the data in now, you just, you just select what you want to see or how you want to see it.

So do you want to see how productive you were for the day or the week across the project, across your, all your projects? Do you want to see how a crew was productive or not productive? Do you want to see how you performed in one geography against another, if you even changed crew sizes, take this person from this crew and put them on that crew and change out people.

All those, ideas become quickly look-able if you will, I don't know if the right again, I'm not the smart guy in the company. All those ideas become easy to, to try out in a system. If the data is there. 

[00:10:51] Hugh Seaton: Yeah, I love that. And, and so do you guys find that as, as you work with customers more and more that you take the, the, the analytics into a new place, or is it kind of up to the customer to use it the way they need to?

You know what I mean? Like, how does your, how does your, your development and iteration work, with, with analytics. 

[00:11:10] Alec Thomson: I think I'll take a step back and say, most of these companies have not had this data to date. So this, this is new data to them. and we can't keep up. So the companies that are really that are really getting into the system want more of their data in more ways, faster than we can keep up with them because their people have an appetite for it once they realize they can have it.

[00:11:36] Hugh Seaton: And you, you do hear that with construction a lot is that once people get into it, they, they want stuff you didn't think of, or they want this little tweak or this little, making it work for their workflow and all that. that's but there's no better compliment. Right. Then I like this so much I want, I want another one or I want more. 

[00:11:54] Alec Thomson: Yeah, it's wonderful. And, and it did push us to open our API sooner. so that folks that have power BI can get the data right out. But we are working diligently now for what I like to think of the average contractor. And so this is the large contractors that always have power BI and other systems, but then there's the average contractor and they don't have the money and, or the expertise in house to do a lot of that.

We'll have it in our system and we just can't wait to get to it because that's just going to enable an entirely new group of contractors to job costs and forecast against their own books, but then compete against these large companies that have been running power BI and fancy systems for so long.

[00:12:34] Hugh Seaton: Yeah. It can up their game, right? Play at a different level of us because they've got access to the same, the same output, even if it isn't the same tools. 

[00:12:42] Alec Thomson: Correct. 

[00:12:43] Hugh Seaton: Do you guys find that you have to, when you, when you start talking to companies of any size, really, how much do you need to educate them on, on what they could do?

I mean, the problem, the benefit and problem of, of data often is people don't even know where to start or if they do, they start with some graphs and some relatively obvious stuff, but it takes a minute to really start to say, oh my gosh, we can do that? 

Well, and 

[00:13:07] Alec Thomson: you hit on you there. Two different paths of customers we have. We have the customers that just realize that they need to digitize time entry, right. They just know they need to, for no other reason than to just streamline payroll and get that efficient. that's an easy sell for us in the sense that we can do that. It's a hard sell because you have to touch payroll.

So it's, it's an easy decision. It's a, it's a harder sell, the companies that are now looking at productivity and you hear some of the larger companies starting to talk around the bases at the conferences, or at least the virtual conferences about productivity. And that's different than progress tracking like productivity is, how much did I get done today?

And then how am I doing against what I said I was gonna do? By code activity code, whether that's hundreds or thousands of activity codes on a job. So getting to that is, those customers, that's our bread and butter. Those are the people that understand why we built the system and they're there actively piloting and buying and are the ones that are more fun to sell to.

Cause because in truth, that's why we built it. But I, I do get a lot of, I guess, pride about the idea that we can enable these other contractors to go, "Hey, you're doing time entry, but let me show you. You can do over here a job cost. Let me, let me just show you what you could do", that these other guys do.

[00:14:30] Hugh Seaton: And so most of what you're doing in terms of opening eyes and all that is, is more about in like a meeting or in a sales meeting, not so much, training. Do you find that that, that there's a role for training or is it just right now that's not where the world is. 

[00:14:45] Alec Thomson: Our software. I think doesn't require the education part of the process.

I, I play on, another startup, they sold well and good for them, but I used to hear him speak on stage and he would say, your software has to be just ridiculously easy for construction. We need no training or almost on the foreman side of things. So once it's configured and set up. And really the configurations, the place we spend time.

And that's because we get into the things like payroll rules and, work process workflows, but they're all configurable in our system. So it's not a customization moment. It's, it's just some handholding through configuration. 

[00:15:21] Hugh Seaton: Yeah that makes sense. So let's, let's switch gears again. 

Where do you see this going? So you guys, they're part of a, a big process across construction where we're going from paper, data, or not really data, but to sort of information or feedback that isn't really used that much, other than it's in a pile. And we can reference it if there's a lawsuit to, to, really operating differently.

How are you seeing that? That sweeps, the kind of change the industry. Cause it's, you're asking people to think about how they manage a job differently, even though it might seem like it's step by step by step. It is a different way of thinking. How are you seeing that progress and where do you think it might go?

[00:16:05] Alec Thomson: I think the industry is, evolving by generation right now. And so I think we're, we're kind of in a fun spot. Because we're at a core data. We're not at, we didn't change a piece of a piece of paper to data. So we didn't do like drawings to electronic. And we love the people that did, and God bless them for paving the road for us.

But we're capturing like actual number data at source. The folks that are rising up in companies today are, are familiar with looking at numbers and running a business off of metrics where traditionally, I think our industry was a lot of gut. Right. How are we doing on this job? and you knew by walking the job and that's not a bad thing, you need that experience, but wouldn't it be great if I had the metrics to highlight to me the job I didn't get to walk last week and see the things that intuitively I would have normally felt.

Let me see them. And now if I'm a really well-trained, project manager, I can start to mentor the folks that are coming along. And I think that generational change is happening now. And we're going to just give a tool to those experienced folks to help teach the younger folks. 

[00:17:15] Hugh Seaton: One of the things that, that analytics and data like yours can help people with also is seeing beyond what a walkthrough will show you, right patterns over time and, and a job at kind of a bigger vantage point than just a day or a week because our brains are not fantastic at accurately remembering a series of things. We usually remember the beginning of the end and then really bad things in the middle. Do you find that, that, that you've got people looking like that more. 

[00:17:43] Alec Thomson: I don't think we've had enough data in the system long enough to look at our system for that.

I think you're going to see what you just described. I think the top one in 10% of the companies out there. I used to say 10% as I start to talk to more companies. I think maybe it's the 1% are doing what you just said. I think you'll see it's more of it. It it's, it's going to be the reason these large, or not even large tech-forward companies are, are growing and able to take market are able to get the jobs they want and be healthy, not just get the job, but perform on the job.

[00:18:19] Hugh Seaton: Yeah. Yeah, I agree. And, I talked a lot lately about how I think you're seeing a density of data, which is just different. Where even in, in this is exactly what you're talking about, where before it was, a word or a piece of, a short sentence. Where someone said, talking about how the job went that day or, or how a particular thing went, but now you're getting much more richness and much more information.

And you're seeing that across everything from, machine vision companies to different kinds of sensors, to various other things. that's interesting that you think it's, not 10%, whether it's 1% or five or whatever, what do you think slows people down to, to really kind of embrace data as a core of how they do things.

[00:19:07] Alec Thomson: I think, and this, we spend a lot of time on that our sales side of the world, because we're not just a tech provider we have to eat. So, in thinking through it, we wound up with really three audiences in our sales cycle. And I think it speaks to this, that you have these X where the decision makers, you have the project teams, managers leads, vice president ops, whatever it might be that are typically advancing folks that are... it's the younger generation now coming into those roles and then you have crew. And the crew are the people using the systems and they change over constantly. So you almost have to speak three different ways. and then that doesn't even mean we're talking to a CEO versus a CFO, and that's two different languages, but you really have to hit those people with what they're doing.

And if you talk about the 1% they've got the manpower to have a technology group or an innovation group or construction technologists. The average company doesn't have the bandwidth to have that. So we've got to speak to these audiences and enable somebody at the right place, that's ready to… we gotta give them software that'll work on its own, just work where, a lot of the software that has come out in the last say five or 10 years, it's still needs somebody really to do a lot of administrative work.

And if you don't have the people for that, how do you keep it running? But back in all the way up to, I think something you said earlier too, and we've heard it through, through an Alliance, we're part of it is there's so much out there. How do you even evaluate it? You don't have enough time to evaluate what to pick much less, run it once you buy it.

So the reason I went to 1%, those companies have the time and are spending the effort on it. The average contractor, you know most of them, they have just enough people to get by. 

[00:20:57] Hugh Seaton: That's right. And yeah. And they're focused on other things, right? Like, like if it's not quite that broke, are we gonna hire somebody to do it?

Although I don't know. More and more contractors are finding a way to sort of square the circle, whether it's because they've hired an innovation team where they've got somebody who's sorta doing that. but it's not easy. And your point about software that just works is a really important one.

Right? Cause there's a lot of software that, that, people come in and the demo looks good, but it's not ready for prime time. And another, another reason why spending six months with a development partner like what you did is, is can be really critical, right? When you must've been pretty pretty bad-ass when you came out of that meeting or came out of that 6 months.

[00:21:45] Alec Thomson: It was lots of fun stories. We can have a over beer one day. It is, it's been such a journey. It was never one I thought I'd be on. And I, and I look back at it and go, it really is just build something that works. And, we see consultants spinning out of all these big companies to help new companies start using that software.

And I'm like, wait a second. It wasn't the point of software to make life better. I don't want to have your consultant. That's got to live with me for the rest of my life. So we're really focused hard on that. And I think you see a lot of companies that are doing well. And that, that is one of the things they do is it is almost plug and play.

But I think us tech folks need to think about how do we deliver that larger value you were talking about? Let's look across weeks and months let's look across projects and portfolios, not just at this instant or this one project, and being able to give that view back up to the execs. And again, it's kind of where I talk about three different languages.

Those execs want to see what you were talking about. 

[00:22:49] Hugh Seaton: Yeah. So let's shift gears yet again. And kind of bring this idea of source data and designing for the field first to, to the idea of BIM, because you had an opinion when we were talking about BIM and some of why it, it may be, I mean, you look, everybody likes to say, to talk about BIM or that it's not what it should be or so on and so forth, but I thought you had a pretty interesting take on it.

Tell me what, tell me what you think. 

[00:23:18] Alec Thomson: So by this was where I said my normal disclaimer is. I think BIM's amazing. And I think, I have a hard time with it. I was at a contractor who had a whole BIM group and BIM standards, and I love that there's BIM standards in the world today and we should do that.

And it's all been done at the engineering level. And, and the first thing I would see done on a job site, we're bidding the project and BIM would be in it and somebody would just look at it and go there's $500,000 in the bid for BIM what's that? And it's what it was. Was somebody smart enough to use the, like, keep the model up to date throughout the job.

Right. That's what that was. And so somebody just scratch that line off. We don't need that. We didn't have it on the last job and suddenly BIM wasn't on the job. That was problem number one. But how do we break that pattern? And to me, it was well don't put a smart BIM person on the job, like we're just going to have the same problem we have with P6 ten years from now.

Let's make it so easy to use that when a contractor records data for the day, in our system or something like that. That the production information feeds maybe a, a back office system that populates a 2D drawing. And then that 2D drawing populates the 3D model it's connected to. And like, why do we, like, let's not try to teach a person that just learned how to tighten bolts, how to use a model.

Right. It's great. They have a model viewer today. They can look at that's helpful, but let them tighten bolts and show them how to just enter that information in a way they know how to. And somebody smart should take that into a model. 

[00:24:52] Hugh Seaton: You're separating the operating person who really knows what's going on.

From the person who's doing the modeling and they may, maybe it's the same person, but your point is it shouldn't have to be. Yeah. 

[00:25:03] Alec Thomson: And again, I use P6 and I guess I would bash them there. I didn't intend to do that, but P6 always needs a scheduler. Right? Everybody can't use P6. Everybody can't touch the model, but why don't we make it touchable?

Why don't we make it touchable in a way that you can give updates to it? And again, don't try to teach a crew, a bunch of crew that changes over constantly in our industry, really high level skills. Just find low-level ways to bring that information in.

[00:25:31] Hugh Seaton: It's interesting. How often you come back in construction to this idea that keep, keep the operating part of technology as simple as possible and abstract away the complexity so that it's still there and you're still doing amazing things, but you're not asking somebody on a hot or rainy or cold job site to be doing complex operating, like you're not asking them to, to think about how to enter something or think about how to, how to work with something you're making it so that they've got 10 other things to worry about, your software. Isn't one of them. 

[00:26:08] Alec Thomson: Correct. And you're, so you're talking about a person that has such a brain and, and sharpness for that problem.

They're solving on site, how to make this fitting fit with that connector and it isn't working the way it was supposed to, and they're going to figure it out and they're using their brain to do that. Don't ask them to turn and look at an iPad and figure out how to open up five different systems that aren't connected and, and answer questions so that they can update somebody's fancy picture.

You can hear my frustration coming out. Right. That's the thing that we keep asking people to do. Stop it, let them do their really smart thing and then give you, feed you that the way they know how you just need to learn how to receive it. 

[00:26:49] Hugh Seaton: You know, it's funny. I never thought of it in these terms, but in, in the software world, we have this idea of context switching, where if somebody somebody's deep in code and you pull them out, it doesn't matter what else it takes, 20 minutes to get back into the code because they have to think about the problem again and kind of bring back their model in their mind of the problem they're solving.

And what you're saying is our software, our tools, shouldn't ask somebody to context switch, because it's the same problem, right? Is if I'm thinking about all right, this is connected to that. And I know there's a crew coming tomorrow, all the things that makes somebody good at working on a job site, all the complexity they're thinking of all the implications that are so hard for people outside of the industry to really appreciate.

All that stuff is going on in a professional's head. And you're saying, do me a favor, hang on. I want you, I want you to come and figure my UI out for a couple of minutes, but then you can go back to your job. Hope that doesn't disturb you at all. 

[00:27:45] Alec Thomson: You nailed it. Absolutely. Again, I'm borrowing that. Don't make them context switch, don't.

[00:27:49] Hugh Seaton: Yeah. Well, every software person ought to understand that. Yeah. Well, again, I think it's easy when you're not doing something it's easy to underestimate how many things are going on in someone's head? What, all the things they're consciously or subconsciously kind of weighing right. Well, we got to do this, but then, it'll, there's, we're going to have an issue with humidity or, I mean, just it's you can't even generalize all the points, but solving a real problem usually means your brain is really balancing a lot of different things.

And again, the idea is if you pull someone out of that context, they have to go rethink all that stuff again. And that's annoying. It's really frustrating. 

[00:28:28] Alec Thomson: It is, and, and there's low hanging fruit in our system that we've seen to, to that point of let's get the office to stop going to the field. Let's put some easy things in the system that give the office, the context around the data they're looking at that was easy for the user to do.

Right. I'm going to like throw this tag on here that tell that indicates something, but back in the office, that person in payroll, doesn't have to pick up the phone and call a project manager and ask something. And then it keeps two people from breaking context. Is there, there's so many of those things, our industry, and I think there's a lot of software out there finding good ways to solve those things.

we just happen to touch a lot of data at once. And so we we've seen a lot of it in the last couple of years. 

[00:29:13] Hugh Seaton: That's fantastic. I love this idea, again, surprising. I have all these conversations, that context switching thing, hadn't come up. this has been great. Let's end the podcast with your prediction of where you think the next couple of years are going to be for your world, for the field and data in the field and all that. What do you see coming? What do you hope will come. 

[00:29:37] Alec Thomson: Well, those are two very different things. what I hope will come is we really love a lot of these auto capture opportunities that are out there. We're keeping eyes on them. We think there's some really cool things come in and, and we just want them to get better.

What I think will happen is we're, we need to see more tools that aren't those things first. And what I mean to that is like predecessors to that tool. because on a site, what we've learned, or at least I feel like what we've learned is if you can't capture all of it, capturing some of it isn't helpful because I still have to use my old way to capture the rest.

And that keeps you from adoption. 

[00:30:23] Hugh Seaton: When you say capture all of it and these auto capture. Tell me, tell me a little more concretely about what you mean. So you're talking about like video and, kind of machine vision type things. What do you mean?

[00:30:35] Alec Thomson: Yeah. And so now I'll get a little, my ego jumps in, as an early question I got in the meeting was about, well, why don't you use auto capture? Why are people manually entering the data on an iPad? And I looked at him and I said, well, when you can show me a way for that conduit that got pulled or that kind of like a duct bank conduit, laid wires pole, how many wires got pulled?

Do you know how many wires got pulled into that conduit and because we can't be there constant, right? There's no, nobody's wearing Google glass glasses, monitoring all that stuff. I don't know how many wires got pulled, but you need that information for productivity metrics. You don't get for progress tracking.

You don't need it to see as a CM, a construction manager. You don't need that to see how the building's doing and progressing, but at the trade level, You need that detailed view of what's happening? I almost said that word granularity, and we have a joke within the company. We're not allowed to use that word.

Because we use it too often, but it is that it's that granularity of data that we just can't get with auto captured. So the problem is if you can't get it auto capturing you don't trust the rest of it. Some of it is, is, is not helpful enough. And so people just don't do it. And then there's no adoption of it.

And we want that stuff like we want auto capture. we just, I think there needs to be some predecessor products first. I don't know for how long, and I don't know, when they merge and when they connect, I mean, we're talking integration, there's a, some of them now. so we do believe there's connection and the connection soon.

And, and, but, I think there's a lot of, there are a lot of companies that are still using a whole lot of paper and Excel. 

[00:32:24] Hugh Seaton: Yeah, well, that's the thing, right? Is it more than most industries? The future's already here and it's not evenly distributed? 

[00:32:32] Alec Thomson: Yes. Well said. 

[00:32:35] Hugh Seaton: Awesome. Alec, this has been a great podcast. I appreciate you joining me. 

[00:32:39] Alec Thomson: Happy to do it. I listened to them a ton. So hopefully I said something interesting to others. I've got notes from a lot of your past podcasts, so thanks.