Isn’t it surprising how the construction sector lags behind the productivity of other industries when, in fact, there are more efficient and innovative ways to accomplish tasks on-site? We rely so much on our existing skill sets and conventional methods. While those are helpful, we are still reluctant to embrace the changes and shift mindsets that are crucial to innovation.
In today’s episode, Ryan Ware of Vantis joins us to understand the challenges of implementing practices different from the conventional methods. We will discuss why the construction industry is stuck in its comfort zone and the steps we can do to address that. How can companies shift from conventional thinking to a new approach that can produce high-quality, on-schedule, and safe projects?
We cover a lot today, and Ryan has a lot of interesting insights to share with us. Check out the highlights and make sure you tune in to the show!
About Our Guest:
Ryan Ware is the Vice President of Construction and co-founder of Vantis, an interior construction company in the Bay Area, California, launched by One Workplace. Vantis focuses on the integration of off-site construction solutions to deliver custom interior spaces. Ryan has a background in architecture, and he’s moved into the construction side of the business.
Shifting Our Mindset Toward A New Approach to Construction
From Architecture to Construction
- Early in his career, he has seen how the construction industry was shifting forward into the realm of architecture.
- He wanted to become the bridge between the construction and the architecture industry.
- The gap between architecture and construction: Architects go back to the drawing board to solve a problem. For a contractor, the building is on-site, and you have to take into consideration the manufacturing capability and cost analysis.
- When he was in drafting school, he went to a small precast plant where he did some detailing. Then, he started practicing precast and off-site construction as an architect.
The Emotional Disconnect: How Planning Usually Happens
- A client tells a story, and the architect takes the information in a drawing set.
- That drawing set is passed to the general contractor. They digest and figure out what they’re supposed to build, and then they pass it down to another layer.
- By the time it gets to the people on the field, the plan is different from what the architect envisioned.
The Conventional Mindset: Moving Away from this Comfort Zone
- When we look at our problems in construction, we tend to try and solve them ourselves instead of asking for help.
- We solve most problems with the same technology, same material, and the same processes, which does not allow us to address the problem long-term.
- Ryan’s solution: Design-manufacture-build process
- The quality of planning is more important than the speed of the process.
Introducing New Methodologies
- Tell your client if you’re launching a new methodology of constructing or you’re shifting the model of delivery.
- Educate the entire market. Clients rely on us to be educated and solve the problem for them.
- The reluctance to change roots from the fear of the unknown.
- The construction industry is slow to adapt, as we don’t have a lot of research and development money.
- Manufacturers and fabricators, on the other hand, have these resources. However, we tend to see them as a threat, and we push them off.
- If we were to embrace these outside influences, we could learn from them, and we can try new things.
Off-site Manufacturing: Building Projects Efficiently
- Utilizing the design-manufacture-build approach optimizes the laborers on-site while artificial intelligence safely tracks things inside the factories.
- Construction is a tremendous safety hazard. If we can optimize our trades, we can create a safer job on-sites.
- We’re studying, and we’re looking at doing things off-site, but we’re still not using technology to integrate it in at the planning stage.
Why is Interior Construction Slow to Embrace Off-Site Construction?
- First, we’re not talking in the same language to relay the value proposition of the manufacturing world.
- Second, we’re not ready to adopt it.
- It’s a matter of embracing that it is not a competition.
Bringing In Fresh Ideas
- The new generation is learning differently.
- Sometimes having people that are not in your industry or not trained in that area gives you a fresh perspective.
- Manufacturers don’t necessarily understand construction, but they are tied with the technology side.
- Learn to balance between a hybrid approach. Think of how we are going to integrate these things in the next ten years.
How About Those On-site?
- It is about doing better and safer work for their crews.
- They’re still doing everything on the job site, but everything is component-wise and employee-wise.
- We can use the same labor pools instead of installing prefabricated assemblies and components.
- You are optimizing your people, and the job is safer and more sustainable.
Where Does Vantis Sit?
- Their primary focus is in the interior build environment with the prefabrication solution.
- They’re also beginning the endeavor of looking at modular volumetric construction.
- Their vision advances in doing anything they can with off-site construction and optimizing their trades.
Advice For General Contractors
- Have the mindset that the change you’re making will make a difference.
- Listen to the experts to help guide the process.
- Break down the barriers that we’ve put up around ourselves.
Connect with me on LinkedIn. For more podcast episodes, visit my website, and you can also check out Construction Genius Podcast on LinkedIn. Tune in to the Construction Genius: A Leadership Master-Class Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.