Willy Naessens Netherlands Branch Increases Efficiency Thanks to Deltek + ArchiSnapper
We spoke to Yme Jager from Willy Naessens Netherlands about the benefits of using the Deltek + ArchiSnapper app
Willy Naessens Netherlands is the Dutch branch of the Willy Naessens Group, one of the largest construction companies in Benelux. The branch opened 7 years ago in 2015 and is growing rapidly.
Currently the branch has 100 people working on around 20 projects. This includes 60 employees supported by a flexible network of 40 on site contractors.
The company specializes in industrial construction, distribution centres and hotels for clients such as DB Schenker, WDP, VGP and ProHuis.
Beautiful examples of both dynamic and complex projects include the multi-store distribution centre for WDP De Jong, in Lier near Rotterdam, a real masterpiece of construction:
Yme is the company’s QHSE coordinator as well as holding other responsibilities. He works on safety and quality, but also on improving efficiency and reducing costs and energy consumption.
“What I like about the QHSE coordinator position is the freedom to plan my day and my tasks myself, as well as the opportunity to connect with colleagues from different departments. I can be seated at the table with management one minute, then moments later find myself having coffee with the team working on site. I try to establish good relationships with everyone.”
“As a coordinator, I have to suggest opportunities for improvement to the people on the construction sites. Safety and environmental awareness are not achieved by telling them how to do something, but by giving context and showing people how they could benefit from these improvements.”
Indeed, in recent years, safety has become a priority for the management of construction companies, including Willy Naessens Netherlands, which is VCA certified.
“Management wants to stay informed about safety at our sites, including compliance with guidelines, violations, and incidents. Before, compliance with guidelines was less monitored. Now, monitoring is much stricter. Thus, VCA certification is often also a condition for winning new projects.”
Digitalisation Has Increased Efficiency
How Do You Use ArchiSnapper?
“We use ArchiSnapper for site visits, work acceptances, and inspections,” Yme confirms.
“For site visits, ArchiSnapper works like a reminder, by going through the checklist, we confirm everything has been done correctly and if adjustments are necessary. For VCA certification, site visits must be carried out once a month by the operations manager, project managers and management team.”
“For our snag list, we use ArchiSnapper to agree with the client the final list of outstanding items. The work reception meeting is held with the client, often including a project manager who has the necessary knowledge in the field of construction. On our side, the project manager and the contractor are usually present.”
“The project manager and the contractor work together on a pre-acceptance visit. Often, one of them speaks and the second takes notes on the tablet. Doing both at the same time is complicated as it’s difficult to note everything in a coherent way without permanently slowing down the visit.”
“While ArchiSnapper allows the client to sign the work acceptance report directly on site, experience has shown us that clients are not comfortable doing this. They prefer to consult the PDF of the report quietly from the office before sending it. And for good reason, the amounts involved are substantial!”
“An application like ArchiSnapper is a real improvement on the traditional pen + paper duo and using printed plans. During a site visit, you can simply note an observation, locate it on a plan and then add a photo with a sketch. Everything is immediately noted digitally, and the report is created automatically after the meeting.”
“If there is a problem during the inspection, we also log it in the ArchiSnapper app, as part of the inspection file. For example, we have an inspection plan for the installation of the walls. This is a checklist in ArchiSnapper consisting of about five questions. Each question is answered and supplemented with photos, including the points that are in order, so that we can refer to the situation of that day, indicating that everything had indeed been thoroughly checked. Being able to show that the point was indeed compliant when set up can be very important in the event of discussions and insurance problems.”
When we ask Yme what functionality he would like to add to ArchiSnapper, his answer was clear: make checklists project specific.
“So, for example, you could create a specific snag list for a particular project, then connect it to that project so as not to expose it to other users and keep the overview in the list of checklists.”
Good news Yeme! This point is at the top of our roadmap and is currently in progress.
Yme also asked if it is possible to get all photos and reports automatically on a Dropbox, Drive, SharePoint, or FTP server. The answer is yes, it is already possible today. You can connect ArchiSnapper to these systems and the reports (PDF format) and photos will automatically sync every few hours.
What Are Your Tips for Implementing Software in a Construction Company Like Yours?
“When it comes to digitisation, the challenge goes beyond just finding the right tools.”
“With us, the challenge is to include people who have been working in a certain way for a long time. Habit is certainly the most familiar approach, but not necessarily the most effective or scalable approach.”
“With any new software, it is important that the tool is fully ready before releasing to colleagues. For ArchiSnapper, for example, it was important to first prepare checklists, layout templates, and other parameters, before launching to the wider team. If you feel that a piece of software is ready and you can immediately start using and enjoying it, you are much more likely to use the tool effectively.”
“Discussing and showing the specific benefits of the software also helps to increase the likelihood of adoption of the tool. For example, recently, we encountered a problem on one of our construction sites. But, thanks to ArchiSnapper, we could see what the situation was at the time of acceptance of the works. All the information such as photos, text, and other details were collected and easily accessible in the tool. ArchiSnapper allows you to always review exactly what you sent to whom, including photos, thus minimising the risk of disputes. A concrete example like this helps convince others of the added value of the tool.”
A Strong Corporate Culture Supports Quality Delivery
At Willy Naessens, employees are supported and taken care of. And this is important because finding experienced professionals who deliver quality work is not easy.
“Our employees are listened to, company parties are organised for the whole family, they feel respected and supported.”
“The company philosophy is that when you are satisfied at work, you are not only happier but also more productive and more engaged.”
“Holidays allow us to get to know each other differently, we are more relaxed, also promoting working relationships, which results in better cooperation, and less work in separate clusters. A good culture turns a company into a team that works well together.”
“Enjoying a relaxed and positive atmosphere where everyone is respected, improves collaboration and makes employees want to stay with us.”
Thank you for this pleasant and interesting interview, Yme!
About Yme Jager
Yme is Willy Naessens Netherland’s QHSE coordinator and all-rounder. He works on safety and quality, but also on improving efficiency and reducing costs and energy consumption.