Behind the Build: Interview with Andy Leek, VP - Technology & Innovation at PARIC

Andy Leek PARIC

Every successful construction project requires excellent collaboration among multiple teams. But how can you make sure everyone is on the same page, working effectively and efficiently? To ensure project success, workflows and teams need to be united, especially when it comes to project management and field collaboration. 

This process is what drives Andy Leek, Vice President of Technology and Innovation at PARIC Corporation, in his daily work on strategy and planning, partnerships, integrations, and building out workflows across his entire organization. This year, Andy and his team had the opportunity to be one of the first users of Autodesk Build. This unified solution that combines the project management and field collaboration features from both BIM 360 and PlanGrid, while also delivering new functionality to address key workflow challenges. Built on a unified platform, information flows seamlessly to connect workflows and project teams from design to operations. 

Hear more from Andy, below.

Tell us more about your role at PARIC.

I’m the VP of technology and innovation at PARIC. My role is strategy, implementation planning, partnerships, integrations, and building out workflows and workstreams across the entire enterprise. In a nutshell, I'm responsible for technology across the entire enterprise, which means I get to work with many different stakeholders to understand what they need, and then find compelling ways to solve those challenges / opportunities.

In your experience, what are the typical disconnects that occur between field and office teams, and why is this an issue?

I think the biggest challenge today is continuity in the workflow. We have a lot of people who are using similar data sets to do different parts of the process, but we don't have a completely unified workflow yet. This is where I think Autodesk Build will help us solve the rest of that challenge, now that we have a single source of truth for all of the content, including plans, models, quantification surveys, and schedules. All of that information is going to flow through operations. And the opportunity for us now to do better data analytics on the backend to start to really refine and optimize our scheduling and estimating approach by round tripping that data.

Why do you think connected technology, unified platforms that connect teams, data, and workflows, are essential to the future of construction?

I think it's a highly competitive landscape, and we have got to find ways to be more efficient and effective. We’re not going to be able to do the kind of legacy workflows we're sunsetting now, five or 10 years from now and be competitive. I think the industry is evolving quickly, and we have to adapt. Being an early adopter, and partnering, enables us to have some control of our destiny.

What excites you most about the continued unification across Autodesk Construction Cloud?

It's the combination of a few things. To start, the quantification and classification pieces are very important. Effectively, all of this technology we're using today is being weaved together so that we can track time and money. We have piles of data, but we need information -- and we need it timely. So having a way that we can weave it all together in real time and have people be able to evaluate it is a game changer. It drives out inefficiencies and provides immense value. 

The other exciting piece of this is that now we can benefit from the connection across the entire lifecycle of a project, not just in immediate tasks. For example, let’s say I’m doing a quantity survey. I do it one time, and I use it throughout the estimating process. I also use it through the construction process, including our production tracking. Now, I can use it to analyze the results and projections to optimize my production numbers and my cost numbers. When I can roundtrip that data all the way back to the front, I’m more competitive in the next project. It helps us do a little introspection of what's going on and whether we are benchmarking as expected.

How will closer product integrations on a single platform improve workflows?

To start, it eliminates broken workflows. It provides us with a single environment for the entire team to be using, and it creates continuity and consistency in that workflow. It also gives us the ability to have true data governance and data standards. Since we started managing safety and quality programs, we needed to have the same issue types across all projects. We've had bits and pieces of that for years, but we lacked efficient control over the actual data maintenance. Say we add a new issue type, or change an issue type, or change a quantity type, we need to do this across all projects to support our data governance. Ultimately, the unified platform will enable us to have better control over that, while mitigating manual work.

How do you think a platform like Autodesk Build will benefit teams and improve your workflow?

Autodesk Build optimizes workflows and gets the whole team brought into the different phases of the project, so there's continuity in the process. I think it makes handoffs much easier and smoother. The unified experience gets stakeholders involved in the entire process. It's not only broken workflows. Project teams are disconnected where there’s little to no continuity across those different phases. Now we're working to provide one consistent experience. And not just for our build teams, but also for our owners and clients. We want them to be a part of that unified experience as well, so it brings transparency and efficiency to everyone involved. 

What features and aspects excite you the most about Autodesk Build?

For one, we’re very excited about the new quantification feature within the Build platform itself. Being able to classify the takeoff elements and use a takeoff survey throughout a project lifecycle is absolutely game changing! Also, the new Reporting and the new fillable-field forms and checklists will be a game changer for a lot of folks. I'm personally super-excited about the curated dashboards feature. The fact that we're going to be able to curate project dashboards for project teams based on their role, across our entire enterprise, will make managing those much better for us, and it's going to give our customers a more consistent experience. Less self-service, more relying on an enterprise management approach to setup a dashboard that is configured to a specific project, or for executives to view cross-project dashboards. I see Autodesk Construction Cloud as the natural evolution of our work with BIM 360 and our integrated 3rd party partners - this next generation is going to bring everything together, and make managing it a breeze.

Alyssa Jaber

As Manager of Customer Marketing at Autodesk, Alyssa Jaber has been partnering with Autodesk customers in the construction space for 5+ years to build their brands and powerfully tell their stories. Alyssa is a human-first leader who supports a team of talented individuals who always put the customer experience first.