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The Importance of Industry Specific Technology: Our Acquisition of Cranetime

Tower Cranes Picture-1

Cranetime was established in 2013 by founder and CEO Tom Fraser to fulfill the ever-growing need of an all-in-one crane-management solution within the construction industry. With the sector already being a slow adopter of new technologies, Fraser and his team set out to reinvent the age-old white board with a modern and cohesive tool to manage workflows and bookings across sites.

Time after time we see technologies emerge from other industries and businesses with a non-specific or broad application that often does not meet the tailored requirements of the construction industry. We at Voyage Control saw this and recognised that the construction industry needs niche technology that is created specifically for industry professionals by industry professionals. Enter the Voyage Control x Cranetime acquisition.

From the very beginning, Cranetime set out to establish an easy to adopt system applicable for any site regardless of the project, and far more beneficial than any other operation and utilization system available. Rather than looking at a construction site and focusing purely on how to optimize the tower crane, the developers wanted to ensure the product covered all facets of the site.

As Dave Reynolds - Project Manager here at Cranetime and Voyage Control has explained “there might be a $500M project and everything is being ran through operationally on a white board on a wall. That white board can be wiped off and can easily lose all the historical data and change things on the fly. It can only be found in one location.” This is an issue that Cranetime set out to solve from the very beginning, as you would often see contractors taking photos of these white boards to distribute the information to their teams so they have a clear understanding of what’s happening on the site for a particular day. However, this information can easily become obsolete or out of date as things change throughout the day.

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Cranetime addresses the increasing complexities and demands of today’s construction projects through the ability to better optimize the construction site by ensuring that your cranes receive every bang for their buck and helping you keep your budgets in check. This is done by mitigating and reducing critical path delays while maximizing the capabilities and productivity of your teams across the worksite.

Let’s paint the picture: As a contractor, you can enter the system either online, seated at your desk, or on your mobile device while you walk through the site. You can look at the different cranes that are available and all your booked tasks that are scheduled throughout the day, week, month, or year. Throughout the system, you will have multiple options of vertical transportation depending on the site which include examples like TC1 and TC2 (Tower Crane 1 & 2), MC1 and MC2 (Mobile Crane 1 & 2), delivery bays etc. For tower cranes to be as effective as possible, a ‘pipeline’ of sorts to the designated cranes needs to be organized so all deliveries show up at the right time to the right entry gate in a way to mitigate congestion throughout the site.

There are a lot of questions that need to be asked to make sure your site is running as efficiently as possible. A very important one to ask is “what is the utilization of your tower crane?” and a follow up to that is “what are you using to measure that?”. As simple as this question may seem, many can’t give the detailed answers we look for, that is why we enjoy taking that extra step to ensure you are receiving every important detail about your site and especially the utilization reports of your cranes. Therefore, we have actively created a system to provide you with up-to-date reports for your entire site.

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For an important tool like a tower crane, data about each crane’s utilization is very important for measuring overall efficiency. Contractors and operators need to know the data on how many hours, minutes and seconds each tower crane has been staffed, active and operational. “You may have a 10-hour working day with staff in the tower claiming that it’s operational and if it’s only active for 1-hour, then the utilization is only at 10%.”

Many of the reports also include detailing what your deliveries are for, how much time is taken to complete tasks, where deliveries are heading to on the site - specifically which building (if there’s multiple) and to what floor they are being distributed to, which we find increasingly important on urban construction sites. To make things easier when completing request forms, the system will also attach accurate site maps to all request forms so you can precisely convey which tower crane you will need for each delivery and which delivery bay will be the most convenient.

There’s so much that can be done through Cranetime, especially as Dave Reynolds says: “a lot of the system has been developed by requests from construction sites. So, it has evolved over a number of years from the involvement of active Tier 1 construction companies.” One of the many fantastic features that comes bundled in with Cranetime is the Live Board system which can be connected to any large monitor screen, tablet, phone, or computer. The Live Board system will display all essential information about upcoming bookings, tasks, and ETAs in a style akin to an
airport departure lounge. This feature has been used in several sites providing team members quick and easy access to schedule information that is easy to understand and embodies ‘a true replacement to the white board’.

To find out more about how Cranetime can help improve the logistics of your construction site – please email sales@voyagecontrol.com or head over to voyagecontrol.com/cranetime to book a demo.

Written by: Adrian Sakellaris
December 21, 2021