Creating Happy Users Together
For construction companies like ours, one of the most important aspects is to manage customer expectations, in order to achieve the best results. One of the most useful tools to achieve this is BIM engineering.
JAJO is a group of construction companies on a mission to close the circle, together. They develop, build, maintain, repair and harvest.
“Closing the circle, together” refers on the one hand to JAJO’s subsidiaries. These are active in all phases of the real estate cycle. Together they form a strong and unique combination enabling clients to be supported in all phases of real estate. On the other hand, it underlines that the necessary change in the real estate sector is only possible by working together with the whole chain of partners, suppliers, clients and other construction companies.
As a result Catenda and JAJO have formed a partnership. In addition to Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync) meeting JAJO’s needs, Catenda’s vision of supporting stakeholders throughout the building lifecycle brings value as JAJO continues to provide services after buildings are delivered to its users.
We interviewed Ivo van der Mark, CEO at JAJO and Daan Arts, Manager Innovation and Digitalisation at JAJO.
The digitalization strategy within JAJO
JAJO started a few years ago to digitize processes within the company. “For construction companies like ours, one of the most important aspects is to manage customer expectations, in order to achieve the best results,” explains Ivo van der Mark. “One of the most useful tools to achieve this is BIM engineering,” Ivo continues.
BIM (Building Information Modeling) engineering helps construction companies have a better vision of projects, to develop and design them. In addition, it helps to promote and manage the expectations of the clients, but also of subcontractors and other contracting parties involved in the project.
Many steps are now more efficient due to the digitization of processes, and therefore show better results.
JAJO offers BIM services in all phases of the real estate life cycle. BIM models are used in every stage of the construction process. These models form the basis of the project for life. “We look at the construction phase by doing the design, then we can do the maintenance. At some point, we move to renovation and back to maintenance. We can also do demolition. Then the cycle starts again,” explains Ivo.
Thus BIM is very helpful in linking all the different phases. “It is a very good investment if you want to build long-term relationships with your clients,” Ivo adds. The construction industry has moved from one-off projects to long-term relationships.
“We build for the same client multiple times, and at the same time we do maintenance. It is related to what is happening in the world right now; there are a lot more total cost of ownership sites than total cost of maintenance. If people tend to build a building, they are not only interested in the construction costs, but they also want to know what the operating costs are,” Ivo explains.
“Catenda, and especially Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync), helps us visualize what a property is. Instead of having that on paper, clients get a vision of what we actually maintain,” says Daan.
With a good investment in the design phase around the BIM plan, there are then fewer defects in the execution phase. “It also helps us meet our environmental goals by not wasting materials, but ordering exactly what we need. That way, we produce less waste.” Daan continues.
See how JAJO coordinates projects with Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync) here.
It also helps us meet our environmental goals by not wasting materials, but ordering exactly what we need. That way, we produce less waste.
The business model
BIM models are no longer just part of the engineering phase, they are part of the entire business. “It is no longer a phase, it is a way of working,” Ivo explains.
“Before, we were organized into 33 construction companies, each with its own location, engineering and small teams. Mistakes were often the same in all companies. Now we have a centralized committee that shares knowledge and connects the knowledge and capabilities of the group,” Ivo adds.
Offering the full life cycle of buildings is a strategic choice. It is no longer just ‘design and build’ but ‘design, build and operate’. These steps are now possible because JAJO has a vision of the whole process.
At first, maintenance was not fully integrated. “But now it is integrated into our processes, just like demolition and construction,” explains Ivo.
JAJO can pass on the benefits of this way of working to its customers. “It is possible to make more accurate maintenance plans if we know exactly what we are talking about,” he explains. In addition, we are also able to offer maintenance at a lower price than our competitors,” Ivo continues.
“We stay with our customers while they grow,” explains Ivo. “It is also a different way of working. It is closer.”
“We are now able to give an overview to everyone involved in the project,” says Ivo. “It is very inspiring to see what the possibilities are. It is a land of opportunity,” he continues.
Every time JAJO sells a maintenance contract, the team, instead of going through drawings and documents, is ready to go. They know what’s been done, they just look at the BIM list and they know exactly what they need to do. It makes their lives easier. “It is a real success story, because the transfer time has been reduced considerably,” says Daan.
Decision and implementation of the partnership
Catenda’s products allow non-BIM users to have direct and easy access to their project. “The accessibility and ease of use not only allows people like me to look at it, but also our clients to work with it,” Daan explains.
The main criteria for their successful choice were openness and people. “We are looking for a company that has the same vision as us: to be open, to use open standards, to be open in general. So we have an open vision,” Daan explains.
“We are looking for a cultural fit. Every company is about people. So we want to find people with whom we share the same values, we have the same goals and the same standard of living. And I think in the way we work, openness is how JAJO has found Catenda to achieve new goals. We are looking forward to it. I’m excited about the idea that there is no finish line. We are on our way,” Ivo says.
“It is about how we grow together, how we improve each other. Our partnership is the result of a two-year collaboration. We found each other not only because we share the same values, but also because we share the same way of working together,” says Einar (Gudmundsson, CEO at Catenda).
That sentiment hasn’t changed since 2019. “We can only advise other companies to do the same. It will help the construction industry.” says Ivo.
My favorite feature is the fact that anyone can use it. No matter what company the customers are from, they can click a button and show/see what their future building will look like.
After 3 years of implementation and more than 100 projects, “The lesson learned is, ‘Keep it simple.’ This brings us back to our vision of ‘We create happy users’, by not changing their processes, by giving them easy-to-use tools so they have an advantage today,” Daan explains.
Another important aspect is to understand the needs, as well as the internal processes. “Implementing is about working together. I have noticed in talking with other BIM managers in the Netherlands that we have helped them take the next step with BIM (automation, innovation, digitization) (Building Information Modeling),” Daan adds.
Internally, the tools help JAJO a lot because they facilitate the way they work. On the vendor side, not all vendors use Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync) as a platform. There are a lot of providers out there now, “it is a little hard to get people to comply,” Daan says.
The fact that Catenda Hub has logical ways of working, really helps JAJO implement Catenda Hub in projects since the platform focuses on the fundamentals. “And again, non-engineers are excited about it!” adds Daan.
“We are very happy about the cooperation. It started with trust and never went wrong. We now talk about the future and take small steps, and achievements in the process. I think this helps us to be flexible in the strategy. We don’t see ourselves as a big boat but as a group of fast boats. We are more flexible and adapt to the needs of the market,” Ivo says.
“My favorite feature is the fact that anyone can use it. No matter what company the customers are from, they can click a button and show/see what their future building will look like. In Catenda Hub (previously Bimsync), you can look at documents, questions and objects. And they are all connected. This circle is high potential; an object-based way of working,” Daan says.
We started with this idea of creating a data-driven industry that will help us democratize access to data, making it easier for everyone to access data, because we believe strongly in this digital twin.
About the product, “In the future, we hope to have a dashboard for each client to see the condition of the building and the health of the building through detection and things like that,” Daan says. “We are in the process of creating a POC (Proof of Concept) with Catenda to make that happen, through Catenda Duo (previously Catenda BOS).” he adds.
This will really help JAJO show its customers what it can offer, giving more information about the quality and operation of the building.
Regarding the future in the industry, most buildings will last between 30 and 50 years. “So we are creating a database of the type of materials that will be available in the future for our new construction projects. Ultimately, I think that’s one of the most interesting goals because reuse is going to go through a much broader phase,” Ivo says.
“We are going to create a digital maintenance system that will allow users to perform more efficient and open maintenance. We will even go further. We will give information about the building, the materials, which will give the owner additional information. That’s the vision we are working towards: closing the circle,” says Daan.
The cooperation between Catenda and JAJO, will help JAJO realize their data-driven vision. “It has allowed us to make great strides internally. This way of working will lead to new standards for the Dutch construction industry. We are very excited about the future and hope to inspire the market to do the same,” says Ivo.
“From Catenda’s perspective, it is more about finding the partners who want to grow together. We started with this idea of creating a data-driven industry that will help us democratize access to data, making it easier for everyone to access data, because we believe strongly in this digital twin. But we started with the design phase and now we are moving to the full life cycle with Catenda Duo (previously Catenda BOS) (operational phase). We are building that with JAJO. And I want to bring this data-driven thinking throughout the building lifecycle,” says Einar.
JAJO is a group of construction companies laying the new foundation in a changing world. They develop, build, maintain, repair and harvest. Their mission is to close the circle together. JAJO is among the top 15 construction companies in the Netherlands and operates internationally with subsidiaries in the Caribbean and Poland. JAJO is a financially healthy organization, consists of 33 independent companies and employs over 1,000 people.
Eva Stepak-Heritier, Marketing Director at Catenda