‘Changing the way we build’ – Finalcad’s tagline sums up the DNA of French BIM unicorn seeing explosive growth
Finalcad is preparing its third round of financing. And investors are eager. “The construction industry lagged behind in terms of digital transformation because of the impossibility of bringing computers – even laptop – onto building sites,” says Aurélien Blaha, Finalcad’s marketing director. However, that issue disappeared at the start of the decade with the appearance of digital tablets. At which point, Finalcad’s team of creators offered site managers the possibility of digitising their plans in order to provide them with full digital management of defects arising during a building’s construction. Using a tablet to directly log information on defects as they are reported on-site avoids the lengthy, tedious process of recording them into an off-site computer later on. Finalcad quickly authorised data crunching to reveal the most frequent defects, thus facilitating research into their causes.
Several years later, Finalcad added a new functionality to its offer: the ability to monitor progress for all stages of a project’s lifecycle from foundations to finishing. Digitalisation of planning means that the quantity of materials to be ordered for each day and each team can be calculated automatically and immediately. This too includes its share of precious data: Finalcad’s planning tool gives site managers the ability to generate statistics on overrun – both retrospective and prospective – and thus to anticipate probable upcoming overruns.
There is fine line between defect recording and monitoring – which recur in identical fashion from one construction site to the next – and quality assurance compliance, and Finalcad has crossed this too. As of now, tablets can use artificial intelligence that does not simply photograph defects to report, but actually recognises them and suggests a pre-capture to the operator. Eiffage has recently signed a partnership deal with Finalcad to provide enterprise-wide digital solutions for all the French construction giant’s projects. Finalcad also counts Bouygues, Colas, Léon Grosse, RATP and SNCF Réseaux amongst its clients, and its services are now used in 31 countries.