58,000 Man Hours Saved
The project sought to reduce risk and improve project performance by replacing manual, paper-based processes with an RFID material identification system.
The Jovix deployment included sensory technology and field mobility to supply live and timely information to fulfill Construction and Management’s constant demand of progress and information for Scheduling, Workface Planning, and Installation. Gate Readers are strategically positioned to read RFID tags that enter Site facilities. Paired with preset logic and reader rules, Gate Readers communicate with tagged Purchase Order line items and Shipping Units and provide timestamps and notifications to Users upon arrival.
A Jovix Gate Reader is positioned to read RFID-tagged materials as they enter or exit Site facilities.
Preset logic and reader rules also supply metrics and notifications regarding Field Material Requests and associated tagged materials that have (or have not) left the facility. Gate Readers are essential to catching materials that have left facilities without proper requisitioning by flagging the materials within the system and sending automatic notifications to management for investigating and reconciliation. In-bound and out-bound gates were determined on-site and setup commenced prior to the assessment team de-mobilizing.
The transfer of data collected from barcode and passive RFID-tagged materials into the Project’s proprietary materials management tool automates material Receiving, warehouse material control and inventory, material pick-up, and material Issuing to Contractors.
By automating material workflow processes, Jovix provides actionable, real-time information regarding the location and status of all materials needed for Construction, which ensures visibility and traceability of materials in transport and on-site. The Jovix solution also increases the efficiency of the processes related to the management of materials as they flow through a global supply chain and intra-site transfers.
The Project has onboarded 168 Suppliers into the Jovix RFID program by leveraging vendor-supplied barcodes and passive RFID tags associated to finished materials at the Supplier and Fabrication facilities. Information is streamlined using the integration, Jovix tablets and mobile application, and sensory technology to provide near real-time visibility of materials throughout the global supply chain.
A. Transaction Efficiencies
Receiving: Receiving on the Project utilizes Jovix mobile tablets to avoid manual paper transactions and data entry. A total of 47 bulk and mark piece receipts were shadowed, and each activity involved in the Receipt process was timed using Jovix and via the Status Quo without using Jovix.
Average Receipt Time Demand (Bulks & Mark Pieces)
Status Quo: 153.5 minutes/Receipt
Jovix: 108.0 minutes/Receipt
Efficiency Gain: 45.5 minutes/Receipt
Average Receipt Time Demand (HTML5)
Status Quo: 153.5 minutes/Receipt
Jovix: 51.0 minutes/Receipt
Efficiency Gain: 102.5 minutes/Receipt
*HTML5 assessment improvement – not included in cost avoidance
Location Management: Status Quo processes relied on paper material transfer forms and data entry into a proprietary system to perform location changes. Material movements are common practice on the Project when segregating materials by Contractor and turning over materials to Contractor-designated areas. Currently, Jovix is utilized, permitting scanning of Supplier barcodes for steel and RFID tags for spools, and geo-contextual location management for both Mark Piece types.
Average Location Change Time Demand (Steel & Spool Mark Pieces)
Status Quo: 22.6 minutes/Mark Piece
Jovix: 2.0 minutes/Mark Piece
Efficiency Gain: 20.6 minutes/mark piece
Picking & Issuing: On the Project, previous practices required completing Pick Tickets in a proprietary system prior to when actual picks occurred. Pick progress was unknown until the Pick Ticket paperwork returned from the field. Only manual means of tracking actual completed and issued Pick Tickets were available. Since Pick Tickets were completed prior to when picking occurred, Pick Ticket reconciliation was common practice. Using Jovix, Pick Lists are generated, and field progress of Picks and Issues are live and presented graphically in the web-based server. Geo-contextual location tracking is also utilized for Mark Pieces, allowing Users to navigate to materials via GPS and visually display optimal pick routes.
Average Pick Ticket/Issuing Time Demand (Bulks)
Status Quo: 68.0 minutes/Pick Ticket
Jovix: 47.9 minutes/Issue
Efficiency Gain: 20.1 minutes/Pick Ticket
Average Pick Ticket/Issuing Time Demand (Mark Pieces)
Status Quo: 72.2 minutes/Pick Ticket
Jovix: 38.3 minutes/Issue
Efficiency Gain: 34 minutes/Pick Ticket
B. Comparative Experience Events
Observational experience results displayed gains and losses in time demanded when using Jovix vs. not using Jovix. Results yielded that time was lost in processes upstream in the supply chain due to steps of forced data vetting and correcting allocations. The time demand of the required initial vetting and correction processes assisted in producing time savings and efficiency gains in many of the 16 downstream incident occurrences. An additional gain in time demand related to Pick Ticket reconciliation. Jovix allows in-depth Picking and Issuing compared to previous processes, allowing for immediate identification of non-completable picks and on-the-spot investigation to mitigate exceptions. Previous processes were reactive and limited by functionality, by not allowing Users to re-open a Pick Ticket and requiring reactive resolutions via inventory adjustments and generating new Pick List transactions.
Though time demand increased using Jovix for 3 observational incidents, efficiency was gained in data quality and work process insights for all 19 observational incidents, resulting in a reduction of re-work, issues, and errors downstream. Jovix functionality – and the additional vetting and work process steps – added to the time savings and efficiency gains directly to 16 downstream incidents, with gains ranging from 18% to 225% compared to previous Projects.
The results above show an overwhelmingly positive efficiency gain related to automating manual processes, reducing reporting times, and increasing visibility to reduce coordination times. Easy-to-access, real-time information significantly reduced the amount of time spent consolidating and producing Project reports.
C. Project Observation Use Cases
In addition to the empirical transactional time studies and observational End User experiences, the RFID assessment uncovered efficiency observed in specific field materials management procedures. Users displayed how incorporating Jovix alleviated pain points and added efficiency to 13 distinguished daily tasks.
- Material Controls Digitization
- Over 5,000 Critical Materials Located in a Day
- Reporting Influences Yard Design and Reduces Manpower
- 7.5 Minutes Saved Per Item in Structural Steel Receiving
- Automated Request / Pick Progress Improved Data Availability and Time Savings
- Productivity Improves with Less Time Spent Tracking “Lost Materials”
- Over 1,400 Man Hours Saved in OS&D Report Generation
- Increased Visibility to Manage Work Package Constraints
- Real-Time Material Status Reports for Management
- Pick Ticket Management Efficiency
- Pipe Spools FMR Verification Efficiency
- Increased Visibility into Incomplete Receiving
- Online Training Increases Competency for Busy Project Personnel
The direct and indirect burdened labor rates were used to calculate cost avoidance. Each of the process efficiency gains contributed to hours saved and resulted in a realized cost avoidance of over $1.5M.
D. Construction Cost Avoidance
Prior to implementing Jovix at the off-site Laydown facility, structural steel was received and stored in the yard by grid. Steel arrived rapidly and consecutively, congesting the Laydown Yard and grids and created a backlog of materials, resulting in improper identification and storage. The desert climate and conditions contributed to complications by removing etchings and markings from the materials. Steel FMRs were delayed by weeks, and several were partially issued due to the inability to find and properly identify materials. As a sample, a steel FMR was observed, and results yielded that it took 4 field workers 3 full days to locate 26 pieces of steel; and on average, 10% – 20% of improperly stored and unidentified steel resulted in turnover delays to Construction.
FMM solicited the Jovix System Coordinator to develop more efficient practices and expedite material turnover for steel that had not been received prior to implementing Jovix.
The developed Jovix process included:
- Importing Supplier barcodes into Jovix
- Allowing for quick selecting and assisting with identifying materials
- Using Jovix tablets and the HTML5 Jovix mobile application
- Allowing for field mobility, expediting processes, and alleviating manual data entry
- Utilizing Jovix mobile GPS functionality
- Providing materials with accurate, pinpointed locations within the yard
The results of the initiative included: identifying and providing pinpoint locations for 5,100 steel Mark Pieces in a single day, creating a viable and efficient solution for structural steel location management, and avoiding future impacts to Construction.
Previously, material delay impacts to Construction resulted in Construction crew lost time, rescheduling, and reprioritizing work activities. Based on the average Construction crew size and direct labor rates on the Project, the low and high potential impacts to Construction related to this initiative were calculated to be approximately 51,000 to 102,000 man-hours, resulting in a cost avoidance of $510k to $1.02M.
Additional impediments to Construction related to pipe spool Supplier data and work processes. Common issues related to spools arriving in mixed frames – causing re-work and turning over spools to incorrect Contractors and misidentification, or no identification, of spools – resulting in Quality and Engineering interceding to properly identify materials, all adding to further delays to issuing to Construction and Installation. An estimation of about 15% of misidentified and unlabeled spools will cause delays to Installation.
FMM developed an initiative to sweep and cycle-count the spools in inventory using Jovix and RFID tags, to expedite processes, and to maintain a practical solution for managing spools. Additionally, management agreed to incorporate a Supplier engagement program using Jovix that began with tracking materials at the Supplier. Passive RFID tags were applied at the Supplier and associated to materials in the system. Jovix System Coordinators performed on-site Supplier engagement training at the Supplier facilities and trained on best practices for tagging and labeling pipe spools and frames. Previous practices were replaced with using the Jovix mobile application and Supplier devices to associate the RFID tags prior to shipping. About 25% of spools have been issued. The remaining 75% accumulate to about 74,000 pipe spools in inventory and pending delivery. The low and high potential impacts to Construction were calculated for the remaining spools to be issued, resulting in 111,000 to 222,000 potential man-hour delays avoided on the Project, and calculating to $1.1M to $2.2M in cost avoidance.
Summary of Value Assessment: The direct and indirect labor rates were used to convert hours saved to cost avoided. The total cost avoidance savings resulting from the Jovix implementation on the Project is calculated between $4.2M and $5.8M. The results mark significant savings, especially considering the low labor market region in which a $10/hr wage rate was assumed for Jobsite workers in the assessment.
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