With a lot of mobile employees, having an easy-to-use platform to develop intuitive, mobile-first applications has been extremely important for Clark Construction.
Clark Construction Group is one of the most experienced and respected building and civil construction firms in the United States. For over a century, Clark has been transforming the ideas and visions of their clients into award-winning projects. Clark builds with the intention of exceeding clients’ expectations for safety, quality, functionality, and aesthetics. Clark delivers assets that stand the test of time.
Standardizing on an application development platform
Within Clark, there’s an in-house Research & Development department that is responsible for building the company’s business applications. The department would build an application in a database, pilot it out in the field, move it to production and ultimately hand it over to IT. As you can imagine, these applications are not sustainable. It is impossible to maintain and/or update the apps. Therefore, Clark decided to standardize on a platform to build their business applications.
Choosing a platform
Clark knew it needed to move faster, lower the amount of time spent in development and align better with the business. Traditional platforms could not fulfill those requirements, especially in Clark’s multi-cloud environment. When choosing an app development platform, the construction company wanted to make sure that they could team up with a suitable partner: someone who has done it before and understands it. Not only from an application development perspective, but a partner who brings proven methodologies and programs as well as the design aspect. Taking into account all of these requirements, it brought them to the Mendix low-code platform and Siemens partner TimeSeries on the development and program roll out.
The relationship with TimeSeries has been outstanding. They have been invaluable throughout the process. TimeSeries has been our intermediary from the start, they pointed us in the right direction and they helped us whenever we needed anything.
Senior Operations Support Manager & Senior Systems Analyst
A Safety Suite consisting of several applications
Safety has the highest priority within Clark. Therefore, together with TimeSeries, Clark built a whole suite of applications which they named the Safety Suite. The Safety Suite consists of several different applications that all work together and talk to each other. It comprises everything around safety on project sites: from an emergency action plan to registering incidents. The Safety Suite has been rolled out on numerous project sites and the feedback has been fantastic, with updates and bugs being minimal.
According to Clark, the suite is a gamechanger for the company. The company is widespread throughout the country and supports all different types of construction. Having all the data in one application with all sorts of metrics is invaluable. Previously, the reporting was done on a project-by-project basis and sometimes in small regions. Now, there is a company-wide application which is being used to give Clark’s Board of Directors insight into safety on all of their project sites.
If Clark would have stuck to traditional development, they would have to keep applications alive which were built with an in-house developed legacy platform. Even if there would have been no development, it would have cost the company $10,000 – $20,000 a year per application, just to keep it running. Moreover, with the implementation of the Safety Suite and the health programs that are now in place, Clark receives additional discounts from insurance providers, because they are able to prove that the company is doing its utmost to keep their employees safe and healthy. With more than 4,000 employees, this adds up to a significant cost savings.
Low-code and the Construction Industry
Clark’s employees who use the applications are mobile: they can be anywhere with or without an internet connection. The ability to have an easy-to-use platform to develop intuitive mobile-first applications has been extremely important for Clark. The construction industry especially is primed for capabilities like these. As Mendix offers offline mobile applications as well, the value has been significant for Clark’s employees, customers and partners.