Bechtel, a global leader in engineering and construction, today announced that it has entered a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with software-provider Rhumbix for the further development of Rhumbix’s field-supervision platform for large-scale construction projects.
The companies’ initial development efforts will focus on enhancing the Rhumbix platform's ability to increase worksite productivity and efficiency. Longer-term, once out of beta-stage development, the platform will add health and safety features and offer additional productivity and efficiency gains.
Bechtel’s three-year JDA with Rhumbix follows closely on the announcement last week that the San Francisco-based software developer had secured Series A funding of $6 million in financing led by Greylock Partners, with participation from Brick & Mortar Ventures, UJ Ventures and Ray Levitt, Professor at Stanford University. Rhumbix, which describes itself as a mobile platform for “smarter” construction sites, said it will use the funding to open up its private beta to interested customers and continue to grow its team.
“Through this development agreement, Bechtel continues to drive innovation in the engineering, procurement, and construction industry,” said Michael Lewis, Bechtel’s Chief Innovation Officer. “When fully developed, Rhumbix’s innovative cloud-based platform will help us track the location of our workforce with mobile devices in real time and ultimately allow us to use data analytics to monitor our on-site safety, production, and performance. We believe Rhumbix is positioned to become the leading provider of solutions that empower and protect the craft workforce.”
“We’re thrilled to have the industry leader, Bechtel, as our beta partner in the rollout of the platform, which we think will bring about major efficiency gains in today's large-scale construction market,” said Zach Scheel, Rhumbix CEO.
Scheel, who worked at Bechtel during graduate school while attending Stanford, added: "It's our belief that the most valuable data on job sites comes from workers themselves. At Rhumbix, we're building mobile applications for the blue-collar craft workforce that eliminate cumbersome manual reporting methods and provide unprecedented visibility into real-time data from construction operations. With our platform, frontline workers will finally have direct input and influence on improving project outcomes."
Rhumbix passively collects data generated from smartphones carried by construction workers, capturing more accurate data from the field in real-time to help to make labor more efficient and arming project developers and management with data-driven insights to dramatically improve site safety and save money.
The company, ranked for the 17th year in a row as the largest U.S. contractor by Engineering News-Record, intends to deploy the Rhumbix solution on select projects immediately following completion of development and testing.
Bechtel’s participation is funded through the company’s newly launched Future Fund initiative and was sourced -- and will be managed through -- the Innovation Office, Lewis said.