EDIN co-founds OpenBuilt to transform productivity

OpenBuilt aims to accelerate digital transformation and provide a new way forward for a safer, more sustainable and productive built environment

Current OpenBuilt Partners & Investors

The need for the industry to come together

EDIN is a global network of merchants, manufacturers and service providers that helps its members find new customers, reduce customer acquisition costs and exploit future trends through events, workshops and a technology incubator. Since its inception in 2016, the Edin network has rapidly grown to become one of the largest alliances to discuss trends and stimulate transformation in the construction industry, representing members with a combined turnover of €23bn.

OpenBuilt is a connectivity platform that allows all actors across the built environment supply chain to exchange data and services via a secure integration layer. It provides low code development tools to enable businesses to automate their existing processes and this helps to streamline delivery, develop new business models and maximise the value of built assets without the need for complex, bespoke software development. OpenBuilt is also creating applications to enable manufacturers to manage their technical product data in line with industry standards and share this information with the industry via open connectors.

The innovative structure of OpenBuilt combines the industry expertise of a consortium of industry partners and the tech expertise of IBM, Cobuilder and Red Hat who are leading the creation of the platform , with the agility of a startup. As one of the industry partners we are delighted to have collaborated with Backe, Cemex, Element and Sol Services on this exciting new platform which will transform how businesses in the built environment digitalise.

The principles of OpenBuilt strongly align with the consensus of the countless discussions that we held with our members and various other stakeholders from across the supply chain: There is an urgent need for the industry to come together to digitalise the supply chain effectively and it needs a practical, holistic approach and a business model that incentivizes collaboration.

The building industry faces a major digital challenge

Fueled by digitalisation, most sectors show substantial productivity and efficiency growth. However, the construction industry only grew a mere one per cent per year over the last decade, and according to McKinsey up to 98 per cent of construction projects incur cost overruns or delay. An outsourcing model predominates in the industry with fragmentation and siloed solutions lying at the root of inefficient and flawed communication and working practices across the supply chain. This, in turn, leads to rocketing project costs, stagnation of productivity, dissatisfied customers and a generally unsafe and unsustainable built environment.

Edin has been addressing these issues by providing an exchange hub to discuss the required steps in order to accelerate the construction industry’s digital transformation. In 2019, we organised the first “Build” conference in Dublin. Together with IBM and Cobuilder, Edin is also one of the first-hour members of the ‘Digital Supply Chain in Built Environment’ (DSCiBE) workgroup. The group brings together 50 market-leading stakeholders involved in the supply chain of the Built Environment to develop processes for the digital exchange of all kinds of data and information based on existing global standards.

Why we got involved

In Mid-2020, IBM reached out to the founders of Edin to co-create an open connectivity platform that would be owned by industry stakeholders. We saw that the idea behind OpenBuilt would address many of our members’ pain points and that it had the potential to add massive value to the industry as a whole. On the one hand, we saw that the flexibility, agility and security offered by Red Hat OpenShift on IBM Cloud would provide the technology foundations to scale and support the platform whilst complying with data protection regulations and our own stringent security requirements. On the other hand, we saw that Cobuilder’s state-of-the-art technology for developing trusted, agreed, standard-based Data Templates as the foundation for data structuring within OpenBuilt would provide a common technological language and interoperability, needed for setting up connected, digital supply chains.

Therefore, joining OpenBuilt as a founding partner was an easy decision for us to take.

How it will help our members

Edin represents merchants’ interests in OpenBuilt and our members play a crucial part in the construction market. Nearly all construction projects involve merchants, which typically account for 60% of project turnover. For the technical, commercial and logistical support of their customers’ construction projects, our merchants are constantly accessing, processing and exchanging data from fragmented, siloed pools. Currently, it is almost impossible to efficiently manage this flood of information.

We are convinced that OpenBuilt will drive interoperability, facilitate data exchange and enable businesses to automate their processes without the need for complex and bespoke software development. This will unleash a wave of innovation in the industry, enabling new business models and transforming productivity. It will help our members gain control of their data, monetise their data and engage customers in new ways. We are incredibly excited about the future and our central role in shaping it. We will be there for our members, providing help and guidance throughout the forthcoming era of transformation.

How you can get involved

We are actively involving our network to develop and grow the Openbuilt platform. Merchants, manufacturers and other construction stakeholders will be able to join our workshops and events to become a part of the ecosystem. Our members’ interests are at the centre of all our considerations. This in turn means that, as an Edin member, your business is taking an active role in guiding the development at every stage of the project and you will be continuously updated on the progress of OpenBuilt.

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