Originally published on SunStar Davao.
The construction industry is among the country’s booming industries and major economic drivers. Yet, not much has been said about one reality – most contractors have lost a lot of money in their construction projects.
Eve-on-Top, a Tagum City-based startup, was inspired to look deep into this problem of profit losses in construction projects and created a solution – AIMHI, a profit management platform powered by artificial intelligence (AI).
“The construction and infrastructure industries have seen only a one percent increase in productivity in the past 20 years. Profit margins of contractors continued to drop and might potentially endanger the construction workers’ jobs,” AIMHI Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Cherryanne Lee Angoy said.
She inferred that among the biggest challenges for contractors are finishing projects according to the technical specifications and on time while still hitting the desired profit margin. This has become more difficult due to manpower volatility, unpredictable weather conditions, supply and material shortage, machinery breakdown, reactive cost management during the construction period, poor manpower productivity, and material inventory management, making construction decision management more complex.
She said AIMHI is profit management software that aims to solve these long-standing problems in construction projects which cause delays in project completion, over budgeting, and falling below the profit margin. By tackling these problems with AIMHI, contractors are expected to gain a five to 10 percent increase in profit.
AIMHI is designed to proactively inform stakeholders about soaring costs and probable liabilities, allowing them to bring down the risks, predict target profit accurately at the earlier stages of the project and provide them the insights required to make better decisions and complete projects profitably.
Another contributing factor to these problems is the industry’s slow innovation adoption compared to other industries. Most subcontractors and contractors still rely on spreadsheets to manage their construction projects. Even though AI can potentially increase the construction industry’s profit by 71 percent by 2035, according to Accenture, it is still the least digitized industry.
“There have been a lot of innovations for the construction industry, but they focused more on design and planning. There is not much technology developed for the construction implementation stage,” Angoy said.
AIMHI Co-Founder Monica Llamas-Turrecha revealed that AIMHI uses AI technology to go beyond just encoding data or scheduling tasks. The AI analyzes real-time and historical data in the construction life cycle to learn project inefficiencies, manpower productivity footprint, and overall cost behavior. Its excellent cost management feature will ensure that every construction project is accomplished without delay and not over budget.
She said users could also upload project estimates, track actual spending versus budget, track manpower and equipment allocation, project schedule, proactive suggested tasks, and overall dashboard for a progress report, timeline, overall budget, and project ranking.
Aside from that, the platform is easy to use and provides clear information because it uses construction management principles and reliable workflows.
Tagumenya innovator Angoy owns a construction firm and has 16 years of experience in the US tech industry. Turrecha, on the other hand, is a Dabawenya with more than five years of experience in Artificial Intelligence (AI) Design and more than ten years of experience in Australia’s information technology (IT) industry. Both women shared a passion for innovation, IT, and construction management, leading them to create AIMHI.
With her extensive knowledge and exposure to AI development, system analysis & design, digital architecture, and UX, Turrecha served as the chief technical officer of Eve-on-Top and was responsible for the capabilities of AIMHI in realizing Angoy’s vision.
Along with Angoy and Turrecha’s journey, they realized the importance of Intellectual Property (IP) and were blessed enough to have been joined by Atty. Ma. Janice Tejano as part of its Board of Directors. Atty. Tejano was born and raised in Davao Region. She is an IP attorney and AIMHI’s Data Privacy Officer who shares the same passion as the two other women for nurturing and coaching young teams to reach their potential in the startup industry.
These women’s passion for innovation led them to a realization that there is a huge opportunity to bring AI into the construction industry and, at the same time, a big opportunity to empower the wives of the marginalized construction workers.
With AIMHI, Eve on Top eyes to be the first local company to introduce AI and tech innovation in the construction industry in Mindanao and the Philippines.
AIMHI is supported and incubated under the Innovative Startup Knowledge Optimizer (ISKO) Program of UPGRADE, the technology business incubator (TBI) of the University of the Philippines (UP).