DAD is a values driven company. We are deeply passionate about building great software that makes the lives of architects, engineers and contractors better. If we can do that, then they will design and build better buildings for their clients and the world will be better for it. Here are our guiding principals.
We live in a world where we’re increasingly overloaded with information. Our ability to succeed in our life’s work is now reliant on our ability to filter information so we can focus on what’s important.
In construction and engineering, projects generate huge numbers of documents that are constantly evolving. To interact with these massive data sets documents must be imbedded with descriptive “metadata” tags that tell people and computers what the content is about. However, the manual methods of managing this metadata, that dominate the industry do not scale effectively and result in poor data integrity.
Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS) and collaboration platforms are widely used to help organise, share and search project information. However these systems cannot compensate for underlying (meta)data integrity deficiencies of the documents uploaded. In other words, it doesn’t matter how good the EDMS is, there’s no escaping the “garbage in, garbage out” principal.
We are passionately interested in the growing need for smarter and more automated methods of creating reliable metadata. Our mission is to provide to the creators of design information, smart tools that free them from the burden of data administration and allow them to focus what they’re good at. Design.
DAD is a values driven company, and a key component of that is our belief that maximising owner value is of central importance. On projects, the design team’s time is a precious and finite resource and must be used wisely. At DAD, we were frustrated with lack of tools available to help design teams document their designs efficiently. Far too much time and value is lost to the inefficiencies of how CAD/BIM information is converted into drawings.
“Muda” is the Japanese word for waste, and is a key concept of the Toyota Production System (TPS) which radically changed the way cars are made today. The TPS was the foundation for what is now known as “Lean”. At its core, Lean is about identification and elimination of waste from production processes. A key step is the identification of which activities add value (actual work) and which do not (waste).
Time and motion studies of the design process on construction and engineering projects highlight several obvious areas of waste. The manual administrative activities associated with drawing co-ordination and production is a classic example of activities that “need to be done” but add no value. Typically 20% of a design team’s time is lost to this repetitive manual administrative work. These activities detract the team’s time and energy away from “real work” or value-adding work which results in reduced value to the owner.
In the creation of DAD, the company’s founders were driven by a frustration of this industry-wide waste, leading to our burning desire to create intelligent software that automates these “needs to be done but adds no value” activities.
Frustratingly, technology has been slow to penetrate the construction industry. 20% of design time and resource is spent on manual administration such as manipulating spreadsheets in Excel, updating drawing title-blocks and basic data manipulation.
However, increasingly, machines do well defined rote work better than people, but machines do not design buildings or articulate ideas better than people.
In 1960, J.C.R. Licklider articulated the idea that, “Man-computer symbiosis is an expected development in cooperative interaction between men and electronic computers. . . . Computing machines will do the routinizable work that must be done to prepare the way for insights and decisions in technical and scientific thinking. . . . The symbiotic partnership will perform intellectual operations much more effectively than man alone can perform them”
This idea of human-machine symbiosis remains central to the the software we design at DAD. We are on a mission to free teams from the burden of data administration and spend more time enhancing the design.