Yechte Consulting, along with The Building Centre, launches a new exclusive Social Media platform for professionals working in the construction industry. The platform bridges the online and offline communities.
Universities in the UK on the whole do a good job in providing a education that achieves a balance between practicality and theory. The level of conceptual thinking is high and there is a healthy acceptance of an ³edgy² and free-thinking approach.
A well-known modern philosopher, possibly Jarvis Cocker, commented that groundbreaking art and the breeding ground from whence it came were a byproduct of a maladjusted but free society. It’s this culture of an open-minded but technically sound academia that has brought thousands of talented foreign students to the UK. We give them a great education, they become excellent at the skills our society needs. And now we are increasingly allowing them to disappear, to the detriment of our social and economic future.
An architect friend has just finished her part III at one of the top (possibly the top) schools in the country. She is equipped with a range of critical thinking and creative skills that would be an asset to an employer in the UK. However, under new immigration rules, in order to stay she now has to earn a minimum of £35,000 per year, a sum that has risen by a huge amount recently and a big number for a new employee. Not many practices are willing to make that commitment and hence against her wishes she may have to return home her home country’s gain, the UK’s loss.
If the same rules had been applied several decades ago would young talents such as Zaha Hadid and Rem Koolhaas have felt encouraged to join the AA and apply the skills they had learnt? As @Rodrigo_Medina commented on Twitter, it’s sad to see that even in the most developed countries the measurement of value of someone’s worth is so retrograde.
I’m writing this on a plane to Copenhagen, which makes the situation even more relevant for me. We are in the midst of a lingering recession and work in the UK is harder to come by. Luckily though, the world is becoming smaller, our building professionals are well regarded abroad and at present UK-PLC performs well. Where we sometimes fall down though is a lack of understanding of the nuances of working in foreign markets.
By embracing people from outside of the UK and tapping into their skills we can improve our chances in this respect. We can’t be insular in trying to protect our economic interests and we are in danger of missing out on people with fantastically diverse skills.
- UK to reintroduce computer science teaching in schools (geek.com)
- IT brain drain 'could harm business insurance holders' (premierlinedirect.co.uk)
Source: BDonline Blog
This are excerpts taken from our encounter with Mr. Paul Wilkinson (pwcom 2.0) at the RIBA HQ in London.
At the outset, we would like to thank Paul for his time and deep understanding on the technological front, supporting the growth of IT structures across the wider built environment.
Yechte Consulting: managing offshore design costs
Earlier this week at the RIBA in London I had coffee with Ben Tellin, a trained architect and managing director of Yechte Consulting. His company, with bases in London and Bangalore, India, provides off-shore outsourcing services to architects and engineers (often adding an international dimension to the network of people already collaborating on a UK design project, for example), but I learned that Yechte had also developed some project management software to help its customers manage their project assignments (which links back to my recent look at practice management solution providers: Union Square acquires Archetype).
Globalisation and recession
Ben explained that it was often difficult to persuade small UK design firms - his target market - that they might outsource CAD, BIM or 3D visualisation work to another company, particularly if they had traditionally always managed these tasks in-house and in the UK. We talked for a while about individual mindsets, about company cultures, and about industry structures that stopped people collaborating - particularly where that collaboration required communication with workers established in another time-zone, and involved use of ICT tools. I have often stressed that successful online collaboration is 80% people and processes and only 20% technology, and Ben agreed that the main challenge was to get people to recognise some new industry realities, not to focus on the communication issues:
- "Globalisation is changing how we do things and too many SMEs don't think about the opportunities this brings...."
- "It's not about 'taking our work away from us'." Ben explained that customers often simply wanted additional resource available on tap to produce a specified set of deliverables.
- In a particularly cost-conscious marketplace, being able to outsource quality work quickly and at a competitive price can help firms win projects they might otherwise have lost.
- "You can still retain control and involvement". Ben explained how his Bangalore team will often work UK hours so that their working days coincide with the customer's, and how Yechte's project management platform (a bespoke development based on an open-source application) allowed customers to see exactly what had been delivered, how much time had been used to create it, what budget remained, etc.
Managing outsourced work
After a quick look at the project management application (functionality includes document sharing, email, calendar, contacts, tasks, invoicing and reporting tools), I concluded it wasn't competing with the sophisticated Software-as-a-Service construction collaboration technologies that are often used today by project teams. However, I did wonder if Yechte's project control tools might be capable of integration into the dashboard of existing platforms so that design companies could manage their design processes and costs within the same system they used to collaborate with the rest of a project team. And given Bangalore's reputation as a hub of software expertise, it is likely Yechte could quickly develop the necessary tools (Ben is also very interested in the potential of AEC applications for mobile devices, too).
Yechte's website incorporates a blog, and has links to the company's presences on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Groupspaces and DocStoc, plus online telephony or chat services Skype and Google Talk. These were important, Ben said, as, among other things, they provided low-cost means for customers to talk direct to colleagues at Yechte and to establish and maintain better interpersonal relationships despite the geographical distances involved.
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Yechte Consulting Links
- YC Docstoc
- YC Facebook
- YC Groupspaces
- YC LinkedIn
- YC Project Management
- YC Twitter
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