Big-D uses robots to improve COVID-19 mitigation by over 600%
Updated: Nov 6
At Procore’s Groundbreak last week, Nichole Carter shared how BIG-D’s little robot helpers improved compliance with COVID-19 mitigation processes. In order to keep workers healthy during these uncertain times, mitigating the risk of COVID-19 is a critical responsibility and a major challenge for construction companies, which often must coordinate dozens or even hundreds of workers at a single job site. Big-D Construction was an early adopter of company-wide safety measures, including requiring that staff and trade partners use personal protective equipment when on site. To further limit the virus’s spread, Big-D implemented daily wellness checks for its trade partners. Superintendents needed to complete these checks through daily face-to-face interactions with their trade partners. This responsibility was an additional burden on superintendents, but more importantly, it was also an increased health risk during a pandemic. Big-D needed a new solution.
A smarter solution
“We’ve seen over a 600% increase in capture of daily wellness checks and jobsite cleanliness checks.”
The right solution required addressing not only the health risks but also the practical side of implementation. While these checks could be handled within Procore, most trade partners did not want to use another app. They could, however, easily answer text messages, and Nyfty’s platform was designed to make these kinds of tasks simple—no additional software, no learning curve, just responding to texts.
Now with Nyfty’s Health Survey Bot, Big-D has quadrupled its response rate. Every morning, the Health Survey Bot texts Big-D’s trade partners a link to some simple questions to verify whether their crews are healthy, aware of COVID-19 policies and procedures, and able to complete their work onsite while maintaining the CDC-recommended social-distancing requirements. The information collected through Nyfty has helped simplify scheduling, site logistics, and—if necessary—contact tracing by automatically analyzing individual responses, notifying workers about their site access, alerting the superintendent of any issues, saving the inspection in Procore, and creating a summary of the results. Nichole Carter, implementation and adoption manager at Big-D, says, “Nyfty.ai is automatically sourcing hundreds of COVID-19 daily wellness checks from our trade partners via text message and embedding the results into our Procore's inspection tool without creating additional tasks to be completed by our onsite staff. We want to keep our projects on schedule and under budget, but mainly, we want to make sure that they are safe. Nytfy.ai helps us do that.”
Finding new ways to save time
“We’re also seeing a ‘what else can it do’ mentality.”
The daily wellness check is key, but Nyfty Bots can automate other critical but mundane tasks too. In particular, Nyfty Bots use texts to remind trade partners about the daily jobsite cleanliness checklist inspection template and the weekly SWPPP inspection template that is due every Friday. The bot automatically records everything in Procore’s inspection tool and daily logs. Management can save time by eliminating the need to remind workers about completing a task. Since the bot operates autonomously, it is like an extra worker—a skilled, persuasive worker who knows Procore.
At Big-D, Nyfty Bots conduct hundreds of daily health checks, saving the company nearly fifty hours every week. But the benefits go beyond the obvious time savings. “We continue to meet with Matt [Edwards, cofounder of Nyfty.ai] weekly about additional developments that we want to deploy,” Nichole Carter says. “Time capture, trade partners’ gaining access to our Procore platform or anonymous hazard reporting, and other AI functionality—their flexibility and willingness to assist us with building these new tools—are why I am so excited about our use of Nyfty.ai.”
Because Nyfty Bots reduce unnecessary face-to-face interactions, they help reduce the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak while also reminding trade partners to continue responding seriously to the pandemic. And in the midst of a global health crisis that is disrupting the construction industry, Nyfty helps improve productivity by letting workers gain access to job sites more quickly. Riley Robinson, HSE administrative assistant at Big-D, calls Nyfty’s bots “robot helpers . . . . They help to do, and they help to remind. It's a great tool in a world where there’s so much to do in so little time.”
See Nichole and other experts discuss 2020’s safety challenges in the Groundbreak 2020 virtual session:
“Apps, Automation, and Analytics: Technology's Answers to 2020's Safety Challenges”