Simon shares insights into how their product differs from others in the market, how they see their technology evolving at Forsite and in the industry as well as their recent launch into the UK market!
You produce a piece of contractor management software called Forsite. Can you tell us more about what your app involves – specifically, what problem are you trying to solve?
The contractor and property manager relationship has long been filled with ambiguity, specifically surrounding the process of Health & Safety. Property managers have no way of knowing if their contractors are compliant and safe on-site, which can naturally cause a strain in the relationship. When figuring out a solution to the problem, we quickly realised that we needed to develop a system of exception reporting. For property managers, this means knowing exactly which contractors are following due process.
Through Forsite’s app, property managers can know: 1) every contractor who arrives at their site, even when they are not there; 2) that every contractor who arrives on site has done appropriate induction around health and safety requirements, and 3) how long those contractors are present on-site so they know how much of a bill to expect.
With this knowledge, property managers can easily get to know which of their contractors is most effective, efficient and productive, and therefor plan for a better future. This, in turn, helps their operations become safer, with greater compliance and efficiency from contractors.
With exception reporting in place, the property manager can focus their efforts on those not following required Health & Safety process. If I have 90% compliant contractors, I may theoretically reduce my time and effort of monitoring my contractors by as much as 90%. The typical property manager doesn’t have a lot of spare time, so other important activities that previously could not be prioritised, now can be.
How does Forsite differ from other solutions out in the market?
Our app provides several key features not available in other products, the key benefit being automated proof of presence which creates completeness of records.
Competitive solutions are ‘Opt-In’ or ‘Human Dependent’, which leave their systems without 100% completed records. Furthermore, the proportion of missing records is unknown. The Forsite solution identities a registered user arriving and departing without any dependency on that user. Thanks to this technology we can provide our users with the opportunity to establish complete records, along with access to this invaluable data when making future decisions.
Within the system, we also provide many great features like lone worker protection, up-to-date hazard data, and evacuation alerting. These are just some of the tools available to both contractors and property managers to make property maintenance as safe and easy as possible.
Forsite has recently launched in the UK. Can you give us an insight into the partnerships involved?
We are partnering with several other progressive software providers to ensure that Forsite’s solution continues to be a best-in-class product. We are also pleased to be working with property industry bodies such as the UK PropTech Association, as these groups will be instrumental in driving adoption of PropTech across the industry. We are also working with a number of public and private bodies such as London & Partners to build awareness of our product across a broader range of industries. Within the property industry, we are focusing our efforts on engaging the more progressive property companies that can see the advantages of technology for managing people and their business.
How do you expect tech to evolve in your company?
As developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to evolve, we will be looking at ways that advances in such technologies can be utilised by Forsite for predicting outcomes and furthering ease of use.
Some of the future possibilities that excite us currently are, connecting contractors with buildings and facility management systems in real time, or predicting maintenance schedules in advance. Our more immediate plans consist of working on creating an open API so that we can be integrated with other property management tech solutions. These are just some of the many interesting ideas that have come to light recently and, like any PropTech company, we are eager to find new technologies to further improve our product.
As we look toward the future, we will stick to the central development goal of helping all those involved in managing or maintaining property to do it safer and easier.
Lastly, where do you see the industry going in the next 2-5 years?
Over the next two to five years we expect to see the property sector significantly accelerate its adoption of new technologies. The view that ‘data is the new oil’, is just as applicable to the property sector as it is to the wider marketplace, so we’ll no doubt see the application of big data becoming more widespread in our industry. We also expect to see the amalgamation of several key service providers as the challenges of competition bring themselves to bear on the market.
In terms of service quality, there will be an increased demand for cloud solutions to provide the industry with more seamless, 24/7 support to cater to the needs of a mobile world. Greater industry investment in technologies like these is clearly going to have a major impact, to the extent that investment funds that once focused solely on property may add property technology to their portfolios. All these aspects can be summed up in one word: change – so the property industry needs to prepare for that change.
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