The right connection is needed for Ardmac to complete their projects on time and on budget.
Ardmac is at the forefront of digitalisation within the construction industry. “As a business, we’re digital first”, explains Chris Fitzpatrick, Ardmac’s Head of Technology and Innovation.
As a result, Ardmac’s project engineers and contractors need pervasive high bandwidth on project sites and in project offices. The internet underpins many things for the company, a common example is using a QR code system on partition walls that links to our SAAS collaboration platform and provides information about the room to our project teams.
Fast and reliable internet is also integral to Ardmac’s goal of delivering an entirely paperless jobsite. The building information management system, which allows employees and contractors to download critical project and building information files, needs to be fast, reliable, and always on.
At the same time the company is working in rugged, remote, and sometimes hard to reach places. “When we’re on these sites, there could be no services or provisions in place in terms of internet, and cabling,” says Chris, referring to the services in place to begin with.
Without a good connection, productivity is lost.
Working at pace is also important to allow Ardmac to get in, do their work, and get out as quickly and efficiently as possible. “What we needed was a partner”, says Chris. “One that was responsive to us, really agile, and able to move as quickly as we need to move.”
Fast 5G broadband is the answer for Ardmac because it’s easy to deploy, secure, and offers high bandwidth with low latency. “We’ll take it anywhere we can get it,” says Chris. “We can put lots of new and existing technologies into sites with 5G and we know they’ll work.”
“The strength and the speed of the network is also really important to us,” says Chris.
“Having a range of devices and solutions that provide 5G is the key,” explains Jean Francois Michel, Account Director at Three.
Fixed wireless access (FWA) is one way of getting 5G in hard-to-reach areas. Chris explains that this comes with other benefits too, “it means that we have the stability of a wired network without digging up roads.”
FWA is perfect for builds where Ardmac have lots of people and needs on site. At the other end of the scale, Three can also provide mobile broadband solutions for individuals or smaller teams working on the go.
“We need to find a way to work together to make 5G available to every site,” says Jean Francois.
This two-way approach to finding solutions works for Ardmac. “We set very high expectations for service delivery with Three at the start of our project” says Chris. It gave Ardmac and Chris confidence when Three hit, and exceeded, those expectations.
Ardmac also work internationally and Three help there too, leveraging Three group connections around the globe. Jean Francois and Chris recently collaborated with colleagues in Three Denmark on a recent Scandinavian project.
Reflecting on the value proposition offered by Three, Chris says, “we believe it’s competitive. More important to us is having a good relationship and a good service.”
Working smart is a key driver at Ardmac and digitalisation will continue to drive innovation on sites.
Ardmac are also trialling a project where a camera on site that uses AI and machine learning can detect if people aren’t wearing their PPE.
“5G will underpin all that connectivity” says Chris. It also allows him to try new things every day. “We can go to a site now with 5G in a box and we can try something with a 3D camera, a new innovation, or a new idea,” says Chris. “It opens up all sorts of possibilities.”
Whatever direction Ardmac take, 5G will be at the heart of their digital transformation. The possibilities appear to be limitless, meaning an exciting future lies ahead for whatever Chris and the team build at Ardmac.