Podcast: Dimi Farmakis sits down with the 4D Construction Group

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Chris Needham and Thomas Lindner talked with Dimi Farmakis of ALICE Technologies about his personal journey to ALICE, the connotations of Alice with 'that song' and Alice in Wonderland, the modern day needs of Project Planning in Construction, how their platform is developing around those needs and the importance of harnessing the collective experiences of teams to get the best out of it.

Listen to the Podcast


If you'd rather read, here's an auto-generated transcript (not highly accurate):

"Hi guys, Chris Needham here from the 4D construction group. And welcome to this latest episode of the 4D plus podcast. In this episode, myself and Thomas Lindner talked with Dimi Farmakis, from ALICE technologies. Now I know what you thinking: ALICE who the bleep is ALICE let's dive in and find out

you must be. You must be Greek. If you can get your way. Although though, I can not tell you how many times people tell me, are you Russian here in the U S like I guess the, I guess the, my first name, like frozen Dimitri soon. Okay. Yeah. Let's, let's get into it then. Okay. So yeah. Welcome to another 4D construction group podcast.

And with us today, we have Dimi Farmakis, from ALICE and Thomas Linda from the 14 construction group. And Thomas, do you want to give yourself a bit of an intro? I think this is the first time you've been on the podcast. Yeah. Hello. Hello everybody. Thanks for having me introducing myself earlier, I was thinking of and probably more of a generalist when it comes to information management and my main job I would describe as teaching a dinosaur in the construction industry, how to dance the tango.

So, so currently I work for a small. A tech company called nitty-gritty and we, we help engineers and designers how to use their computers properly. That's a, it's a very simple way of describing it. So for the, for the construction group, I've sort of two roles, the one is organizational development.

So it's really structuring Why do we exist? What are our objectives by when do we want to achieve them? You know, just crystallizing all the conversations which are happening between the subject matter experts and giving it some focus. And the other one is helping with information management behind the scenes that we're all working on the same page.

And we work collaboratively as a group. Yeah. So that's what, that's the way I'm trying to help this wonderful initiative, which has been going from strength to strength. Yeah, indeed. Yeah. It's a very, very valuable input. So Dimi from ALICE technologies. Do you want to give a bit of an intro to yourself, your background and how you've come to work for ALICE?

Yeah, absolutely. So first off, thank you very much for having me on giving us the opportunity to exchange notes and opinions on what can be done to further improve the construction industry. So my name is Dimi for short, my full name is Dimitrius. I'm Greek, not Russian, just, you know, in case some people are wondering, especially here in the U S my, my background is is a big diverse, I would say.

I started with business administration. Then I did a master's in operations research and optimization in England at university of Warrick. Then I did spend some time doing some operations management in the Netherlands for a big pharmaceutical company. And then I decided there is a, there's some fluff in, in business.

Let's go do something more applied. So I made it studying civil engineering at Stanford in year 2010. So that really was, you know, the, the stepping stone, if I may say. About the outburst stuff, you know, my, my interests over the last, like 10 years the center of which has been building information modeling.

So as soon as I got introduced to the world of BIM, you know, these 3d intelligent models and Given the fact that I love design I must've been, or I probably wanted to be an architect in my previous life, but I really love design and yeah, beam was like the first, I guess, from the AAC perspective and technology was the first thing that's sort of like, God and draw my attention.

I, I did my Stanford journey. It was great. I founded, I got the chance to found an establish my own class about it had to do with applying integrative design for prices relief projects, which was really fun. And after Stanford, I, I went back to Greece and I started my own company. Offering BIM services back in year 2012, when BIM was literally an unknown word in Southern Europe.

I know Swedish knew it like earlier than probably everyone else, but yeah, in Southern Europe, like I still remember back then, like I was going around talking about BIM and people were like, wait, what? I'm like. Yeah. Yeah. 3d models with information and analysis and simulation engines. Anyway. And at the same time I started working with ALICE.

So I kind of went like initially really I was, you know, having one foot in ALICE and one foot, you know, in the, in the BIM like world. This is a guest wire where my trajectory with ALICE sort of begins ALICE is based on on a lot of PhD research, as you probably know. And our CEO and founder, Renee Marcos, like basically kick this off around the end of his PhD along with, you know myself and another software engineer.

You need to have those the my trajectory with a company, very high level The the first, like three years or so, you know, like everyone's doing everything like in every other startup, you know, I was better testing the software. I was a super user. I was coming up with features. I prototype the first version of alleys.

Then I was heading customer success for a couple of years, which gave me the amazing opportunity to create and build empathy with our customers. And You know, the construction industry and really experience and feel, you know, the pains adopting a new solution, adopting a new technology you know, learning a new method and so on and so forth.

And yeah, for the past couple of years, I know there's a lot to be said about that, but especially over the past couple of years I been leading the product. So My focus right now is deciding where to take this because as we briefly touched on in our earliest dialogue, there's so many things that can be done and there's so much room for improvement in that construction, right?

Yeah. Oh yeah, yeah. And yeah, like fortunately there's more, there's quite a few people out there yourself included who are trying to push the boundaries forward. Indeed. So you've had an interesting route to get you to where you are today. What is it that the ALICE is doing differently compared to traditional methods of, of planning say many things, but I would say it's, it's a different system.

So we what is the best way to start here? So the traditional CPM or critical path method you know, handles a set of limitations or constraints that relates to product management Atlas as a system, and also as a methodology handles a superset of those constraints, basically in ALICE. Yeah.

It's to very transparently. Leverage and at the loss of a better phrase, play around with all those different types of constraints that go in going into making a project management decision, because at the end of the day, it's what everything comes down to. Right. Decision-making and all these tools, technologies, methods, and approaches.

You know, at least in my mind, aim to arm the professionals with the information, the process and the metrics or the tools to make the best decisions possible. I think given time I'm not too surprised that Chris would jump right in the deep end. And I just want to get straight, straight, straight to the detail while I know of the tendencies that any products which can come out of academic research.

They, they, they often have very complicated title and then they give it a very nice little acronym, something like ALICE, but then some, sometimes ALICE actually means something. So, so I just wanted to go back to the origin of the name of ALICE, whether. I have a hunch that this might be a very complicated an acronym for something which sounds extremely complicated to imprints a professor.

So maybe you can help me out and just explain what ALICE actually stands for. It doesn't stand for anything. Allison's a lady. No, I'm joking. ALICE ALICE stands for artificial artificial, a L. Intelligence construction engineering. I knew it. So that's good to know. So it has see if shoo shoo shoo horns El in there to make it Ellis.

And I also can't stop thinking about that song either. It's dif difficult to not think about that song whenever I hear it. The apart from the song, the other association was ALICE in Wonderland. And so when, when your colleague explained us the product product, we, we, we, we were joking about the Wonderland of the kind of different approach to, to BIM fully cloud, you know, in the cloud, you know, this is where ALICE is at home.

I don't know these are, these are certain associations, which we conjured up. But I think that yeah, so, so I wondered, so apart from. The academic research obviously starts with a research question. And I was just curious what kind of right at the beginning, what, what was the problem you were, what you had observed and, and where, where did it all start?

Where did it all start? It all started with a simple observation that the construction site was not utilized efficiently. Mainly there was a, there was work. Okay. Airing sporadically at various locations of the construction site, which basically spiked the idea that we can actually, there is room.

There is actual room to schedule concurrent operations and achieve faster and possibly cheaper schedules. This is when it all started. So back then, Obviously, you know, there's, there was no software, it was, ALICE was a huge spreadsheet of input. And I used to write some Java code to like run the algorithm and stuff like that.

And it would just spit out raw input. But where it all started was with space and the spatial constraints. And I'm going to use this as a bit of a segue to I guess, answer. To the first question that that crease asked me about the, the super set of constraints that ALICE handles. So in traditional CPM There's all me essentially, you handle everything with precedents, right?

And however, these precedents arrows can mean a lot of things. Right. And those things reside in the schedulers head. Right? Whether they draw that arrow or they draw that constraint, or they place that limitation because of there we're thinking about resources or they were thinking about. Site density or they were thinking about like material delivery.

No one really knows. Right. And it gets extremely difficult to uncover all these layers with the, I guess, conventional tools and methods that are out there and That's why, or at least this is amazing. This is a big reason why, you know, you, people tend to fight a lot in construction right now. We need to do it this way.

No, I've been pouring concrete for 20 years. We should do it this way. And so on and so forth in ALICE, not only you you're dealing with more constraints, but it's also. Very very transparent because all these constraints that go into a construction projects are called defied and essentially are translated into a modeling language.

This opens the door for many, many things. I'm not even going to the ability to explore a multitude of solutions, but even for the planning, like. It makes everything so transparent. It allows for value engineering, a lot easier because everyone is speaking the same language and everyone is referring to the same thing.

And all of these are essentially enabled by. The aspect of integration as I'd like to call it because like everyone knows nowadays, you know, they we've been talking about integration in construction, right? Scope, cost, and schedule for many, many years. And this is where a lot of problems in the conventional decision-making methods and tools today is where, where it stems from.

Right? Because traditionally, today you have something, you have a design you want to build and Then the, you do your estimate and then you do your, your schedule. So all the three aspects are relatively siloed. And different companies do it differently. Right? I've been, this is a question I'd like to ask our customers, you know, our prospects, you know, just, just to see, and out of curiosity, what is driving your, your your plan?

Is it the schedule or is it the estimate? And everyone is, everyone is giving you a slightly different answer. So with ALICE, you're putting these three aspects altogether and that unravels, you know, the, the information, clarity and transparency, as well as the constraints, transparency about what you're dealing with and what you can leverage.

Yeah. So you're getting that understanding of, of the scope of the project and everyone being able to see that, and not just in terms of the design, but in terms of, you know, the, what you actually need to build it. The underlying aspects. Yes. And not only, so your your comment is correct. You get to align everyone on the scope, but secondly, you get to subsequently, you get to align everyone on the underlying assumptions for building that scope the underlying limitations and also.

Potential bottlenecks, because let us not forget that when you're, when you're planning, you know, either when you're in the bidding phase and you're preparing a proposal or you're then during, pre-construction try to like make that proposal in the turn, that proposal into a tangible, let's say reality, hopefully.

You're essentially estimating. So when you're estimating, there is a, there's a, there's a lot of uncertainty, right? Because. When you break ground and reality kicks in, you know, things then for change that, to say the least so allowing for this information integration and these constraint, transparency and less resolution and a lot more other stuff, but at a high level, these two that feed into the algorithm to explore the multitude of solutions that can, that are out there.

Is is really what is, what is, you know, we have found that is driving, you know, people's decisions and people's, you know, interests in, you know, spending time on ALICE. No, it seems very interesting. Cause we're always talking about the dream of getting to model based planning you know, kind of doing it the other way.

Round model based planning model, you're referring to the 3d model or, you know, the generic notion of model. Like when your mom situation like a simulation, for example? Well, it's kind of both. It could be both typically. I think when you speak to anybody in construction or architecture about a model, the first thing which Springs to mind they talking about is the geometric model and a data model.

The data, a data model is. Very foreign for, for people's imagination in general. So I think it's always good to clarify these matters. But I agree the way I understand ALICE is that it in a way codifies and documents, the shared experience and, and expertise of people in an organization. And then it gives that.

So, so I think what you call recipes. It's basically saying, how do we do things at company X? And by writing these things down, you basically create a level of consensus about what might be our way of doing it, rather than that other company's way of doing it instead of a good way of describing it. It's a very interesting way of describing it.

And I ask for your permission to borrow some of your description because it was, it was really straightforward and simple. It's it's, it's all yours. It's all yours. That's that's the value I add is just try, trying to be playing stupid and say things simply. You might say simplicity goes through complexity.

So simplicity is, is definitely more difficult to achieve in my humble opinion to kind of build on your on your insightful comments though. You're absolutely correct. And I have to add that this codification or digitalization, right? Call it as you may. Not only helps standardizing the construction methods of each organization because the academic, the academic term for a recipe is construction method model.

Basically it's, it's a small model that. That represents your, the method of your building. Like and that method of building refers to a particular element type such as a column or such as a slab or a slab on grade or whatever it is. But on top of that, it allows on top of standardization, that whole approach allows companies to learn.

Not only within a project that they might be undertaking at the point in time, but also learn between projects because imagine this right, as an organization, you you use Alice or any other like system, which I don't think there's any other similar system right now in the world, but you document your construction methods and you apply them to your construction planning for project a.

Things change. You going to execution and the, your production rates are off. Your estimates are off. Like you keep measuring, analyzing, and adjusting, which ultimately leads to polishing the information and your construction methods. Well with with an, with a notion of the recipe, you can reuse them in your next project.

And as a result, your estimates are going to be inherently more accurate. So the first request from the 4D construction group, which I sort of partly represent is to ask, to be able to use that term. You just used method model. Not only am I a sucker for alliterations. So half of the model really works well, but it also, when we speak them out models, because of that throttle of construction professionals to think of geometry, I think the method model is a really great term to capture what we're talking about.

You know, obviously you call it in your product, you call it recipes, but A model, which captures methods of working is a really great term. Yeah. It's also good. Cause it goes back to what you said before, about how people always say, this is the way we've always done it. You know, we already know how to do this.

But there's no way of really measuring the success. You know, how well they really did. Pretty well, I think D the only company I can see in golf, which applies the same way of looking at the world in terms of capturing methods and then see whether they are successful. And if they're not successful require human inputs then to improve upon it is a test Tesla's autopilot system, which, you know, is camera based.

So it just looks what's going on. It doesn't create a. Total, total view of the world through lighter or similar, but it basically just says, when does the driver have to intervene? And so the question would be whether Alice already is feeding a neural network with its methods or whether that is not yet.

Okay. Not yet. Not yet. This is this is definitely part of our vision or. I let me humbly say my vision. I need, I need to align with Renee on this. But neural networks, they basically predictive predictive scheduling is, is where you know, is definitely a very, very charming and attractive like you know, place to go and take the product towards Which we were making the steps towards that direction, like now and next year by releasing our execution management module, which is going to allow you not only to plan and schedule, but also track progress and manage delays during execution.

Hopefully that is going to allow us to gather a lot more data about the projects with. Perhaps then we can use either to, you know, build up our analytics. So, you know, having advanced analytics you know, either at the portfolio level or for risk management and why not predictive scheduling.

Hmm. Next question. Arising from the last is really so, so rather than I think we can park the future for a little while because we're dealing still with the construction industry and certain character. And, and I think what, whenever there is talk of transparency, some people will like it and some people will hate it.

And pause because knowledge is power and power is not easily given up. But it all depends who has the budget in the end of the day and whether they are on your side or on, on the side who are holding the knowledge, because while you're doing your coding, finding methods, which people make a living off.

You know, from that experience. And now the question really would be, I, I just want to maybe spend some time exploring the people side of things and the digital transformation side, if that's okay with you, Chris. Just to see, yeah, this is one of the biggest things it's so-so w when I worked as a sort of pain in the backside of, of companies.

You say that in the past tense Thomas. Okay. It seems like, it seems like I, I managed to gain a reputation. It's really when. Well, when you talk about BIM to executives, they love the idea. As long as it doesn't apply to themselves. So so they say, oh yeah, we have a bin manager. Who's going to find the secret button in that software, which will make all our problems go away.

And then a few that actually not a few months later, it's tell them straight away that they need to learn SharePoint. Because this is their bin, you know, it's like their way of collaborative working, working on the same document at the same time. Yeah. That is basically the principles of BIM applied to their own world.

And if they can't pull that off, if they can't even pull that off, what are the chances that their engineers will fall? Because, you know, if you don't yes. And on the preach, then it's never going to happen. So, but it's okay. So maybe I should ask with which type of companies do you have the greatest success and what are the type of leaders you're dealing with who make best use of ballads as a platform and as an opportunity?

Very interesting question. So the companies we're dealing with are general contractors and owners Mainly from the infrastructure like segment the to illustrate that a bit more there are relatively larger companies And on this matter although Alice can definitely, you know, Alice has a product, you know, and as, as a method can definitely add value to smaller scale projects, it's a similar I, I make a lot of parallels with the beam adoption, right.

Especially in the last decade where BIM, you know, like the value was out there, but to your words, like then. Adopting it and, you know, expanding it as a solution. Like it's a whole different discussion. So similar to BIM the ALIS application instinctively and as a first step. Makes more sense for larger scale projects because, and larger scale organizations, because a simple one of, one simple reason, complexity, like the complexity, those companies deal with for those, you know, behemoth projects cannot be effectively, you know, handled, you know, by by, you know, a human.

And there are so many, there, there are so many incentives, you know, to. Not just expedite. It's not about shortening the duration ways. It's about control. I would say it's about control and managing risk. How, how well, how confident I am in my numbers, in my proposal the types of leaders usually are companies that have, I would say, strong digitization initiatives and Are looking one way or another to leverage, been further for their organization, because I have to say that although BIM has been here for decades it's, it's going very well, you know, for architects and design, but it, it, it still has some steps to be taken for proper application for construction.

So as there. On on that note, some of the greatest things about construction in my personal life is that it is just so wonderfully slow. So that means you can, you can easily take five years of a break. Call it a holiday. Call it, call it a hippie sabbatical. Yeah. Make a trip and then, and that's exactly what I did between 2008 and 2013.

And then you come back, you come back at the same desk with the same two monitors. Yeah. And you're still, you're still considered shit hot. Yeah. Because five years before you knew how to use Revvit. And, and so I think that it shouldn't be frowned upon. I think it's wonderful because you're not in some rat race, you know, like it's, it's, it's great that things are going so slowly and you can, you know, take your time, you know, nobody's in a rush.

Well, you know, it's, it's, it's hard to break the habits of a lifetime and this is what I think the digital, all these digital tools are up against. I mean, also. It's it's tough. Like, I, I totally agree with, with your comments, but, but it's tough. Like it's a, it's the habits B in my humble opinion is all those political at a loss of a better phrase, complexities that, you know you know, going to construction, you know, The delivery methods, the stakeholders like the permitting, the, the type of owner you're dealing with the discussions, you know, it's, it's all about this communication alignment, right?

That involves a lot of politics. And a lot of times it disincentivizes people it's, it goes back to the ownership of, of data and the methods that that was brought up. Right. It was, it was a similar thing with BIM, like who owns the data. Who can share it? You know, this is, this is the thing in an industry that's so there's been quite closed off to sharing information.

A lot of the time it's not so readily done because people, the way procurement set up, like he touched on Thomas, you know, people get a commercial advantage from holding things back. Like you said that, you know, that knowledge, knowledge is power and, and we've, we've talked about this a lot, you know, the way procurement is it's naturally adversarial, which doesn't, which kind of doesn't promote transparency a lot of the time.

So these are the things that I guess we're all up against, but that said even, even those people within those organizations, Could probably see benefit from tools like this, just for themselves to kind of better their, their commercial advantage. So, so that's what I think that's what people, maybe some people are slowly coming to realize.

And then we'll start to see the tide. I think that the I, in my dinosaur talk I'm talking a lot about the. Incentivizations for change and the ones which do work and the others, which certainly don't work. But I think there's a fourth one. I need to add, which is that of actual disruption and that disruption can happen through a real game changing technology.

You know, as we see it in in, in the personal transportation at the moment, but also what we've seen with the, the rise of the pandemic we're dealing with. So I had conversations with somebody who's a sort of a veteran in the digital transformation space. And he basically said what we had planned to happen in the law in the next five years suddenly happened in three weeks.

Yeah. And, and, and the worst of all is we can't even take any credit for it. It just so happened that this, you know, you're, you're, if you're just trying to persuade people of what's better. You know, if humans are a matter of animals of habit and unless they're being confronted with the idea of, you can either work from home.

Oh, you have no job at all. What do you want to do? Yeah. And there is a rumor that at fosters, if you didn't have good internet connection, you would be furloughed automatically because you were not able to work. I mean, that's a rumor. I don't know how much it's true, but the way they're run by the, imagine it it's like a dress code.

If you, if you don't show up to work in the right way. Then stay at home, don't turn up and then suddenly things are possible, which everybody is telling you. It's not possible. And that is another form of disruption now in the space. Now, suddenly everybody has to it creates electric vehicles.

Otherwise they will be oblit obliterated. And, and I think that's why a technology like Alice has to. If you get to a point where you truly disrupt, then there's another question. Whether they're like to come along, you know, you don't need to be this. I don't need to persuade anymore. You know, so it's going to happen.

And now, because we start to talking about juicy things. I have another question. I don't want to make too many statements. So one question would be. So, so when you started about risk and then suddenly you're in the space of liabilities. So I was curious to hear if you entrust the methods to an algorithm and machine and something goes wrong, then you have nobody to blame anymore.

So, whereas Alice sitting in this, what, what, what are your, what's your public liability insurance? You know, if you are interesting, Obviously, you could say the recipes are owned by the company. So it's their own methods. It's not the technology, right. So I think this is already, you'll get out of jail card, but I'm just curious the debate you're having with your customers.

When you, when, first of all, the knowledge owners, they need to give their knowledge away and encoded into the machine. And then how do you supervise the machine? In case that it's a very complex situation, which the machine can't deal with and how does the human intervene, you know? And, and what, what's the relationship between the two many, many, many layers to be covered here.

Okay. Let's start from the top. Which it's also gives me a, a chance to build up on the first answer that that Chris asked me what is different. So the, a huge difference that dry, which is one aspect that drives the innovation that Alice offers is the process model is different. The conceptual process model is different.

Between planning with Alice and, you know planning with a CPM tool and method which is partially I'm, I'm going to like expand on this in my presentation next week, but with a system like Alice, which, you know, essentially it's a model based approach, not 3d model, but simulation model based approach.

If you may, the, the user, the human. Is literally in control of the whole system about the methods these kinds of stuff, abide by the Geico principle, garbage in, garbage out, all that, all that Alice does is it takes in the information. You put your inputs and it solves the problem for you. If the information is wrong, inaccurate bloated, or I don't know, extravagant.

Then you're going to get the appropriate results. The human is is also in control of literally I dunno, driving the system, right? Because the Alice doesn't just go off to the sunset, like doing whatever she wants with your information. You are the one who is, who is driving Alice by tweaking those knobs that, you know, my colleague Mosin showed you a few weeks ago, right.

By tweaking those parameters and so on and so forth. And the third aspect that the the human or the professional is in control of the system is validating the results. Like you need the filter of the construction experience to. First off validate and secondly, you know, analyze and make the decision based on the output of the, of the model of Alice.

So I would, I would dare say that literally the human is, is in control of the whole thing. Like Alice doesn't replace anyone like we we've heard that, like we've had more than a few discussions about this. Like. I'm a scheduler. I built my career on CPM. I don't want to use Alice because you know, it's going to replace me or it's going to take my time.

So Alice, Alice, Alice is your friend. Couldn't be further from the truth. I'll assist you. Your friend, Alice is definitely taking, taking you into the PCM Wonderland. And not your enemy. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Alice is, Alice is a lever. It's a huge, it's a very powerful tool that allows you to explore like areas and territories that you haven't explored.

And it allows you to do this exploration in a controlled, transparent way because you're in charge of the information you're in charge of guiding the optimization. And you're in charge of analyzing and validating and ultimately selecting and deciding on the solution. And on this note, I I'd like to make a small comment on about your about the aspects that of, you know, adopting digitization and new methods and practices and tools that, that you brought up, which I think it's extremely important.

To fully disrupt and adopt a new solution especially a model based solution. There are three ingredients. One of them is technology that we've been, you know blissfully chatting about the two other asks the two other ingredients is people and process. So. People which ties into the role aspect that you mentioned, you need to have the right people because Alice integrates information.

So it's an integrated system. As a result, you need the proper team to feed the system with the proper information, right? You need, you need someone who has access to the model and can like manage the 3d model or the beam. You need proper, depending on the level of accuracy you're seeking, you might need an estimator to put in, you know, the, the the detailed data and you need a planner or a scheduler to like build the logic and so on and so forth.

And this is just the beginning about building a model. Then you need someone to commission. Yeah. It's what we call sort of data quality culture which these, because these are very sophisticated systems, which again, The rubbish in rubbish out is this is not going to change anytime soon. So yeah, you need more sophisticated people.

You might need a few less. If it works now coming, coming onto this podcast, I was really worried because I thought I don't know what I'm talking about. So then James gave me our chair of the, for the construction group, gave me a few questions to ask so that I don't look as silly as I usually do. So the first question was around gravity rules.

Obviously we're building from the top, from the bottom to the top. And so he was interested in whether Alice has an in-built logic that will be set as a default, like gravity. So you wouldn't be able to plan to build the level five slab until the level four or five cones were complete. So he just wondered whether you got these types of dependencies because in a.

Building information model, you know, with levels, you would assume that the different elements have some awareness of themselves. That the one is on top of the other, for instance the salt answer is yes, we do. We have developed a concept that it's called support, logic, or supports call it like for, for simplicity and It's basically a logic tie between elements that logic tie and can be translated in many ways.

Physics is one of those. So like normally you cannot build a slab without the, under the columns underneath, right. You can model that dependency in Atlas with that support tie, support, logic tie between the L right. And James will be very happy to hear about that. And then he gave me a second. So whether super users on the others can carry template recipes from one project to another.

I think you answered that question to an extent, and then how much. Do they need to rework the recipes on each new project? The, again, the song cancer is yes, they can. We have a functionality that allows you to build libraries of your method models that then you can upload and re-upload in any subsequent project like that, that falls on your lap how much they change.

It's a relatively new functionality. So I need to take a look at the data. What changes is speaking relatively high level and qualitatively is not the method. So it's not that they, they built the column differently. What changes are, you know, the data that go into it, like production rates you know, material requirements, you know, and resource requirements.

Right. This is mainly what, what, what changes, because you know there's a, there is a lot of assumptions that go into those numbers, right? Location you know, the sob you're, you're dealing with the crew size it's there. These details is mainly what's changing. But the method more or less remains the same.

They might have a slight variation from it, but what changes are really, you know, the, the information that goes into the method model. Oh, great. Now I have actually a question, the last question of James and also my last question, which I think is touching on something. We spoke just a few minutes ago, but I think it's very beautifully put it says, are there super users becoming more human.

Because of the automation being outsourced to the machine, basically the idea of, of because the machine does what it does best. And especially dealing with large amounts of data structured data and the complexities that the human can be more discerning because it allows the human to spend more time on what the human is best at and sell it.

So therefore the human becomes superhuman because he can no longer deal with the drudgery of just crunching data manually. I, I couldn't have said it better. Absolutely. Essentially when you're planning and then scheduling, which is another difference, Chris, between Allie traditional CPM, where like separating the two but essentially the user or the super-user is focused on essentially setting up the plan, right.

Putting in the data and everything. As they build that plan model, you know, at some point, you know, in order to schedule that the, the complexity and detail is just, you know, it's flabbergasting, like you cannot fathom the, the computer crunches that for you as, as you very nicely mentioned, and the human can essentially focus on checking their assumptions and validating and analyzing the metrics of the output.

In order to make the best decision given the realistic constraints, right? Because obviously Alice, it's a crunches, you know, math. So Alice will give you like amazing schedules or can give you amazing schedules, but it's up to you to spend your time analyzing the output of the model, to figure out what solution actually fits best for the situation.

You know, you have at hand and the project that you're the owner you're, you're dealing with. Yeah, so absolutely like internally in our company, we'd like to say that, you know, schedulers then become, you know, like turn into strategizers or strategists how to call it because you, you start thinking about your project much more critically because you learn like, through these iterative process of model building, analyzing output, and then going back.

It's like you learn, you intuitively start learning and honing critical thinking about your project. Okay, that's great. I think that's, that's quite a good note to to wrap things up on actually, oh, well time passed when you're, when you're having fun. Fun. Yeah. The sun has gone down and this Swedish barbecue at the forest lodge is waiting eco.

You can smell it. You can smell it. Can you, Thomas? I'm not quite there. Need to still drive there. But yeah, it's been, it's been fantastic to get to know, you know one of the key brands behind this product, and I I'm sure we will have more to do with each other looking forward to, yeah, I guess just to summarize, I mean, all of these products, you know, we talked, we talked to a lot of people and, and, you know, Alice is definitely one of the more.

Exciting prospects, I guess, but like with everything and you said it before, you know, garbage in, garbage out, it doesn't stop the need for. Human intervention. And in fact it's probably just as important or, or more so to harness, harness the experiences it's promoting it. Absolutely great. Then we look forward to seeing you at the upcoming conference.

Same I'm not sure if this will actually go out before or after that. So, you know We'll work that out, but great to have you on the podcast. Dimi it's been really good talking with you and also thank you, you as well. Yeah. Thanks for having me. Same here. Really enjoyed it. I really appreciate the invite and happy to chat.

Happy to have you happy to do it again? Like very soon, I really enjoyed the conversation. Well, we'll have to do a, a, you know, a sequel when you've got some more updates as well. Absolutely. It's always evolving.

Thanks for listening to this episode. And if you want to check out more. Go to our website a 4d.construction and look out the podcast section or subscribe on Spotify. Thanks very much. And see you in the next."

 

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