Vinci and Skanska collaborated with existing supply chain partners nPlan and Assentian to develop PLASMA. This collaboration was supported with technology and expertise from BRE Centre for Innovative Construction. The purpose of the digital tool is to improve supply chain communication and collaboration through the collecting, sharing and storing of secure data, without the need for central control and management. And by working with a variety of organisations, from Network Rail through to SME Taunton Fabrication, those stakeholders quickly realised the value of the tool in promoting best practice and sharing learnings across the industry, so construction as a sector can more readily embrace new methods and innovations.
Vinci and Skanska estimate that PLASMA can help make significant productivity gains, through an estimated 25% saving in programme cost and an estimated 28% saving in delivery time. These important and sizeable savings will increase profits, support R&D and employment, and provide benefits to tax payers and shareholders.
The failure of Carillion demonstrated that need for greater transparency of contractual arrangements throughout supply chains is needed. With smart contracts key to PLASMA's technology, smaller subcontractors can be paid in a timely manner, reducing the frequency of business failure.
Key to PLASMA's technology is the use of smart contracts. This means smaller subcontractors can be paid in a timely manner any will improve their job security, reduce the frequency of business failure and, in turn, improve workforce mental health and wellbeing.
The value demonstrated by the optioneering tool in PLASMA has led Skanska to invest approximately £50,000 in further research and development within their business.
In March 2021, Alphabet (formerly Google Ventures) invested £13m in nPlan.
This project was born from a desire to help increase the productivity of UK construction projects by 15% by 2025. The project team estimate that PLASMA can help make significant productivity gains, through an estimated 25% saving in programme cost and an estimated 28% saving in delivery time.
The initial estimates suggest PLASMA could deliver a 28% saving in project time. But mainstream implementation of PLASMA could help to leverage as much as 55-70% savings in time.
nPlan worked with Department for Transport, using Plasma's risk tool on an East West Rail project bid. DfT and nPlan employed the tool to assess risk and the extent to which proposals put forward in the bid process could be achieved.