PLASMA is essentially a smart, digital 'SatNav' that captures data throughout the lifecycle of a build and shares it up and down the supply chain. It works by analysing data from on-site sensor networks and through supply chain tracking systems. The data then creates a 360-degree view of the entire build to plan the most efficient programme, identify the most suitable suppliers, embed modern methods of construction approaches (MMC) and suggest work flows with the lowest carbon footprint.
In the application, project teams can create orders, raise invoices and send requests to the entire supply chain, so everyone is aware of project progress and interdependencies. Electronic records of all orders allow contractors to track, and suppliers to view, received orders and action them. Data is constantly updating with information from sites and suppliers.
Project members can also upload supporting information such as compliance with health and safety; routes and blockages that could delay orders; or damage to orders. If a delay in the supply chain is caused by a supplier, the tool can immediately suggest alternative options to keep the project on track. The tool also has the capability to execute smart contracts and authorise speedy payments, increasing trust and confidence throughout the supply chain.
And it is secure. PLASMA creates a registration and authentication for each person who requires access and control. This could vary from client to supplier to site manager, and their access will adjust according to their need.
Importantly, PLASMA is a mobile app and so only requires a computer or phone. Contractors and clients don’t need to buy any new equipment, so can utilise PLASMA immediately. The mobile app – building on BRE’s tag and track tool - supports barcodes and QR codes to enable tracking, uploading of documents and photos, and linking to order numbers. A supplier could log-in to view the orders they have received and need to action, whilst the contractor could place and track orders.
It's also compatible with existing systems used by the partners, which means PLASMA has consistent components, but can also be customised according to programme needs. The flexibility and innovative approach the partners have taken has allowed them to morph and shape the solution according to findings along the way.