Google Cloud Results
Two-week construction planning process reduced to one hour
• Cuts the two-week project prototyping process down to one hour using Apps Script on Sheets
• Improves efficiency between offices by 20% by using Google Meet instead of traveling
• Creates a highly secure repository of business information accessible by staff from any office in Russia
“The construction industry is progressing. There are new ways of working, new construction processes, and new materials. PIK wants to lead change in that external context with an internal transformation.” - Ilya Tikhomirov, CIO, PIK Group
PIK Group is the leading developer of large-scale residential housing projects in Russia. Founded in 1994, PIK Group has built more than 300,000 apartments – 19 million square meters of residential real estate in Moscow and other cities.
To achieve and maintain its position at the top of the real estate industry, PIK Group has made innovation central to its business model, whether creating new building techniques or embracing automation. New technology in particular enables the company to achieve efficiencies at scale and streamline processes, such as with PIK Group’s app, developed in-house, through which engineers can send photographs as evidence of the quality of building work.
PIK Group looked for a reliable, fast way for teams to collaborate across multiple offices, on the road, and at construction sites. Because the company handles large volumes of sensitive customer data, security was a key concern. To create a collaboration platform ready to pull the company together, PIK Group looked for a cloud solution to streamline processes and improve productivity.
“The construction industry is progressing,” says Ilya Tikhomirov, CIO at PIK Group. “There are new ways of working, new construction processes, and new materials. PIK wants to lead change in that external context with an internal transformation.”
Automating collaborative processes for greater efficiency
“One team has information about the layout and condition of our buildings and can count the areas that need work, but then needs to match prices and the required work to that information. Previously, we would spend two to three weeks matching all the lists. Now, using Google Apps Script and Sheets, we can run calculations for a building in one hour.” – Sergey Fuksman, Deputy CIO, PIK Group
Real estate companies of any size have to communicate between office-based staff and teams on the move. For PIK Group, with more than 7,000 employees and 70 offices in the Moscow region alone, communication has to operate at scale. Because each project involves multiple participants and numerous stages, the right collaboration tools can generate major efficiencies.
“Take costing and scheduling work in an apartment. What might sound simple is a complex process with numerous stages, says Ilya. “We need to define each and every step, and the materials required. One group of employees says what the task requires, then another group of employees cost the materials and labor, and yet another group matches the costs to the plan. That process alone requires a lot of communication and collaboration, and it’s just one of many in a single project.” To enhance collaboration, PIK Group looked to give staff instant access to a central, highly secure file repository from anywhere at anytime.
“It’s so much easier to work with our 2,000 suppliers when we share Docs and Sheets instead of emailing back and forth. The speed and convenience of this new way of working is immediately clear. A number of our third-party contractors have been so impressed that they’ve implemented Google Workspace at their own firms.” – Ilya Tikhomirov, CIO, PIK Group
To do that, PIK Group implemented the full range of Google Workspace collaborative tools across more than 7,000 employees. “Google Workspace has helped change the way employees think about the work they do,” says Ilya. “It has helped them to foster the culture of a small start-up, with all of the agility associated with that.” Now staff at more than 70 offices in the Moscow region managing the construction and sale of apartment blocks, meet and communicate using Google Meet and collaborate over distance on Google Sheets and Google Docs, reducing the need to travel and increasing their efficiency by approximately 20%.
In order to reduce the complex, laborious work of prototyping projects, PIK Group automates aspects of the process using Google Apps Script to match lists in different Sheets and generate documents, as Sergey Fuksman, Deputy CIO at PIK Group explains: “One team has information about the layout and condition of our buildings and can count the areas that need work, but then need to match prices and the required work to that information. Previously, we would spend two to three weeks matching all the lists. Now, using Apps Script and Sheets, we can run calculations for a building in one hour.”
Migrating to the cloud for machine learning at scale
With over 7,000 Google Workspace accounts implemented, PIK Group has set its sights on migrating local infrastructure to Google Cloud Platform. “We have a big IT department with many developers, and we want to redirect them to important projects instead of IT maintenance,” says Ilya. “With machine learning and TensorFlow, we plan to use data from over 50 systems to inform business decisions.”
PIK Group’s internal change is already yielding external results. “It’s so much easier to work with our 2,000 suppliers when we share Docs and Sheets instead of emailing back and forth,” says Ilya. “The speed and convenience of this new way of working is immediately clear. A number of our third-party contractors have been so impressed that they’ve implemented Google Workspace at their own firms.”
*Google Workspace was formerly known as G Suite prior to Oct. 6, 2020.