On a snowy January morning, Managing Director Thomas Gafner, a calm and determined man, welcomes us to one of his current construction sites, which will in future provide cosy warmth on cold winter days like today. From summer 2020, the new wood-fired power plant in Haltikon in the canton of Schwyz will produce green electricity and district heating for several thousand households in the surrounding area, and process waste wood into heating pellets.
As with all his projects, Gafner is using smino for the construction site in Haltikon and has invited all partners, from planners to contractors, to work jointly on the platform for the project. Gafner also tried other solutions before smino came along, but none of them really convinced him. Both he and most of the people involved in the project often found them too complicated. As a result, they were never really applied in practice. With smino, he says, things are very different: “I’m paying your bill!” Gafner smiles, “so that speaks for itself!” But he adds: “I really think smino is absolutely perfect!”
Managing many projects at the same time thanks to smino
Gafner’s company is not a classic construction management office. He and his team look after building clients as general managers from the building concept right through to completion, ensuring that projects meet their needs and are optimised in terms of costs, deadlines and quality. “I create a project on smino after the second contact with the client and use it from then on through all phases right up to handover,” says Gafner. He’s not only responsible for the project in Haltikon but is also busy with construction sites all over Switzerland. In the past, he worked with to-do lists on his mobile phone, and recorded everything that was discussed in various meetings using a string of different Word documents. Now that he’s self-employed, however, he’s responsible for the general management of all projects – and there are plenty of them: “Without smino I’d be completely lost and could probably only manage about half as many projects at a time.” Thanks to a good team and up-to-date minutes and to-do lists in smino, he has a complete overview of all his construction sites at all times and can work from anywhere with his tablet without having to drag an entire office infrastructure and mountains of paper from Zurich to his project in Sion.
Overview of the whole team
smino not only provides Gafner with an overview of his own to-do list, he can also see all other team members’ tasks. “In the Haltikon project for example, my mechanical engineer is a very important person. It’s hugely helpful for me to see what his status is,” says Gafner. “This means we don’t waste time on tedious internal coordination and can focus on the next steps.” Smiling, Gafner adds: “Sometimes, he tells me straight I should see for myself – and in fact I always have no problem finding out what I needed to know.” This is particularly helpful in a complex project such as the wood-fired power plant in Haltikon, where things can often get “heated” during the construction phase, so to speak.