Last year Hilti announced partnerships with two up-and- coming software technology companies, Fieldwire and Trackunit. These and previous investments in concrete sensors, BIM robots, software company Procore and Profis Engineering are helping Hilti become more than just a tool company.
Subcontractors: An untapped market
The largest customer base for Hilti are subcontractor craftsmen working in the building trades — primarily concrete, but also HVAC and mechanical contractors, plumbing, electrical, drywall, structural metal, rebar, fabrication shops and commercial interior buildouts.
“There is a big opportunity for project management software in the commercial market where Fieldwire has proven to be extremely successful,” says Michael Neidow, head of tool services and software for Hilti globally. “We believe that under the Hilti umbrella we can further accelerate the already good growth rates of the past. There are still a lot of contractors that who don’t have a tailored solution for construction project management,” he says.
“Those subcontractors have a big need for a productivity solution, and Fieldwire actually goes very well with what we do in ON!Track (Hilti’s tool tracking system) and Trackunit, because many of them do not have software to manage that equipment,” says Neidow.
“The biggest value of asset management is workers’ productivity, and it’s not uncommon for contractors lose 20% to 30% of their smaller equipment on an annual basis. So this is a really good opportunity for them to save costs and stop wasting money or time.”
Service after the sale
In addition to opening new markets, Hilti is introducing a new dynamic to these markets — the Hilti direct salesforce. The same face-to-face sales consultation provided by its salespeople driving the company’s red trucks and vans to jobsites will also now apply to questions customers may have about the adaptation and use of Trackunit and Fieldwire.
“We want to bring to customers first-class consulting and implementation support,” says Neidow. “There are still a lot of contractors who are not used to implementing software in a way that gets them all the productivity benefits. And that’s where we see Hilti, not just as a product, but to help the customers get the benefits out of the software product. That’s how we add value to our customers.”
Fieldwire’s project management solution
“The core market we compete in is field management, which is a very jobsite-focused approach to construction management,” says Yves Frinault, Fieldwire co-founder and CEO. “Our customers are the people who walk the jobsite. Typically, it is heavy on the subcontractor side, and most of our users are on the craftsman, foreman level but go all the way to project engineer and project manager on the general contractor side. You’ll find us anywhere there’s a need to coordinate trades in the field.”
Every subcontractor or self-performing GC has three simple problems, Frinault …….