Long History, Bright Future: How Clancy Construction Updated Workflows Using Construction Software

February 27, 2019 Kristina Poluyanova

Founded by Mr. John Clancy in 1947, Clancy Construction is an award-winning indigenous Irish company with three generations of growth and expertise. Headquartered in Tipperary County and with offices in Dublin, Limerick, and Cork, the company has grown from a small family business to an innovative organization utilizing construction software to provide comprehensive design and construction solutions throughout Ireland.


Clancy Construction: Built on Partnership

Clancy’s motto is “Built on Partnership,” reflecting the company’s value of collaboration and listening to its clients. With a focus on the core pillars of Safety, Quality, and Collaboration, Clancy also prides itself getting projects done right the first time, carefully executing to meet a high standard of quality. And the industry has taken note: Clancy has received accolades from the 2016 Irish Construction Industry Awards to a Deloitte Best Managed Company title.

Clancy has gotten to where they are by overcoming challenges that face many longstanding SME contractors. Like many, Clancy suffered a slowdown in the wake of the 2007-2008 Financial Crisis. In order to remain competitive in an evolving marketplace, Clancy decided to examine their business and proactively adapt to changing markets and technologies, beginning to adopt Lean methods and construction software. Clancy wanted to be ahead of the curve and provide their team with the tools they needed to get there. But they also knew it wouldn’t happen overnight. It would take a gradual approach to learn how they could use digital technologies and get buy-in across their organization. In 2013, Clancy began utilizing construction software on selected projects and making it mandatory for all Design and Build projects. Since then, the company has fine tuned their approach by learning lessons from each completed project.


Embracing the Future with Construction Technology

When it came to adopting new technology, anticipating developments in the regulatory sphere provided another motivation. In 2017, the National BIM Council of Ireland released Digital Roadmap 2021 to support the digitization and efficiency of construction in Ireland. Clancy wanted to be able to meet the requirements if the roadmap is enacted. Further, with the adoption of PAS (Publicly Available Specification) 1192 in the United Kingdom requiring the use of 3D construction software, Clancy wanted to be prepared if a similar guideline were to be adopted in Ireland. The direction the industry is heading was clear, and Clancy wanted to be ready for the changes.


The introduction of BIM 360 has brought about a better system for the company to deal with quality, project data recording, checklists, and much more.

Aidan Maher, Contract Manager, Clancy Construction

Aidan Maher, a contract manager for Clancy Construction says:

"The ability to use the software on the computer, tablet and even phone app makes it a very user friendly system. I myself have found it very beneficial for creating and closing out defects on projects that I have worked on. Our greatest challenge with the software is getting each project team to utilize it fully. Like all new procedures and technology it can take time for any system to get up and running. Recently we have also asked design teams who we both work in partnership with and also who work for our clients to use the system for their quality checks during the project. This has added great value and information flow. Collaboration on a project is very important and I feel that BIM 360 can enhance this."



Construction software, such as BIM 360, adds great value and information flow to complex projects


Leading Proactive Change

Instead of simply going out and purchasing in a singular tool that solved one problem, the leadership at Clancy took a step back to look at the bigger picture. They had problems they wanted to solve today, but they also knew that in order to grow, they needed a strategy to improve their whole business. Beyond issues in the field, Clancy had the foresight to see the deeper benefit of cloud technology: capturing and collecting project data and customizing it to suit exactly what they wanted to track and measure.

After working on a joint venture where they were exposed to BIM 360, the team decided that they needed to invest in a field management software that combined mobile technologies for on-site use with cloud-based collaboration and reporting. With such a software, Clancy could take advantage of new ways to manage field processes, such as quality, safety, distribution of plans and drawings, and mobile 2D and BIM construction document access. Doing a Lean review of the company’s processes helped the team decide which problems they could solve with digitization.



Clancy transitioned from paper-based processes to construction software throughout the company.


Clancy knew it was time to transition from paper-based to digital processes throughout the company. They took a holistic approach by working with all of their departments to identify appropriate tools and map processes that could be digitized. That was the easy part. Clancy’s leadership knew the most important part would be to bring everyone in the company on board with digital transformation. Changing workflows would impact each individual, changing the way they historically worked. Keeping in mind the human impact to technological adoption, Clancy worked with their team to integrate new technologies into the company.   


The Result: A Better Quality Program

Quality and safety are the bedrock of Clancy’s approach on the job site. They operate a Grade A Safe-T-Cert safety management system, a level that few companies in Ireland comply with. They also strive for zero defects on every project. Clancy has utilized construction software for a variety of tasks, but most importantly to meet their high standards of Health & Safety and Quality. Using cloud software, Clancy moved from a paper-based to a digital checklist system. The digital checklists are linked to Inspection Test Plans and contain all relevant material, including markups and photos, in one central repository. This also has the added benefit of enabling them to comply with Ireland’s BC(A)R regulations introduced in 2014. They are also able to ensure the site team has access to and are working with the latest drawings through the cloud, with a full history of all previous versions, providing transparency for surveyors.

Clancy also takes an innovative approach by utilizing QR codes to help control defects, as well as monitor supply chain performance. All rooms and equipment on a project are able to be tracked with a QR code and linked to elements in BIM 360, enabling Clancy to electronically monitor progress on things such as deliveries, installations, QA/QC processes and inspections, and more. They are also able to capture information to easily record and track defects and resolution of issues.  

Clancy has found the software easy-to-use, and has provided leadership to encourage adoption across the project team. Clancy Contracts Manager Aidan Maher says, “The introduction of BIM 360 has brought about a better system for the company to deal with quality, project data recording, checklists and much more. The ability to use the software on the computer, tablet and even phone app makes it a very user-friendly system.” In order to support their core value of Collaboration, Clancy has asked their partner design teams to use the system for quality checks to improve information flow among project stakeholders.



Clancy continues to explore new ways to improve, including investing in drone and VR technology


By being willing to examine their processes and lead their organization through adopting new technologies, Clancy is able to ensure their deep roots will grow into the future. Aligning their technology strategy to their overall goals, Clancy is now able to not only consistently capture critical project data, but also analyze it to implement continuous improvement across their company – with a special focus on health, safety, and quality. And they show no sign of slowing down. Clancy continues to explore new ways to improve, including investing in drone and VR technology, as well as refining their current processes. We’re excited to see where they go next.


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