The meeting rooms and offices at Brandenburg building company Schielicke are an impressive sight. As an art lover, company owner Thomas Schielicke has a real eye for colours, shapes and good design. Not only do Schielicke Bau's premises look great, but they are also kitted out with innovative solutions from Sharp which make the company a forerunner in digitalisation in its industry. High-resolution video walls and interactive displays are combined with advanced in-house construction site visualisation technologies. This enables efficient, integrative collaboration on construction projects, allowing them to be processed substantially quicker and more cost-effectively. Further solutions from Sharp are utilised for improving information management and ergonomic working, providing optimum support for Schielicke as it goes about its everyday business.
Schielicke Bau consists of companies from Beelitz in Potsdam-Mittelmark, and is a successful, family-run group now in its fifth generation. Founded in 1905, it is currently run by Benjamin and Thomas Schielicke as joint managing directors and employs 107 people. The group is active throughout Germany but focuses on the Brandenburg and Berlin regions. Its core business is the development and construction of roads, paths, squares, halls and marketplaces. The group of companies implements projects from design through development to execution. Other focus areas include excavation, demolition and site clearance.
Given the high pressure on costs within the construction industry, efficiency and modern project implementation are very important to Schielicke. This is why one of the things the group focuses on is the use of state-of-the-art technology. This includes hybrid GPS-controlled diggers, intelligent machine controllers, laser and drone-based measurement technology and the use of renewable energies.
The vision: innovative meetings, improved cooperation, and productivity
Just under five years ago, one of Schielicke’s main objectives was to ‘bring the virtual construction site into the office’. The idea was that, during meetings in high-tech conference rooms, customers would be given the option to take virtual tours of construction sites and plan projects together as efficiently as possible. To make this a reality, the company needed not only its technologies but also state-of-the-art displays for visualisation and collaboration. “The aim was to progress construction meetings and therefore the execution of constructions faster and more cost-effectively,” explains company owner Thomas Schielicke. “It was also important to us to keep our customers better informed based on this innovative approach to drive excitement about the project from the outset.” Schielicke was also keen to foster business cooperation between the teams and this increased productivity and employee well-being.
Impressive ‘My Integrated Office’ from Sharp
When they went looking for a provider with a portfolio covering all the products and services they needed, they were quickly drawn to Sharp. On the one hand, they already had a trusted partnership based on orders of various multifunctional printers a few years ago. On the other hand, Sharp’s ‘My Integrated Office’ concept, which incorporates a wide range of office technologies and equipment systems, made it the only provider to meet all of Schielicke’s requirements from a single source. As well as a range of technical considerations, including seamless connectivity, excellent display resolution and interactivity, Schielicke was particularly interested in the simple, interactive operation of all devices. As a result, the company’s offices and conference rooms now boast a range of Sharp products and design solutions.
Efficient site meetings by combining modern technologies in collaborative conference rooms
In the conference rooms, Schielicke uses two 140 and 210-inch video wall displays and a total of six interactive touch-screen displays of different sizes, all provided by Sharp/NEC. Employees can easily use the interactive board using pen software that works with the system controller. The aspect of ‘emotionalisation through visualisation’ was key here. For example, Schielicke can take drone footage of a construction site and then project this onto one of the big Sharp/NEC video walls in the conference room. All those involved in the project, from the mayor through to the foreman to the investor, can monitor the current status and progress of the project from the comfort of their office. The images and videos are razor-sharp and the impressive zoom function can record even the smallest details of what is happening on site.
The interactive displays can then be used for specific planning: The built-in Sharp pen software can be used to annotate the recordings of the site directly, including drawing sketches and noting down all ideas. The image file can then be saved with just a few clicks, printed out or e-mailed to all involved. “This results in an integrative working environment that speeds up consultation and makes the whole planning process easier, because everyone is up to speed all the time,” explains Thomas Schielicke. “At the end of the day, we are not only saving time and money, but also establishing more trust in the project as everyone involved is fully invested. This gets our customers excited and gives us significant leverage over our competitors.”
Simplified information management, optimised business processes and improved well-being on an everyday basis
Schielicke was also able to adapt many of its other business processes using the Sharp range. Ultra-modern Sharp multifunction printers scan, print and copy faster than comparable models. At the same time, documents can be made available more quickly and securely using the OSA Print and Scan solution from Sharp, which also allows them to be recorded, saved, managed, tracked and accessed. This allowed Schielicke to improve cooperation across different departments, leading to further time savings.
Ergonomic modern designer workstations with adjustable-height desks were also provided for all employees. There are also several Jura bean-to-cup machines with a range of Sharp roasts, to ensure employees can enjoy excellent coffee throughout the day. Sharp air purifiers were also installed to improve the quality of air on the premises. This increased comfort in the workplace and positions Schielicke as an attractive, modern employer.
Implementation: combining existing systems and new technologies
One of the biggest challenges since the collaboration began has been ensuring an optimum link between the different existing applications and the new Sharp technologies. “Schielicke uses a software suite that has been established in the construction industry for many years. Modernising these existing systems and programs and implementing new software for resource planning remains highly complex, especially as it is all carried out on live business systems,” explains Theo Müller, Berlin Regional Sales Manager at Sharp. “Fortunately, we have a lot of experience with transformation processes like this. Our technologies are based on an Open Source platform and therefore work seamlessly with many applications on the market. We are delighted to be able to extend our partnership with Schielicke and successfully support the company on its innovative path.”
“We have been working in partnership with Sharp for seven years now, during which we have grown together, progressed ideas and optimised processes,” summarised Thomas Schielicke. “The Sharp portfolio complements our existing tools and technologies perfectly and takes us another step towards our vision of visualising the construction site from the office. We are saving time and costs and creating that ‘wow’ effect for our customers every time, and that’s important. Added to this, Sharp technologies are simple and intuitive to use and have been happily adopted by our employees across all departments. We will definitely be continuing to cooperate with Sharp in the future, especially when it comes to resource planning.”