Founded in 2017, Join Inc. is a construction technology company on a mission to help project teams maximize the potential of every project. Our core product is Join, the decision-making platform for the built environment. With real-time insight into cost data and a visual interface, Join empowers contractors, owners, and design teams to collaborate on decisions throughout the project lifecycle. Industry leaders such as Clark Construction, DPR Construction, and McCarthy trust Join to make timely and smart decisions that drive projects forward.
The genesis of Join: navigating project complexity
The Join founding team met through Flux Factory, a Google X-spinout. We shared conviction around the idea that technology could enable better decisions shaping the built environment. After starting Join, we spent two years studying the construction market, listening to industry practitioners and getting quality feedback on development. We heard many stories as we honed in on core questions about the early stages of project planning. All of these stories revolved around the challenges of connecting the right information from the right person to the point of decision. In short: decision-making.
Unlike a mass-produced product, every construction project is unique, driven by the overlapping and intersecting environmental, regulatory, business case and market condition contexts that define the project. To be realized, each project requires thousands of decisions to adapt to these contexts. Rather than a problem to be solved by technology alone, we believe that smart, experienced people are the best resource in the world for navigating the ambiguity and complexity that this uniqueness drives.
Supporting the shift toward collaborative delivery
Today, the communication driving these thousands of decisions is often disjointed across stakeholders. Work happens across tools and timelines, resulting in delays as teams wait for decisions, or make them based on outdated or incomplete information. Managing expectations in this context is a constant challenge, and often breeds skepticism.
Currently, there are good systems for tracking and controlling project execution. However, these systems don’t give visibility into collaborative activities, which have become more critical with the industry shift to delivery methods like design-build, CM/GC, CMAR, TVD, and IPD. These early decisions – where all the profitability and risk lie – are currently managed across various stakeholders in ad-hoc spreadsheets prone to human-error, outdated info and data integrity concerns.
The communication challenges in collaborative delivery methods are heightened. Collaborative delivery means that there are more stakeholders engaged and more work taking place simultaneously: the boundaries between construction phases become fuzzy. Contractors win and lose work on the basis of their ability to communicate effectively with owners and design teams, a big change from design-bid-build.
Join is the first platform developed for this collaborative way of building. We combine real-time data, decision history and actionable info in one easy-to-use platform. With customizable visibility for all stakeholders, Join helps mitigate risk, ensure accountability, and promote trust, giving all stakeholders more confidence that they have implemented best practices in decision-making.
Strengthening OAC collaboration to drive project success
Across every project, Owner Architect Contractor (OAC) teams get together to navigate complex information and make decisions that move projects forward. This is a high stakes activity: project outcomes and business goals are on the line. The work is difficult and complicated. These meetings can be tense and frustrating or they can be collaborative, with stakeholders building forward momentum. Join brings the OAC team together around a shared source of data that they trust, letting them spend time moving forward – uncovering opportunities, providing clarity, and ultimately working together towards shared goals.
Collaborating on decisions throughout the project lifecycle
Join is used in the design phase, in preconstruction, and during construction execution. During design, project teams use Join to align cost and scope at a conceptual level. Design teams collaborating in Join can quickly weigh in on decisions while maintaining the design vision and owner priorities. Design Teams can also get real-time insight into detailed cost data, which results in faster cost feedback on new design ideas and options that come up anytime during the project. Because Join provides a more holistic and detailed view into the project budget, design teams can strategize on where to optimize costs while balancing other decision criteria.
Through preconstruction, when attention turns to emphasize cost, schedule and constructability, teams use Join to drive alignment between the design and projected cost. Cost information surrounding a decision often lives in spreadsheets, with supporting documentation scattered across drives, emails, phone calls, text messages, desktops, and other locations. Join consolidates scattered information all in one place – an easy-to-use platform where stakeholders can collaborate and focus on the details they care about. Owners can reference high-level charts to quickly understand project status, while preconstruction teams can zero in on details down to quantities, labor vs materials, and more. Construction teams use Join to track owner decisions that may drive change orders, and to provide a durable record of ‘why’ the project is on the track that it is.
Teams use Join for decisions ranging from fixture selections to structural systems and everything in between. These decisions address factors from cost to design, constructability, supply chains, or the owner’s business case. Join enables all stakeholders to gain real-time visibility into each decision and its impact, and to reference the decision history throughout the project.
The impact of Join: a better way forward
Since launch, Join has helped hundreds of teams to maximize project outcomes across a broad range of types, from hospitals to student housing to water treatment plants. Results are in: teams using Join improve collaboration, reduce risk, and win more work than their competitors that use traditional decision-making tools. Firms using Join are growing faster than their peers.
The industry’s swift response in such a short time speaks volumes to the need for this type of collaborative technology. With dynamic supply chains and increased market volatility, the shift toward collaborative delivery shows no signs of slowing. Join remains committed to empowering innovative firms to achieve continued success.