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  • Teardown Report #36 Building a Social Supplier Network
    Posted by KristinMajcher 8:02 PM on Mar 23, 2012

    A new social network has been exciting urban planners and architects called Honest Buildings, and I wanted to focus on how the construction industry is using this new site to connect various parties involved with building projects. Even though it is outside the realm of aviation, it’s an interesting website that could change the way that suppliers work together on projects. 

    blog post photo

    Screenshot of LaGuardia Airport page.

    Honest Buildings' connects suppliers of building materials, contractors that perform work at facilities and the tenants or workers occupying each residence or commercial address. The tenants and landlords can discuss repairs and upgrades that have been done to the building, and building owners can show off their LEED points. Along with comments from tenants about the building's design, condition and internal systems, the site shows a supplier directory. 

    Even though Honest Buildings is mainly geared towards the architecture community, there is no reason why MROs and airports can't use the site to share information about their own projects on the facilities and hangars, especially if they include sustainable initiatives.

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    Supplier directory on HonestBuildings.com

    To advance user interaction even more, people can leave comments on the directory to rate the companies. the technology seems similar to Yelp, but with some interesting data features. Honest Buildings provides an objective data snapshot of each building with individual opinions about what it's like to work or reside there, plus feedback on how well contractors completed projects.

    Honest Buildings is in its beta phase, and there are a few initial problems with it that I noticed in the first few minutes of use. For starters, the site doesn’t always go to the right address, but this could be a problem with Google Maps. Plus, many buildings don’t have a substantial amount of information yet, and it is unclear if enough people will start using the site to fill in the blanks. This could change as more companies in the construction world learn about the site, but only if they find it useful.

    When you do find an address you’d like to explore, you see a large picture of the residence, any renovation or building projects that it has undergone and comments from people about the place. There are even more specific statistics, such as its building manager, square footage and any LEED points achieved.

    Like many of these innovations, I always think about whether this type of social network could be applied to an MRO, possibly for MROs to track maintenance that has been done to an aircraft and a place for technicians to talk about the type of work that they have done. Much of this type of traceability is already happening, whether it be with RFID tags or adding video to repair manuals. 

    There’s another use case for bringing this type of site to the passenger airline market, and we already see some of that at airlines like KLM, which unveiled the concept of “social seating” a few months ago. 

    Even though Honest Buildings has a few bugs to work out, I think it is a great interface for showing how all aspects of a project can come together. It also gives stakeholders involved with each project a voice, whether it be to voice concerns or praises. 

    Tags: om99

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