Working at a mining site in Australia a decade ago, Kashif Saleem saw firsthand a problem that has long plagued large construction projects.
Put simply, things go missing.
On complex projects with thousands of components, materials and other parts are often misplaced. They may not make it onto shipping barges. They get left in warehouses. They’re pilfered. A fabricator claims a piece was sent, but no one knows where it is. Someone uses the wrong part, mistaking it for a similar one. And while cranes sit idle and workers wait, the job grinds to a halt and costs pile up. And up.
A software developer, Saleem was working as an information technology support technician at the mining site, but he quickly saw a different need for his skills. Bright and ambitious, he quietly got to work developing a software system for tracking materials and other assets across projects, from start to finish. When Saleem offered his solution to the job’s project manager, however, the man’s response was less than enthusiastic.
“He said, ‘No, I don’t want to use your system. No one knows you, and what if you get hit by a bus? You’re just a one-man show. I want something which is reputable,’” Saleem recalled.
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