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Visualising Infrastructure Logistics Planning

Sensat Logistics Lunch and Learn Round Up

March 12, 2024

Industry leaders from National Grid, HS2, and H2 Green Steel discuss logistics challenges and decision-making tools at Sensat’s Q1 2024 Lunch and Learn.

If you want to join the conversation, sign up for our next Lunch and Learn, Thursday 25th April. We will discuss ‘How Visualisation Can Support Design Validation and Analysis’. Sign up here.

Challenges highlighted in logistics planning conversations:

Infrastructure logistics planning is marked by intricate supply chains, exacerbated by the need for swifter and more efficient delivery systems.

Industry leaders at the lunch and learn highlighted 3 key shared pressures:

  1. "The uncertainty in lead times for materials has never been this unpredictable" 

The global supply chain disruptions are having a profound impact on infrastructure project planning and delivery. This unpredictability complicates scheduling and budgeting, forcing companies to adopt more flexible planning strategies to accommodate potential delays and cost overruns.

  1. "Every project feels like a first-time project due to the lack of data consistency"

On infrastructure projects, taking learnings from one project and applying them to the next could be done far more than it currently is. Inconsistent data collection and storage practices often hinder the ability to learn from previous projects, leading to inefficiencies and repeated mistakes. Only recently did the CEO of HS1 comment in The Times that he had not had a phone call to see if he had any learnings from the successful delivery of HS1 which could be applied to HS2. Too often knowledge goes forgotten once delivery is over. 

  1. "We're facing a real talent gap in logistics planning within infrastructure"

The skills gap in the infrastructure sector is no secret. As the infrastructure sector evolves, there's an increasing need for specialised professionals who can navigate the complexities of logistics planning. 

Innovation Supporting Logistics

Buzzwords of IoT, AI, and big data analytics are providing unprecedented levels of visibility and control over logistics operations. These technologies enable real-time tracking, predictive analytics for demand forecasting, and automated decision-making processes, leading to increased efficiency and reduced operational costs. 

Logistics experts amongst the crowd presented their use cases of the visualisation platform back to the wider audience. Using the up-to-date visualisation of their sites, teams are using the backdrop of reality to share information collaboratively, improve coordination and help teams get a holistic understanding of their site. 

How Logistics Experts Are Preventing Scheduling Conflicts

“The logistics of transporting materials, can be a headache. We're always looking for the most efficient routes and methods” Logistics Planner on one of Europe's largest sustainable infrastructure projects. 

Amidst the vast expanse and rapid pace of a project site, a logistics planner grappled with the coordination of multiple teams, contractors, and resources. The objective was to prevent scheduling conflicts and equip teams with the necessary information for timely task execution.

Leaning into innovation, the logistics team have created a digital replica of their site in Sensat to support their logistics planning. The team are regularly uploading their own drone scans so that the team can access their site in both 2D and 3D. Bringing this data alongside logistics plans and designs the teams can draw up work zones, take exact coordinates and share digital rehearsals of plans from their desktop. This is helping to highlight potential logistical clashes and ensure the smooth execution of plans.

By establishing an accessible digital replica of the project, it facilitates collaboration among diverse stakeholders. The team need no specialist training to use the platform meaning technical and non-technical stakeholders can understand the project's scope, progress, and implications, thereby nurturing a more inclusive and well-informed decision-making process.

Join the conversation…

If you want to join the conversation, sign up for our next Lunch and Learn, ‘How Visualisation Can Support Design Validation and Analysis’. Explore how to test feasibility against real-world context from your desktop. Sign up here.