DOKA OMAN HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN MOST OF THE KEY CONSTRUCTION SECTORS IN OMAN, INCLUDING LARGE-SCALE MALLS, OIL REFINERIES AND GAS PROCESSING PLANTS, RESIDENTIAL APARTMENT BUILDINGS, BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION AS WELL AS RENOVATION PROJECTS AND GENERAL SUPPLY OF ACCESS SCAFFOLDING, SAYS CHRIS JARDINE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, IN AN INTERVIEW WITH OOMMEN JOHN P. What is Doka Oman’s strategy for expanding its reach in the country?
At Doka, our primary driver for growth is through the promotion and application of our market-leading formwork, scaffolding and disruptive tech solutions. Since arriving in 2009, Doka has built its reputation in the Oman oil and gas and construction markets by delivering quality and efficiency, while providing both flexibility and on-site support.
Currently, there is a strong demand for a more efficient scaffolding product, something that Doka Oman provides through DokaScaff UNI. As an EN12810 certified scaffold system, it is not only safer than traditional scaffolding; it can also be erected in almost half the time, meaning a significant cost saving for our clients.
In the disruptive tech space, Concremote has proven to be a successful product, again thanks to its time-saving attributes. By providing the real-time data of concrete strength, site teams are notified to their smart phone or tablet device thereby maximising cycle times and increasing productivity on site.
Has Doka’s formwork technology revolutionised the construction sector in Oman?
Revolutionised is a strong word, but certainly we are setting a high bar - a lot of Doka’s success over its 151-year history can be boiled down to its consistent approach of improving and enhancing its products and systems. On this basis, Doka established a fullyfledged in-house R&D centre in 1990 from its headquarters in Austria, where it continues to find ways of improving or solving various challenges in the industry. One of the most effective ways Doka has leveraged its technological advantage is by gathering data directly from its clients and site teams. In Oman, we have found that by understanding the challenges faced by our clients, we have been able to find more cost-effective
solutions that offer a universal benefit to all parties involved.
Good examples of this include our XLife Form Face, which can be found in our panel systems. Not only does it ensure that clients achieve the best possible concrete finish, they also save money thanks to the extended durability of the product. Other examples include our DokaDek slab formwork system, which was recently procured by one of our key accounts following a demonstration of its productivity, clearly illustrating the benefits of reduced formwork erection time and associated costs. As mentioned, we believe we can further revolutionize the construction sector in Oman with the wider spread implementation of products such as Doka Scaff UNI and Concremote. Certainly, with the ongoing support from our product development team, we look forward to introducing more game-changing products and technologies into Oman at the earliest opportunity.
Can you share details of the projects that Doka has been involved in over the past year?
Through a combination of our national presence and strong logistical network, Doka Oman has been involved with many of the country’s major projects. By maintaining close customer relations while enhancing our reputation for delivering quality products and services to large-scale projects we have been successful in most of the key construction sectors including large-scale malls, oil refineries and gas processing plants, residential apartment buildings, bridge construction as well as renovation projects and general supply of access scaffolding.
Health and safety is an ongoing area of focus for the construction sector. How is Doka making construction a safer place to work?
It’s a great question and something Doka takes very seriously. As mentioned, one of the central mandates of our internal R&D department is not only to improve cost-efficiency, sustainability and quality but also safety. From elementary products such as our EN 13374 Class A-certified handrail posts and clamps that are hot-dip galvanised for higher strength, quality and durability thereby protecting site teams from fall hazards, through to more complex systems such as our Protection screen Xclimb 60 that shields site teams from adverse weather while offering protection from falling objects thanks to its horizontal and vertical sealing, our products and systems are designed to make sites as safe as possible.
Other products that are helping to make construction sites safer include our Safety Net Fan, a pre-assembled unit that can be adapted to work with any structure as a fall-arrest for both objects and debris. Similarly, our
Edge Protection system XP serves a similar function as a guardrail on slabedges or as a fall-arrest barrier on the structural shell. Needless to say, some of the most predominant features of DokaScaff UNI are its safety characteristics, particularly its steel decks, access decks and stairways, which are all designed to provide an optimal working environment. There has been a long-standing myth in the construction sector that greater safety equals greater cost, which is totally incorrect. An international study, which included 300 participants in 15 countries showed that every dollar invested in construction safety, yielded a return of $2.20; clearly illustrating the power of providing a safe working environment for site teams.
How is digitalisation enabling the company’s growth in Oman?
It is generally acknowledged that the construction industry has been slow to embrace Industry 4.0. Fortunately for Doka, our team has been focused on digitalisation for some time and today we have a wide array of digital solutions that give us an even greater advantage in the market under the umbrella of ‘upbeat construction’. Launched earlier this year at Bauma, ‘upbeat construction’ is the collective name for our internal digital services designed to provide higher productivity for our clients. I already mentioned Concremote earlier, however there are a total of 16 products that each provides a significant value-add for our clients, specifically in the areas of planning, procurement and performance.
Under planning, our VDC/BIM software enables intelligent connectivity, reliable planning and significant time saving by enabling 3D design of formwork-related structural data in Revit and Tekla, including the export of 2D plans and parts lists and 4D simulation of construction progress of defined work stages.
For procurement, Doka’s online shop means buying or renting is made simple. By enabling clients’ access to our entire range of products they are able to receive updates on the availability and price of products, as well as recommendations for necessary accessories and addons. According to recent statistics, online construction procurement is expected to increase from 5 to 25% by 2030, so we believe this will likely be a popular platform in Oman.
In terms of performance, Remote Instructor is a highly valuable platform that connects skilled and experienced engineers to the job site. Addressing the issue of human error that can often lead to costly stoppages, Remote Instructor was developed specifically for the construction market as a realtime collaboration software that utilises video-telephony to provide field support for a wide variety of challenges at any time. This is a particularly useful product when it comes to training or supporting young or inexperienced site teams.