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Could the concept of Revolut work in construction?

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years you are sure to be familiar with Revolut. It has taken the financial industry by storm since its introduction to market a few years ago with many of us getting very attached to its simple user experience and up to date ways of managing your wealth.

Revolut Personal

Revolut personal can manage all your day to day transactions and money management. Revolut essentially sits on top of your bank account and was created most likely to help us as a society move away from the archaic blocky and slow online banking interface. Once you connect your Revolut to your bank account you can top up and withdraw money to and from the app. Once you have money you have lots of avenues that you can explore.

Save in your Vault

Set up a vault in the app which can collect all your “spare change” on purchases and store it away to a savings vault. Buy a weekly shop in your local supermarket that might come to €48.50 and Revolut will round up to €50 and store the €1.50 in your vault. You would be surprised how quickly you could have €1,000 in your vault for a holiday without ever feeling like you tried to save.

Send money instantly

The unique selling point of the application. Very handy for splitting bills at a restaurant, or if you forgot your wallet or do not have cash. Instantly pay your friends, colleagues or the waiter at the bar using the card, tap on your mobile or send via phone number.

Invest in Crypto

Have your money make money. Increase your personal wealth by investing in stocks (Amazon, Tesla, Nio) crypto (Bitcoin) or commodities (Gold).

Assign Cards to your Kids

If you have kids you can give them pocket money on their card. Very useful as you can manage and oversee their spending. Get immediate updates and notifications when and where money is spent and also set limits.

Budgeting and Cashflow

Our favourite part of Revolut is its ability to know you more than you know yourself. Immediate and live overview of your spending habits by category, month and location. Dashboarding and ease of use to a level that our software and projects aspire to.

And all of the above is at the cost of a one off payment for a revolut card at the price of a pint.

Revolut for Business

It is no surprise then that when Revolut recently released their Revolut for Business Application that we at GagaMuller were early adopters to the disruptive and addictive application. Today we run our entire business through Revolut for business, and maybe you should consider this too.

Much like your personal Revolut, the business application's main advantage is its ease of use, transparency and ability to provide instant analytics such as budget and cashflow.

Recording with Ease

Automated monthly payroll, invoice payments and one off transactions all recorded with full history for revenue including receipts attachment and VAT calculations. All your data can be exported to managing accounts, no more need for boxes of receipts and large accountancy bills. It even works with Xero and multiple other accountancy software's.

Assign Cards to your Employees

If you have a large team why not empower them with Revolut cards for their expenses. Set limits on your teams cards and have immediate live transactional data per team member. All expenses include receipt attachment and where required even approval and sign off.

Budgeting and Cashflow

Run your entire business cashflow through the application. All transactional data can be linked to your accountancy software for up to date spendings and outgoings.

The business account comes in at a monthly cost of just shy of €25 per month with a one off payment of €5 per card. Who knows it could save you big on your annual accountancy and admin budget.

Recent Case Study

On top of managing our in house accounts with Revolut for business we also recently toyed with the idea of using the application for payments at project level. On a recent one off luxury private dwelling build for a client in Dublin (Not typically our business deliverable of mega scale project management but it was our first opportunity at being the Contractor) we finally got to set the rules that we believe are aligned to the times we live in.

Because we are driven by transparency, open communication and technology, we obviously went the extra yards when finalising the design detail with the architect and engineers by putting a big focus on buildability and value engineering. A higher level of detail and finalised specifications allowed us to actually fully coordinate our design and allow us to consider areas for modularisation.

From this, we developed detailed schedules and BOQ for all materials and created a cost loaded program which we build into our application PlanLoader to manage out the project delivery. We tracked the close out of the activates in the schedule, and mapped labour, plant and equipment to each activity. Upon completion of the works we signed off each activity on PlanLoader with QA check, snag close out and signature.

Once we had a signature we paid out our contractors on the site (Albeit “man in a van” level) through Revolut for business.

Where this became very powerful is that Revolut allowed us to export the data into a cash flow and we were able to manage in real time our budget and cashflow.

Blockchain for Construction

This opens up the conversation to blockchain and smart contracts and what that would mean. Could we take this and apply it to the mega scale projects that we are used to delivering?

Essentially it would be a single source of truth. But to get to that we would need everyone to know the ACTUAL rates and margins. I mean we all know....but we let on we don't, don’t we?

Instead of each subcontractor having a best guess contingency pot for risk, and hiding their margins. Would there be scope in the industry to open up margins and rename the pot to a profit pot or a “vault”.

Has someone done the maths to calculate the difference between the sum of the subcontractors margin plus the actual average costs of change and rework on site.

So if a margin is 15%, and the typical average ACTUAL cost of change and rework is 10% could we entice subcontractors to use new technology and agree to an open book margin of 20%?

In Layman's Terms

Surely we can put a clause in a contract that all works are paid out through an app like Revolut, or similar. Promoting full transparency using data exporting to a Power BI dashboard to provide a visual on actual live cashflow v budget. Are we missing something?

It might help remove the impulse for subcontractors to price low and claim on variations. This conversation could lead to a very thought provoking white board session for sure. At GagaMuller, we are working closely with some of the largest Data Centre clients in the world as well as some of the largest property developers in Ireland & the UK, helping them improve their financial management systems. We are working on software to better the site acquisition experience all the way to tracking cash and value flow. It is only the most innovative and agile businesses that have seen the power of data, but if you are hoping to adapt to the new digital era it might be time for you to consider this change also. Revolut might not be the answer for your business, but the correct and most up to date process most certainly is the answer.


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