Rhumbix modernizes construction field operations, helping builders go paperless in the field and improving how they measure and manage labor productivity. Our Field Intelligence Platform™ is a cloud-based mobile workforce management solution that collects and digitizes data from previously paper-based workflows. This ensures all project stakeholders have the best data, when they need it, to make better decisions and draw actionable insights setting a standard for the “digital age” foreman. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, Rhumbix was founded in 2013 by Navy veterans with deep experience in the construction industry and is backed by tier-one investors.
The Rhumbix Story
The fabled Silicon Valley startup story usually begins in a garage, but for Rhumbix the story starts at a military base outside Djibouti City, Djibouti, during the Arab Spring of 2011. Co-founder Zach Scheel was serving as a civil engineer for the military. By day, he was managing large-scale construction projects, and by night, he stood watch in the Joint Operations Center monitoring more than 3,000 US troops using a technology called Blue Force Tracking that leverages GPS to monitor soldiers’ locations. The tool provided an extremely high level of visibility to military activity, which was in stark contrast with the paper time card system he was using during the day with his construction teams.
A few years later Zach and Drew were both in Chile working on large infrastructure projects. Over beers in Santiago, they realized that even though their projects were different, the challenges they were facing with data collection and productivity were very much the same and could be solved if they had a tool like Blue Force to use on their projects. When they returned to the states, they officially founded Rhumbix and in a matter of months they had secured seed funding and completed a successful pilot.
Rhumbix’s first prototype was created by soldering together off-the-shelf wearables to be worn by craft workers for our original POC. It’s still in our office today and serves as a great reminder of the roots from which our platform was born: mobile tools that help workers build smarter and safer.
Co-founder and COO
Drew’s family has a rich military background. His father and older brother both served in the Air Force and Drew knew that he, too, wanted to serve his country. While an undergrad at Notre Dame, Drew enrolled in ROTC and upon graduation was commissioned into the Navy as a Nuclear Submarine Officer. He spent over 6 years with the Navy, stationed primarily in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and deployed to locations across Southeast Asia.
After his service was complete, Drew enrolled in Stanford’s Graduate School of Business to pursue a joint MBA/MPP degree program with a focus on energy systems and infrastructure. He interned at a few different energy companies while in school, and shortly after graduating started the renewable energy company, Valhalla Energia, in Chile with two classmates.
ZACHARY SCHEEL, P.E.
Co-founder and CEO
Zach joined the military a week after September 11th. He filled out a Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) application and enrolled at Duke University to study mechanical engineering. At the height of the Arab Spring, Zach was stationed in Djibouti, Africa, managing large-scale military construction projects. His other billets include serving as the Resident Officer in Charge of Construction and Assistant Public Works Officer at the Naval Station in Everett, WA.
After completing his military service, Zach enrolled in Stanford’s Graduate School of Business where he interned with Bechtel as an Assistant Area Superintendent at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, and Project Controls Engineer at a copper concentrator in the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile.
LATEST PRESS & NEWS COVERAGE
IS REAL-TIME LOCATION SENSING THE FUTURE OF CONSTRUCTION?
Real-time location sensing (RTLS) describes a range of technologies for locating an asset or resource—from radio frequency-based approaches to determining distance by measuring the difference between fixed anchors of beacons/tags that are affixed to personnel, equipment and materials. RTLS is ubiquitous in society (e.g., GPS is found in equipment telematics, surveying hardware and personal smartphones). In the construction industry, there’s an emerging trend of applying RTLS to other forms of asset and resource management, and to support workflows such as labor productivity tracking, materials management, and worker health and safety.
From executives to project managers and foremen, construction teams are leaving opportunities on the table when they ignore the tools currently available to automate and improve data collection quality.
How applying three military principles can help construction companies reach their full potential, allowing them to execute projects better, more efficiently and most importantly, more profitably.
How do you invest in innovation when you’re a small electrical contractor just trying to keep up with the day-in, day-out flow of your business? This is the question we’re pondering after attending the NECA National Convention last week in Seattle, WA.
A while back, Rhumbix CEO & Co-founder, Zach Scheel, took to the airwaves with the ConTechCrew to share more about what Rhumbix is up to in the field, and why worker empowerment is such an important core value for us. The conversation ranged from Zach's military background to what firms are doing to achieve net profits consistently above 10%.
Improving productivity is something that those of us in construction are thinking about constantly. But what strategies are really working? Many companies and industry experts are considering—or actively experimenting with—a variety of methods, including prefabrication, new field technologies, and Lean construction methods. While many of these approaches are still in their infancy, there are promising indicators of best practices firms can adopt to get the most out of their productivity initiatives.