Commnia Construction Software from pre-construction to handover

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Gina Yazbek: Breaking Ground in the Construction Industry​

Gina Yazbek, the founder and CEO of Commnia, has had an interesting and inspirational journey in an industry traditionally dominated by men. Up until recently, it had been slow to adopt digital technology.

Gina Yazbek: Breaking Ground in the Construction Industry​

Gina Yazbek, the founder and CEO of Commnia, has had an interesting and inspirational journey in an industry traditionally dominated by men. Up until recently, it had been slow to adopt digital technology.

Construction 25 years ago was very different. Contractors and Subcontractors alike were not quite at the forefront of embracing digital technology. Plans and documents were still being printed – some on the old ammonia based Diazo line copiers. Digital printing used to be costly, and as for email, not everyone possessed an email address. Internet access meant dialling in with a landline and patiently waiting for the 14.4 modem to establish a connection.

In Australia, the construction industry is predominantly male-dominated, with women comprising a minority of the workforce. Typically, women hold positions in office-based roles such as architects, consultants, administrative staff, and similar professions. Their representation in construction, as in other fields like Information Technology, is notably low.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, women accounted for only 8.8% of the construction workforce in 2001, reflecting a significant gender disparity compared to the predominance of males in the sector.

Crucially, while employment in construction has risen by approximately 20% over the past two decades, from around 1 million to approximately 1.2 million, the participation rate for women in construction has only increased from 8.8% to 12.5%.

However, there has been a notable shift as women have gained stronger representation across all areas of construction—both off-site and on-site. Nowadays, we witness women serving as traffic controllers, project engineers, project managers, site supervisors, tradespeople, and in various other roles within the industry.

Commnia, a prominent Australian construction software platform, was Gina’s brainchild. As a  graduate in Business and IT from of Western Sydney University, she possessed a background in data management and software development. Serendipitously, she had a strong connection to colleagues, friends, and family members engaged in the construction sector. She quickly realised the industry was ripe for productivity gains achievable with the use of the emerging technology of software development.

The most significant complaint at the time from friends and colleagues within the industry was the time spent on document reproduction, distribution, and management. Tendering large-scale projects involved sending out hundreds of documents and packages to subcontractors and suppliers via post. Gina accepted the challenge and digitised the process, reducing what would have taken weeks to just several days.

Knowing that users were new to technology, and some were reluctant to adopt change, she had to ensure the system was easy and intuitive to use, reducing time, errors, and wastage. News of the software, known as Buildtools at the time, spread rapidly, and without a sales team or marketing, it became a recognised innovator and provider for the Australian construction industry—designed, developed, and operated by a woman.

Listening firsthand to thousands of users and companies, requests started flowing in for more. Initially developing office-based productivity tools for managing projects, the demand to increase productivity and minimise risks and errors on-site followed.

Commnia today is an end-to-end platform that does exactly what it was intended for. Its purpose has never swayed: simple and intuitive, aiming to maximise productivity and eliminate risk. Commnia’s unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction gave it a competitive edge. Instead of solely focusing on market share, Commnia prioritised the quality of its platform and client satisfaction, thereby cementing its reputation within the industry.

 

Gina remains at the helm of Commnia, maintaining core values centred on collaboration with contractors, developers, and universities. Commnia continues to prioritise listening to feedback and developing solutions accordingly. In a construction environment where compliance, accountability and productivity are at the forefront for stakeholders, Commnia continues to move forward with developments to meet the challenges.

The list of developments is extensive, with the platform offering features and modules for project stakeholders from start to finish—and importantly, beyond handover. Commnia customers utilise the platform long after the contractors have finished to view project history and, in some cases, to continue the lifecycle long after the end of the project.

Today, Commnia stands as a testament to Gina’s perseverance and vision, serving clients both nationally and internationally, and inspiring future generations of women entrepreneurs. Through Commnia, Gina has reshaped the construction landscape and paved the way for a more inclusive and sustainable future, demonstrating that neither size nor gender are barriers to success.

Gina remains committed to innovation as construction evolves, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in construction management and society. By empowering its users, Commnia’s technology contributes to a brighter, more inclusive, and sustainable future for the construction industry and beyond. It serves as a powerful example of how innovative technology can shape the world for the better, one project at a time.

Key Team

Gina Yazbek

Founder & CEO

Adam McDonald

General Manager

Hamed Mortaji

Senior Solutions Architect

Mario Oporto

Customer Success Manager