Bentley Systems Inc. said on June 20 that it has acquired Synchro Software, a London-based 4D scheduler and construction planning tool championed by its CEO, Tom Dengenis, since 2007 for use on major, high-risk projects worldwide.

Synchro’s product is Synchro Pro, whose development was inspired by a desire to bring Lean process management techniques, used to build Jaguar sports cars, to construction. Users can import design models in many formats, add resource data and then “synchronize” construction activities in time and space. 

Synchro Pro has found a user base among contractors building or upgrading large and complex vertical construction and civil works, such as transportation infrastructure. Scheduling conflicts on transportation contracts can be very expensive; granular activity planning and rehearsals of critical procedures can keep projects on track and out of trouble.

Bechtel, which has tested Synchro Pro on projects for eight years, signed a global enterprise agreement with the vendor in May.

Bentley CEO Greg Bentley cited the success of Synchro, in conjunction with Bentley’s iModel work packaging tool, in helping to keep London’s Crossrail underground rail improvement program on time and on budget. The experience aided the acquisition, but “our users, in common, made the call with their success,” he says.

“I just believe the time has come for workplace planning to be part of the BIM process,” Bentley says.

Bentley software engineers will support Synchro’s 40-plus employees, who Bentley called world leaders in 4D planning software.

Bentley said the parent company will take some of the file format exchange coding and integration with Bentley’s other connected products off the Synchro team’s hands so its members can focus on product development.

Dengenis and Bentley declined to disclose the terms of the deal, although Bentley says, “Tom has done very well by his investors. We just have to globalize him and the product he has created.”