Bullock Construction, a company dealing with the refurbishment of occupied buildings, has implemented Autodesk’s Buzzsaw software to help with a £103m, four and a half-year project for Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council.
The system has enabled the company to store over 2,500 live design documents relating to the project, ensuring everyone is working on the same version of a document. It has also helped Bullock Construction to move towards a paperless office.
Martin Lewis, IT and QA manager at Bullock, says that projects of this type often result in huge amounts of paper being printed out and passed around various members of the collaborating teams. Every time a change is made to a design, a new plan has to be drawn up, printed out and distributed.
Lewis says he knew the company would need to avoid these pitfalls when it embarked on the Oldham Council project. The project was to build new houses as well as undertake the refurbishment and re-modelling of sheltered housing in the borough.
A number of organisations collaborated on the project, including Oldham Council, Oldham Retirement Homes Partnership, Housing 21 and various local design companies and Bullock Construction.
He said: This was such a large scale scheme that we knew we had to put some kind of solution in place to ensure the practicalities of collaboration were watertight. It was obvious from the start that there would be the need to store and pass round thousands of documents. As IT manager, I was worried about the prospect of dozens of people emailing huge documents to dozens more and the impact this would have on our infrastructure
Lewis says that his prior knowledge of Buzzsaw was one of the reason it was selected for the project. It was installed with the help of Hobs Reprographics, and Lewis says there was no need for a long implementation period.
It’s straightforward, but Hobs’ knowledge filled in any gaps we may have had and we were up and running as soon as the PFI agreement was completed and we went into full design mode, he said.
The successful implementation means that any authorised team member can access any document relating to the project. This has ensured that everyone connected with the project is always working on the latest version of a document. By reducing the amount of paper being used throughout the project it has reduced costs and made the process more environmentally friendly.
Security has also been improved as the new system enables Bullock to keep track of who has accessed documents in the system. Lewis said: I know that documents are safe and secure, and if you need to delve into the history of a document, then that’s there too, so you can see who has accessed it and when, which saves the dilemma when someone says they haven’t received or seen something.