International Steel Design and Build contractor John Reid & Sons (Strucsteel) Ltd (REIDsteel) has placed an order for construction document and email management software, Workspace, from Union Square Software. Based in Christchurch, REIDsteel specialise in aircraft hangars, bridges, car parks, grandstands, industrial buildings and offices and last year turned over £34m. REIDsteel has placed an order for the core Workspace system along with a customised version of the Asset Management module and Email Vault. Workspace is the leading business management application for the UK construction industry, delivering integrated solutions to over 30,000 users every day.
The primary concern at REIDsteel and an issue that Director Tim Reid felt to be hindering the business is the management of emails. With no formal procedures in place, the management of emails is left to individuals’ personal preference and as a result is haphazard. Some individuals print off emails and file in the project folder and some store in folders on personal computers. A task such as viewing the full email history of a contract would be difficult. Having an effective search functionality for emails would be extremely valuable to the business.
During the investigation of an Email Management solution for REIDsteel a number of other problems emerged. It was found that the enquiry stage of a project and the project itself generated large volumes of associated documents. These documents although managed appropriately in files and folders were not easily accessible in a timely fashion for all parties concerned during a projects life cycle. Contacts, documents and project related information were spread throughout the department’s so that no one person on a project could access the information without incurring delays.
The implementation of Workspace will address these problems by introducing a central place to store all the documentation, emails, contacts and organisations relating to enquiries and projects. The entire job history including all communications and key actions will be held together in one online environment. Tim comments: “Workspace will deliver us with many benefits including increased efficiency in project work, improved communications and reduced overheads. The Email Vault will ensure that we never lose an email again and can retrieve emails quickly through a comprehensive search facility.”
Other processes at REIDsteel will be streamlined and centralised through Workspace. “Workspace will enable far more efficient resource planning,” comments Tim, “for example Holiday and Leave will be completed online removing an inefficient and laborious paper based system.”
Union Square (unionsquaresoftware.com) are also undertaking customisations to the Asset Management module to control and track REIDsteel’s plant and machinery; this involves knowing where the equipment is and when a health and safety check is due. The Workspace Asset Management tool will track this automatically and send notifications to the relevant people when items need inspecting.
Commenting on the decision to implement Workspace and work with Union Square Tim concludes, “The Workspace product was clearly better than any other construction industry solution that we reviewed. What’s more we liked the Union Square team and had confidence in their ability to deliver the project on time and within budget. We are looking forward to getting started.”