Elecosoft is helping Seddon to deliver an innovative digital initiative to every area of its work
Seddon Construction has been keeping its promise of on-time delivery to customers for a staggering 120 years – and counting. However, this family firm is anything but traditional. It is proactive with its digital construction strategy and continues to seek better ways of working.
Its latest initiative, OneProgramme, will see best working practices and use of programme information extend to every stage of its work, from design, through procurement of people and material, to the build itself.
The Seddon team approached Elecosoft to consult, help scope the challenge, and recommend the best way forward. The result was adoption of Powerproject Enterprise across the construction business as a proving ground for the process, platform, and plan for change.
Michael Crawford, technical manager at Seddon, related the company’s starting position: “We already used Powerproject as our planning software of choice across the business. However, although project managers reported their progress, there was no real consistency from business unit to business unit as to how they did it.”
Seddon knew that it wanted to improve control and coordination of the supply chain and production process but wasn’t entirely sure what its options were. The company turned to Elecosoft, as a trusted supplier of a platform it already knew, for support.
OneProgramme was designed to bring people with responsibilities for design, commercial, materials, plant and production together.
Throughout the development, care was taken to optimise the system appropriately for its target users, Michael explained: “We took care not to bog people down with seeing too much information by creating views for different members of the team. People could also input information easily into the programme, in a format much like the spreadsheets they were using before.
“We also generated a mobile app based on Site Progress Mobile, a companion app to Powerproject, so it could integrate and would work for the site teams, and make it simpler for them to report progress on fortnightly basis.”
A major goal was to ensure information from across the business could be connected, often for the first time. OneProgramme would help to move away from disconnected data to a single, integrated version of the truth.
Champions of change
The process has created some strong champions for the change. Michael outlined how these were proactively identified: “We put a number of people in positions of influence to help drive through the change. They were people with a desire to help, and specialists in their field across design management, planning, cost management and so on. We needed a number of these, to be a support mechanism for their colleagues, to help if others don’t understand the system or can’t get it to work as they want. This approach helps you reinforce the change in the business, because otherwise you can have a lot of disgruntled people behind the scenes. Our champions helped keep this to a minimum.”
He added: “There’s feedback that teams feel more energised, enthused and engaged – and we all have more intelligence about how we can deliver our projects.”
Partnering for success
Michael acknowledges the significant contribution and role that Elecosoft’s consultants and trainers have played so far in helping the company make the right decisions, select their platform, and embed the changes.
He said: “I would recommend Elecosoft to anyone. The team did not over-sell, were never pushy on commercial basis and were flexible on the odd occasion we exceeded our development hours. It was quite apparent right from the start that they wanted to get to a solution. They were very open, honest, transparent about what they could do, how they could do it, and the next steps. And they were very consistent in delivering on those promises and the goals we set at the start. I’d recommend the service for developing a system to anybody.”
Responsiveness in the Elecosoft team was part of what made this relationship work so well, as he went on: “They were fantastic. Our consultant was very open minded and patient, especially because there were several times we relayed information that was a bit contrary to what we said previously. It allowed us to be flexible in how we thought something should work, try it, and if it didn’t then we could tweak it. That kept a good cap on the development costs too.”
The company is now looking towards expansion into its housebuilding division. It will work with Elecosoft again to develop customised templates to suit the specialised and more repetitive nature of this area.
Seddon is determined to deliver on its customer promise of on-time delivery, every time. With OneProgramme, and with the help of Powerproject Enterprise to enable true collaboration around every programme, it is confident it can.
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Please note: this is a commercial profile.