Embedding efficiencies at BES Ltd with Excitech DOCS

Embedding efficiencies at BES Ltd with Excitech DOCS

Adopt | Adapt | Advance

Symetri services provided: 

  • Excitech DOCS, a document management solution that is built upon the M-Files platform
  • Customisation to mirror existing folder structure for user familiarity
  • Training

Meet BES Ltd

Working with world-leading organisations in the pharmaceutical, life science and healthcare sectors, BES creates cutting edge cleanrooms, laboratories and other sophisticated environments. The company is committed to innovation across its range of specialist services; including consultancy, design, construction, commissioning and validation.

The success of BES lies in combining both design and construction capabilities to provide a complete
multidisciplinary offering, ensuring every project is expertly designed and executed with industry-leading innovation and construction excellence.

The advantage of having a completely in-house Design Team working closely with their construction team ensures a fully coordinated solution, which in turn, reduces risk of re-work during construction. Based on their extensive experience of delivering fully integrated projects, the inter-disciplinary Design Team at BES brings a detailed knowledge of the complex interfaces required throughout a project life-cycle.

A collaborative approach sits at the heart of how BES works. Clients are advised and consulted at every project stage, from initial feasibility and concept, through detailed design to construction and handover. Building Information Modelling (BIM) plays a central role in this approach; forging the connections between all project stages, and making information-sharing and broad participant involvement run smoothly and effectively.

The simple power of collaboration BES employs digital technologies and BIM practices to deliver coordinated, data-rich projects sustainable throughout the life of the building, structure, or installation. The exacting specifications that the BES teams create cover all aspects of the works – from installation through to operation and performance – reducing the risk of errors on site.

The focus on working closely together with clients is a driving spirit in BES’s ongoing determination to drive constant evolution of its working practices; ensuring that its digital technologies are always the best, most practical, and most relevant in the industry.

The challenge: Streamlining workflows

Mike Robinson is the BIM manager at BES. He keeps the adherence to standards and protocols associated with BIM constantly at the top of his agenda. As part of his role, Mike regularly evaluates potential improvements to the working methods, bringing new digital technologies into BES practices. The selected technology solutions provide an integrated working environment for the design process supporting true collaboration and interoperability.

They aim to help the Design Team get things done more efficiently; laying the ground for smoother project progress and ever-higher levels of client satisfaction.

Continuous Improvements
A vital connection in getting things done efficiently, is in the progress and exchange of drawings and documents between BES’s multidisciplinary teams. Mike explains that he was looking for a solution which could potentially improve the existing document management system and its efficiency whilst aligning to the current BIM & ISO 19650 processes. Following a number of internal workshops, the consensus among all those involved was that the Design Team would benefit from having a platform which would help speed up the documents handling process, allowing for a smooth continuity and progress. The improvements to workflows could help save time and reduce errors, bringing better outcomes to the clients.

As the choice for BES was to adopt a new software, Mike researched the market to find a solution which fitted the company’s requirements.

The solution: Designed for the way the industry works

“Excitech DOCS ticked most of the boxes,” says Mike. “We saw the potential for Excitech DOCS to streamline our processes and allow our staff freedom to do their particular job, without having to worry too much about the alignment to the current BIM & ISO 19650 processes. Excitech DOCS seemed like the only software solution on the market that catered for the Buildings & Infrastructure industries and BIM requirements.”

With the introduction of any new software solution, in any company, it is more than just the end result that is important. How quickly and how easily users will adopt it is equally critical and can create a road bump in a company’s journey towards new efficiencies.

Instant recognition, instant adoption
“If users don’t feel comfortable with new software, you can find that you introduce new problems into the mix even though you might solve old ones,” says Mike. “Excitech DOCS allows customisation and, for BES, that has allowed us to provide a convenient bridge between the past and the future. So, everyone comes along on the journey without feeling there’s a whole new software culture to become familiar with. We’ve been able to assure they are familiar with it from the outset.”

BES asked Symetri to adapt Excitech DOCS, to the existing processes at BES. This involved configuring the system within the software to mirror the existing Windows Folders structures and use the same terminology as the Design Team was already accustomed to.

The best of both worlds
Mike explains further this focus on ensuring a smooth transition from old practices, over to Excitech DOCS:

“I didn’t want there to be too much of a change otherwise people would reject the new solution. I asked myself “How do we recreate this system for users so they can migrate easily and understand where the documents are actually located in the system?” As a result, we’ve now got an enhanced system that not only utilises our existing systems, but also helps us align with ISO 19650 standards and workflows. We’re getting the best of both worlds.”

The single source of truth
“Rather than doing everything manually and worrying about whether you have the right document, every
document is the single source of truth. You can’t not have the right document. It eradicates confusion. Work is done on one document and not a copy of a copy etc. It’s streamlined our methods and brought standardisation into play.”

The result: Structure and transparency

Excitech DOCS features toolbars built into the ribbons of AutoCAD, Revit & some Microsoft Office programs. Generating PDFs and DWG’s from Revit, is done in one click from within Excitech DOCS.

Mike’s summary of the practices that Excitech DOCS has helped to improve will strike a high note of recognition with any design, engineering, BIM, or construction sector professional:

Take approvals, for example. Gone are the days where documents have to be printed out, maybe ink stamped with a rubber stamp, in readiness for a senior member of staff to add a signature for an approval. This could take hours, if not days, if someone was not in the office. With Excitech DOCS, the process can be handled by the approver wherever they are, via the mobile app and mark-ups can be done digitally. It also provides an audit trail which is a real benefit because it is easy for paper to get lost in this process, but it can’t get lost with Excitech DOCS. Even if it somehow does get deleted, the information is still retrievable.

“Excitech DOCS easily fulfils the objectives we had set out to achieve by being able to fill the role of the document manager for our current Design projects, thus eliminating the need to employ someone dedicated to the role” says Mike. “The overall goal is to minimise errors, streamline
and structure processes, and allow full transparency of a document’s journey for audit purposes. Migration and alignment to ISO 19650 and to develop the knowledge of our staff to such standards, have also been driving forces. It is now all in place.”

Picking up the pace: The journey continues

Integral to Mike’s adoption strategy has been the ‘ambassador’ approach, whereby as each group of users
is trained in Excitech DOCS, it is able to guide the next group, spreading hands-on experience through the design department.

For BES overall, one of the main driving forces behind the adoption of Excitech DOCS was its compliance with BIM and industry standards file naming conventions, automatically taken care of by the software.

“Having to manually process documents according to the ISO standard is very challenging. The ISO actually advocates you use software to process documents and is part of gaining the BIM ISO 19650 accreditation. We’re well on our way to this and Excitech DOCS has enabled us to make some impressive leaps forward,” says Mike.

To learn more about our document and drawing management software Excitech DOCS, click here. For more information on BIM Level 2 accreditation, click here.   

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