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Insights and best practices for construction management technology and project delivery

Eurovia wins by integrating commercial and operational functions using Oracle Aconex

Janet Poses
Sr. Marketing Manager

Eurovia, a leader in transport infrastructure and urban development, has a mission “to make a positive contribution to the UK's infrastructure whilst being safe, sustainable, and profitable for all.”

As a primarily government contractor, Eurovia wanted to ensure they could accurately and efficiently meet the stringent compliance and reporting requirements of the New Engineering Contract (NEC)—the standard contract for all government work in the UK.

Tracking and reporting on the specific task duration requirements would be challenging without an automated system.

Eurovia purchased a process and information system in 2013 with the specific goal of managing their contract deliverables. The contractor, always looking for ways to improve, also took advantage of the tool’s document management functionality.

However, after a few years, the company sought a more comprehensive and flexible construction management software solution to manage contracts, documents, and automated checklists for inspections, audits, workflows, and project records.

The organization researched options and selected Oracle Aconex, which offered not only the field capabilities Eurovia required, but also valuable tenders and model coordination functionality.

As a company, Eurovia, and specifically their digital construction manager, Phil Reid, focus on reducing non-value added manual tasks—such as searching for information, chasing documents in review cycles, and tracking due dates—to improve productivity, employee satisfaction, and project delivery. Oracle Aconex has helped the company meet their goals.

The benefits of a comprehensive solution

Process Eurovia achievement
Reduced average number of utility strikes 50%
Projects up and running faster 2-3 days and as fast as 2-3 hours
New user system training 2-3 hours
Faster data access to resolve questions faster From 30 minutes to just 5 minutes
Faster to send out requests for bids 75% faster

 

Too often, point solutions used for specific areas such as contract management or construction document control create a disconnect between the commercial and operational sides of organizations. Cost implications that aren’t aligned with operational changes can result in miscommunication, incomplete data, and sub-optimal decisions. The broad functionality of Oracle Aconex is a great value to Eurovia.

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“Oracle Aconex wins because all the project information is in one place."

Phil Reid, Digital Construction Manager, Eurovia

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For instance, the company receives transmittals with linked associated documents—a perfect example of process integration. The operational and commercial sides of the company are united, and the data is further strengthened by linking the information to 3D models.

Better project audits

In the past, Eurovia completed manual audits twice monthly per project. Since adopting Oracle’s project controls software, the company has completely transformed their audit model by using configurable checklists and arming their field staff with tablets to easily access and submit these checklists.

“It is so easy to use checklists within Oracle Aconex, we have integrated them into our daily routine. Last month we completed close to 350 checklists,” says Reid.

Crews take a few minutes to complete information on the tidiness and safety of their location, including taking photos each time workers arrive and leave their locations. The consistent focus helps employees pay attention to the details of their surroundings to ensure a safe environment.

The information captured through forms and photos provides a full record of site conditions, which reduces the risk of disputes and lawsuits.

“It’s hard to quantify how much better people do their jobs due to accountability, but it is clear that everyone benefits from this increased transparency,” says Reid.

Improved field safety and quality

Eurovia easily gets their team members up and running on Oracle Aconex Field. The individuals just need to click on the app, login, and go. The audit information is more complete and easily accessible for future reference because all issues are logged, including time-stamped photos.

Incident investigations have also improved thanks to the ability to remotely pull audits.

“There is a massive improvement from Oracle Aconex Field,” says Reid. “It is such an obvious advance over the previous manual process of leaving the site, going to the office, printing out the form, filling out the paper form, scanning and logging.”

The company has also increased the level of compliance over paper-based forms. The construction management software “has been integral to health and safety inspection checklists,” says Reid.

Model management reduces service strikes / utility damage

Using 3D models instead of 2D drawings has many benefits. The amount of “translation” and risk of misinterpretation is greatly reduced in a 3D model because stakeholders can see and manipulate the model and access associated information, often gaining more details and clarity than they can from a 2D drawing.

Eurovia uses Oracle Aconex Model Coordination to show all the utility lines beneath the road or pathway they will be working on. The company conducts a ground-penetrating radar scan to identify the location of the lines, then pulls this information into the system to model the existing utilities and overlay the design.

The models can be easily shared and viewed with clients and other stakeholders within the Oracle system without requiring any special viewing software.

The results have been significant. Eurovia has decreased their average annual number of utility strikes by 50% by clearly showing the exact locations of existing utility lines to all relevant stakeholders.

“I think using Oracle Aconex Model Coordination has increased safety,” says Reid.

This information provided in the models can also impact the design. In one instance, a client modified the design of a project to reduce the cost and risk of digging too close to underground utility lines after Eurovia shared the utility locations.

Image: Utility lines viewed through Oracle Aconex Model Coordination

Project accounts

Final accounts are settled much faster at the end of each project due to the system’s transparency and ease of reporting. In the past, account settlement often took months and could be a difficult process.

However, “[S]ince using Oracle Aconex, the account settlement is pretty well done at the end of the project,” says Reid.

By having everyone on the same page, not only is time and effort saved, but relationships are not strained. This is especially important for an organization like Eurovia who works closely with municipalities, thus delivering multiple projects for the same clients.

System standardization benefits

Eurovia can have Oracle Aconex up and running in just a few days at most—and in some cases, just a few hours—by standardizing on the Oracle system across projects and configuring consistent system templates.

Standardizing has reduced training as team members move from project to project. Training new users takes just 2-3 hours because the system is easy enough to learn.

The organization does not use Oracle Aconex in the rare instance when a client requires use of their own system(s). According to Reid, “If there is no Oracle Aconex, the projects don’t go as well. There are more administrative errors and worse communication.”

Eurovia uses the Oracle construction management software across their projects thanks to the configurability, easy start up, and the fact that there’s no minimum project size.

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“The module structure of Oracle Aconex lets us use the functionality what we need for a given project."

-Phil Reid, Digital Construction Manager, Eurovia

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A complete project record, improved traceability

Technology helps improve processes and save time. Eurovia has eliminated chasing down submittals, queries, and RFIs, but the company regards their more complete project record and improved traceability as the bigger benefits.

In the past, it was easier to ask questions verbally, take a walk to the site, and move forward because the process was so cumbersome. The big downside: there was no record of that clarification or decision, easily leading to potential future issues.

“Oracle Aconex makes it easy to raise queries and RFIs. That means they are identified, tracked, and recorded,” says Reid. “I can think of old legacy law suits that were lost that would not have been lost today.”

Fact-based decision making

Eurovia uses a centralized system of record to manage their projects and make decisions using complete up-to-date information. This fact-based management results in better decision making, increased efficiency, and less rework.

There is also less time spent researching to find answers. What could have required 30 minutes or more searching for an answer now takes just five minutes—over an 80% improvement.

Save time managing tenders

Eurovia also saved a lot of time managing tenders. The site team has access to all the information sent out to bid. Everything is automatically tracked to see what was sent out and what was returned.

“We definitely have the ability to send more inquiries out now. We set it up once and hit send,” says Reid.

In the past, Eurovia would have saved the information to CDs and mailed the information to bidders or sent the information via multiple emails to accommodate file size constraints. Their time savings is estimated to be up to 75%.

Eurovia and Oracle’s goals are aligned to continuously learn and improve. “Every year our safety record improves,” says Reid.

The technology solutions Eurovia uses, including Oracle Aconex, offer visibility into the company’s performance as well as the actions and processes influencing that performance.

Additionally, Eurovia can successfully analyze their progress, set informed goals, and reach their targets by leveraging technology to automate processes and reduce non value added manual activities. Construction professionals can focus on doing their jobs since their administrative tasks have been reduced.

The company plans to continue improving their process efficiency with the easily configurable Oracle Aconex system. Eurovia uses the system as a differentiator when they bid on work and offers Oracle Aconex to their clients as part of their service—further proof that the solution significantly benefits the company’s projects as well as their clients.

Oracle Construction and Engineering, the global leader in construction management software and project portfolio management solutions, helps you connect your teams, processes, and data across the project and asset lifecycle. Drive efficiency and control in project delivery with proven solutions for project controls, construction scheduling, portfolio management, BIM/CDE, construction payment management, and more.

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