Insights and best practices for construction management technology and project delivery

  • May 31, 2017

How Graham Construction Builders Reduced RFI Turnaround Time by 50%

Construction projects continue to grow in size, complexity and competitiveness. Team sizes quickly expand as a project moves into the construction phase. Schedules are tight and project processes are time sensitive. And with the volume of project information, communication across all of the different organizations ramps up as well.

With all of these moving pieces, understanding process performance, optimization, and standardization are crucial to success. In a recent webinar, Mikko Leppanen, a Design and BIM Manager for Graham - one of the largest commercial contractors in Canada - shared how they automated their RFI process.  Graham has used Aconex for over eight years across their projects including many P3s.  Graham needed a neutral, robust, flexible and easy to use platform to meet all of their project and process requirements. “Neutrality is key for P3s because all of the project information is in one place. This neutral platform ensures everyone has their own secure space and access to the latest version of documents,” Mikko said. He summarized his best practices below.

Best practices of Graham Construction

  • Accessing one central project-wide system for all parties on the project team makes a huge difference in communication, accuracy, visibility and control.
  • Tracking due dates and viewing status at all times gives early warning into potential delays and the ability to resolve issues before the project is impacted.
  • Managing internal and cross organization workflows on a central system speeds up every process and eliminates delays from sending hard copies, file size issues and lost documents.
  • Selecting an easily configurable system helps manage all project processes on one platform without any expensive and time consuming custom coding.
  • Accessing all project documents, drawings and communication on one easily searchable system is crucial.

Benefits of the Aconex Platform for Graham Construction

Mikko said, “Now the Graham team insists on Aconex for all of our projects.” With total visibility into due dates and status, management can view potential issues or delays out of the gate.  All of the project owners can view and track the project progress using one system. In a previous webinar, Parsons - one of the world’s leading engineering and construction organizations - also highlighted the benefits they receive from having all parties use a project-wide system. Graham can even access the project archives in order to learn from past relevant projects. “We can find all of our documents within seconds; including accessing all of a project’s history to make more informed decisions. There are many systems out there to manage specific processes, but to get the real value, you need one platform to manage all processes,” Mikko said. Mikko added, “Reporting is very easy, too. We save a lot of time here. Overall, we’ve been able to stay on schedule consistently and predictably.” An added bonus is that Graham is positively contributing to the environment which aligns with their corporate values. Managing all of their projects on a cloud platform has significantly reduced the use of paper as well as printing costs. All of these benefits have led to impressive results.

Results for Graham Construction:

  • Reduced RFI turnaround by 50%
  • Reduced time to solicit bids by 90%
  • Reduced defected distribution by 80%

Graham was so pleased with their boosted project process performance they standardized on Aconex across all of the projects in their Buildings Major Projects Group. “Aconex is extremely secure. All parties have access to the platform, to Aconex support and to the help desk,” Mikko said. “I really can’t imagine going back to running a construction project any other way, searching for documents and dealing with errors and missed communication,” Mikko added. Graham continues to standardize the way they manage processes and easily configure their Aconex platform to meet specific project requirements. Watch the full webinar recording here: "How to improve RFI management across your projects". Webinar Summary: In this webinar, Graham shares how using a digital platform on complex P3 hospital projects helped achieve a 90% faster bid solicitation, an 80% reduction in defect distribution and a 50% reduction in RFI turnaround time.


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