How collaborative is your project?
While searching for collaborative solutions available locally for the South African built environment, the BIM Institute met up with Jaco Barnard, from Agile Business Technology, in Stellenbosch to understand more about Viewpoint for Projects™ platform.
This solution is a suite of applications that can be configured to overcome the industry challenges and suit the precise ‘project’ requirements of each team member (or organisation) while continuing to use their daily software applications. There has been much talk over recent years, fuelled by development organisations, which has underlined the importance of effective construction collaborative systems. Companies within the AEC industry should be ready not only to embrace collaboration successfully, but understand that the foundation to BIM is the information management system they use. An organisation makes a fundamental mistake when it insists on maintaining traditional processes, while continuously trying to redefine responsibilities or workflows within its IT systems.
Even with the ever expanding SaaS (Software as a Service) technology devoted to BIM processes, there is still a general perception that document management systems hinder processes within a project – leading organisations to choose a “one size fits all” approach. This decision leaves processes, workflows and information in a rigid system, while forcing its team to adapt.
In August 2016, Stellenbosch-based Agile Business Technology joined the ranks of Viewpoint’s global network partners, when it was appointed as its authorised partner and reseller for Viewpoint’s suite of products throughout Southern Africa. Since then the local rollout of key software solutions like Viewpoint For Projects has taken on a life of its own, now supporting local heavyweights like Group Five, Aecom and NMC Construction.
The reason for this is clear, says Barnard as “This software offers incredible project profitability, delivery, and quality expectations. Viewpoint For Projects is simple and easy to use, quick to deploy, and can deliver tangible returns on your technology investment.”
Viewpoint For Projects is a collaborative project management solution used to improve communications, workflow, mobility, and decision-making to meet the unique needs of customers performing large-scale projects in the manufacturing, mining, building, infrastructure and energy industries.
It offers a familiar look and feel, making it user-friendly – an important factor when the aim is to improve communication by better managing email and correspondence while improving security and allowing for sophisticated permissions to be set up.
“Viewpoint For Projects is designed to connect people, information, and processes and will help you save time and money, improve control, and reduce risk,” continues Barnard.
Viewpoint For Projects works by ensuring a single point of reference, accountability and data capture. Put simply, it builds an audit trail, which is essential in reducing the likelihood of disagreements and disputes, and providing a clearer path to resolution if discrepancies occur.
It is built on a Common Data Environment and includes capabilities for:
Easily manage, access and share large quantities of documents such as drawings, specifications, schedules, contracts, daily logs, and mission critical reports
Experience a collaborative work environment for faster project delivery. This browser-based solution enables project teams to easily access, edit, and revise models, for a complete project picture.
Avoid missed deadlines and efficiently manage and track projects. Easily review current version of architectural, structural, and MEP models, either individually or in federated views models.
Designed for use within a live construction project, experience a cloud-based task management tool, electronic forms and process control system that enhances workflow, mobility and communications.
With this solution you can (quickly and easily):
- Capture, store and search for any email – even after the project is completed.
- Ensure the right information reaches the right people at the right time.
- Monitor project communications with an audit trail on responses.
- Ensure that users and groups can only see or do what you have permitted.
- Control processes such as AIs, RFIs, issues, PMIs, site instructions, confirmation of verbal instructions, and technical queries.
- Monitor and control KPIs and key milestones.
Viewpoint for Projects is a cloud-based SaaS offering and can be available as a User, Project or Enterprise basis. Clients who only want to use Viewpoint for specific projects would purchase (“rent”) the use of the software for the duration of the project, whereas companies wanting to execute all their projects on Viewpoint normally acquires an enterprise license.
“Viewpoint end-users require very little or no training as the software is fairly intuitive to use and very similar in look and feel to Windows Explorer,” says Barnard. Administrator and Super-User training is normally conducted as part of the 2-3 day implementation phase of the software.
Viewpoint for Projects enables customers and their project teams to increase the speed of information management including time taken searching, sending and waiting for information from project stakeholders. It also delivers quantifiable cost savings in the form of information management time, print, couriers and error reduction impact. The 2015 customer survey revealed the following:
- 27% of customers improved the speed of information management on projects by over 25%
- 49% of customers reduced project spend on information management and reduced print/courier errors by 10%
- 44% of customers rate the impact risk mitigation with Viewpoint For Projects as ‘high’
- 27% of customers reduced project errors, duplication and mistakes by more than 25%
Asset owners and portfolio owners are also starting to realise the ongoing benefit a solution like Viewpoint brings to their organisations during the Asset Maintenance and Portfolio Management phases of projects.
Viewpoint For Projects is primarily used by:
- Construction Companies
- Asset Owners
- Project Managers
- Engineering Consultants
Global clients include:
- The Ministry of Justice
- Parsons Brinckerhoff
- Scottish Renewables
- Capita Symonds
- Mott MacDonald
- Sir Robert Calpine
- Morgan Sindall
- and many more
A pivotal part of the solution is Viewpoint for Field View ™ – a cloud based and off-line mobile (available on Windows, Android and iOS) solution that replaces pen and paper in the field for daily logs, snagging lists, safety observations, inspections, defect management, commissioning and much more. With Field View, users can easily create mobile field forms to streamline disparate processes for all available field data. This includes giving field users an easy-to-use mobile application to capture field observations from anywhere on the job site — even when there is no internet connection — helping to resolve issues more quickly, reduce risk and deliver higher quality projects.
It allows user to not only automate and better control processes, but also gain mobile and BIM capabilities to complete projects faster and more efficiently while connecting field teams with project information wherever they are.
Contact Agile for further information on Viewpoint at firstname.lastname@example.org