County Contractors plans to digitise its forms, automate workflows and store its expansive library of forms in one place – using Causeway Ermeo and Causeway Docs.
Last year, the specialist hotel and retail refurbishment contractor – also known as R J Heathman (Contractors) Limited began evaluating its processes for digitisation.
That's where Causeway Ermeo Forms and Causeway Docs comes into play.
Causway Ermeo is a mobile workforce management solution that County Contractors will use to digitise its workflows and forms. The cloud-based solution will store and manage the large library of forms that County Contractors currently have in their Standards Form Register.
The cloud-based software solution, Causeway Docs, will hopefully become the new electronic document management system used within the Hotels department on a per project basis.
With the connected workflows available this will help make the approval process of drawings much easier and help with the collaboration between external and internal users of the system. It is hoped that this will replace current electronic document management systems currently in place.
We spoke with Lorraine Baillie, IT & Telecommunications Manager at County Contractors, about what drove them to choose the two solutions.
Taking back control
County Contractors have a large Standards Forms Register, along with many other 'workaround' versions that employees/departments have created themselves – making them tough to standardise and even harder to track.
Lorraine wanted to take control of the forms register, combine the departmental processes and automate the workflows all whilst giving employees an easily accessible digital platform for them to work from. The transformation started last year.
In summer 2021, the company made leadership changes that added fresh field experience to the Board. It brought a perspective that better understood the company’s digital vision and how board-level decisions impacted them.
"Discussions were held about six months ago where it was agreed that the company needed to move forward and make digitisation part of its future."
Finding the right solution
Lorraine looked at generic tools like SharePoint, Microsoft Forms, Power Apps, and BI to solve this problem, but the path forward was complex.
"We reached the point where we would either need to employ a developer to help set up the background structure and processes for us," says Lorraine. "Or try and source a product that already has the backbone in place. All this would need to be done before moving on to the creation of the forms internally.”
Lorraine didn't need to wait long before finding the right solution. As a Causway Donseed customer, she has a dedicated account manager who introduced the Causeway latest acquisition – Causeway Ermeo.
Causeway Ermeo can digitise almost any workflow and form with ease. Early adopters Hanson Contracting and The Bennie Group have already found dozens of interesting use cases, and County Contractors will add dozens more.
With a strong relationship already in place, it made sense to explore how the forms solution, along with Causeway Docs, could help County Contractors succeed on its mission.
"I'm hoping that the solution we implement will enable our site-based users to easily access their everyday work tasks via their mobile devices whilst giving them a uniformed digital platform," says Lorraine.
"There are multitudes of ways that the implementation is going to help everybody."
Saving "hours and hours" for one process
Using the site file process as an example, Lorraine expects to save one to one and a half days for a single process with Causeway Ermeo and Causeway Docs.
When the contractor wins a job, an admin worker pulls the information together before running through a site checklist. Once complete, they decide who needs what forms and how many – all of these are currently in paper format.
"Out of all the paper in the site file taken to site, they probably need four to five pieces to share on notice boards, etc," says Lorraine. "The rest could all be filled in online."
"Even though everyone has printers, laptops and iPads, they'll still ring for somebody to print ten forms to post out. If those forms already exist online and we have a standard site checklist, that process for the admin person will be alleviated and everyone can become more self-sufficient."
It's also about what happens to the information once it has been collected - nsite checks likely happen, but the paperwork might not make it back. The forms that get back to admin are checked to see what's still required, sometimes it might be just four out of 10 sheets.
"The rest get shredded or stored away in paper format for however many years, doing nothing, collecting dust," says Lorraine. "Nobody ever goes back for the information because they can't find it.
"Just looking at that single process, one to one and a half days could be saved with these new solutions."
Forms have now been created and the rollout is underway.