Rock Solid - Asite has introduced Asite Workspace, a personalised collaboration tool that is low cost, easy to use and ideal for feasibility stages of a project - as 3DReid have found out


by David Chadwick, Editor, Construction Computing magazine

 

If you have ever visited Gibraltar you will have either spent a couple of hours lined up at the border control, or dropped into its airport. Either way, you will be familiar with the tarmac strip that cuts across the isthmus that separates the Rock from its Spanish neighbour - the road to the town runs right across it, and you have to wait whilst the various military and civilian aircraft have finished using it!

 

As the Rock of Gibraltar is an increasingly popular tourist attraction the air terminal needs updating, and 3DReid has been given the project. 3DReid was formed after the merger of Reid Architecture and 3D, in the process becoming one of the UK’s major architectural forces. To assist them in answering the need for collaboration during the early stages of the construction project, the company chose Asite, an entry level project management tool from Asite, launched in January 2007. Asite is better known for its advanced collaboration tool, Asite Project Workflow. It was felt that at such an early stage in the project, the cost and features of more advanced tools were not justified.

 

Speaking to Tony Ryan, Chief Executive Officer at Asite, I asked why companies would want to use a low level solution at an early stage in the process, and why they should not dive straight into the more advanced solution? Tony explained that many of the rich set of features that you get with Project Workflow, used for some of the largest construction projects currently underway, are not necessary at the early stages of most projects, and that Workspace, a personal tool costing no more than £25 per month for each licence, and based on web collaboration, can handle all of the requirements of planning, design and sourcing. What’s more, when the actual construction part of the project gets underway, it can be used to export all of the data accumulated to the larger application.

 

Architects typically produce significant quantities of drawings and documents which need to be shared and reviewed with colleagues and planning authorities, even at the feasibility stage, and before a project has been won (and afterwards, as well, for acilities management). Designing on a speculative basis, with no certainty that the funds will be available to run a fullscale collaboration solution, forces them to keep overheads to a minimum for each project. The problem with that, is that all of the drawings hat have been produced at the feasibility stage have to be incorporated into the collaboration solution being used at the Build stage, on a retroactive basis - a complicated process with many documents having to be sorted, discarded, linked to the main application - and so on.

 

Asite Workspace alleviates the problem. It is a low cost and easy to use solution, providing users with personalised workspaces - hence the name - where they can keep all of their data in a secure area, which they can use for a umber of different projects. As the planning of a project develops, they can invite other people into each Workspace, creating Group Spaces for each project. Using Workspace, architects will be able to keep records of all documents and drawings and their audit trails created from the beginning of the project, and access the data on the move. If they need to go to planning meetings they will have access to all current work, without having to trawl around with a selection of drawings and documents (which, according to Sod’s Law, ill be the wrong ones, anyway!).

 

If the project subsequently requires the use of more advanced collaboration tools, the documents can be simply transferred to Asite Project Workflow. Significant savings can also be made against normal printing and postal costs, usually incurred at this stage of a project, by using Workspace to give collaborators access to the same drawings and documents, which they can draw down from the website, and view and mark up, using standard mark-up and annotation tools. They can also use the software to print documents and project information drawings as required, in batches.

 

As part of the Group Space attached to a Workspace, the supply chain can also keep a record and audit trail of all documents created from the beginning of the project including legal documents, contracts, estimations, planning information and feasibility options. Key information about the project can also be accessed for facilities management.

 

Keeping it as simple as possible, Asite have laid out 6 quick and easy steps to project collaboration. First of all, you have to assemble the team - this involves nothing more than sending an email and inviting someone to join your secure Workspace. The second stage is to upload and share the documents you have with the team you have assembled - thereafter notifying each one of them when new documents that they will need to see have been added to the Workspace.

 

The fourth step is the location and viewing of documents, eld in a secure, central, document store, using WorkSpace's efficient search technology, using an Explorer-style folder structure, and upload and view the documents in up to 250 different file formats, using Asite's Brava viewer, preparatory to discussing and marking them up online. No additional specialist software is needed, only a unique log-in, PC and Internet connection, and no need to change existing work practices.

 

WorkSpace comes with additional benefits, including the ability to eliminate the uplication of documents, and to ensure viewers see the latest version of documents by means of version control. Collaboration is not specific to the construction industry, and Asite Workspace could be used effectively in other spheres of industry - perhaps even publishing (now there's a thought!). WorkSpace is a powerful tool for small scale projects. Once you embark on the Build side of a project, sending round RFIs and other heavy duty stuff, then you will need to upgrade to Project Workflow

 

Project Management

WorkSpace allows users to obtain overviews of all projects from a central projects summary, and to track the progress of projects using its reporting capabilities. Data can be linked or searched for between projects, with transparency across all applications. Security is provided by unique log-in user names and passwords, with secure communication transmission, using https, and data hosting that uses a highly secure infrastructure.

 

The Value of Collaboration

Asite delivers complete and flexible solutions at every point in the supply chain, enabling the whole enterprise to work more closely together, using the company's product portfolio, which includes a range of tools for collaboration, trading and sourcing. Their solutions provide key decision makers with clear visibility of their project portfolio, increasing levels of communication and, most importantly, full auditability.

 

By allowing architects and planners to increase control over projects, they can deliver improved productivity, reduce project risk, develop stronger trading relationships with their suppliers, and enhance the management information they can get out of the project. Asite provides all the necessary training and support to ensure users make the most of their investment, and, with many years of experience in the business, with customers at both ends of the scale, can make sure their solutions fit your needs and that they fully understand how to exploit their capability.

 

 

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Patrick Yung

Director, Arup Advisory Services

"Implementing Asite empowered our project management process through a custom-made and user-friendly digital platform. Apart from document management, Asite enhanced the work process in design, approval and construction management. By managing such a diverse and complex hospital project, Asite provided a traceable and secure environment for all project records. We highly recommend!"

Chris Hinton MA FCCA

Technology and Innovation Lead, University of Cambridge

"Asite have shown clear strength in the maturity and depth of capabilities of its system, particularly in the capital delivery aspects. Adoddle is providing our project teams with the capabilities to manage the coordination and dissemination of models, data, files and documentation to clear and industry recognised standards. Embedded and configurable workflow tools are supporting the management of key commercial processes and information exchange gateways. Asite continue to demonstrate a commitment to working with the University and our partners in helping us achieve higher levels of information maturity to match our vision."

Carrie Matthews

Head of Information Management and Application Support, Tideway

"Thames Tideway has been working with Asite for 4 years. In that time it has been a very effective and indispensable relationship. Asite’s Adoddle BIM solution has allowed us to work collaboratively with our main works contractors in an efficient and productive manner. On such a large and high profile project with multiple contractors, the ability to view real time dashboards of upcoming, completed and overdue tasks, assign actions and view deadlines is invaluable. The Professional Services Team has provided exceptional support to ensure the smooth running of the system, preventing any major issues."

Dwight Wilson

Digital Engineering Lead, Imtech Engineering Services London and South

"Asite provides a single point of access, validation and quality assurance of project information across our business. The mobile-first approach, smart forms and easy to use interface has transformed the way we collaborate with our supply chain on projects."

Daniel Pearce

Senior Document Controller, Westfield

"Asite covers all the Tender, Design and Construction modules; all on one impressive system, whether you’re in the office or out on site; Asite has the information, processes, and tools you require for any successful project delivery."

Vikramaaditya Radhu

General Manager, Wave Infratech

"Wave Infratech started utilizing Asite in 2016 and have successfully implemented 40 projects with Asite Adoddle. The enterprise partnership enabled us to bring all project participants on Asite, a Common Data Environment (CDE) without excluding anyone to keep the cost down.

We are using Adoddle’s Document Manager, Custom Forms, Workflows and Field Defect Manager to practice efficient information management and better collaboration amongst project participants. We can rest assured that all our projects run smoothly and are getting delivered on time.

Since implementing Adoddle and working closely with the Asite’s Professional Services team, we have seen a huge improvement and we now have a high level of traceability of decisions and agreements made throughout the project.

Adoddle’s streamlined processes, daily progress report custom form, and custom reports have had a major positive impact in capturing planned vs actual progress on site on a daily basis. Implementing Asite’s Adoddle has largely contributed to the success of our business and helped us continue to be the leading players in the real estate sector."

Sarah Blackwell

Business Support Director, PCE Ltd.

"Asite is a great tool that provides ‘one stop shop’, cloud-based management for all our projects. Like all software, there can be some glitches when you are adapting it to suit you and you have to be prepared to put some effort in to get the best out of it, however exploring the scope of what Asite has to offer and working with their support team to utilise it to its full potential definitely pays dividends for our business."

Sujatha Naren

Head of Operational Process, Synergy

We would like to thank Asite Solutions for their excellent support and professionalism during the implementation of Adoddle by Asite Solutions for Synergy projects. Synergy team appreciated:

  • The product Adoddle by Asite Solutions has been a good fit for our project management needs within Synergy.
  • Excellent support and customization by Asite, paying attention to all details during launch and implementation phase.
  • Post Implementation training and 24*7 support by Asite team made using Adoddle smooth and easy.

We congratulate Asite for their industry best product and implementation performance. we are looking forward for further improvement for our mutual co-operation and success.

Ash Bailey

SF Development Officer, Stoke on Trent City Council

"By using Adoddle across our programme, our teams were able to work collaboratively, which helped us to reduce error and risk, make time and costs savings and deliver more value. I would highly recommend the use of Adoddle for mission-critical corporate collaboration."