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Transforming Construction Management

 

Infrastructure company simplifies information management and access with M-Files:

Fulton Hogan builds and maintains infrastructure that improves the quality of life across New Zealand and Australia. Founded in 1933 by Jules Fulton and Bob Hogan, Fulton Hogan is one of the oldest and largest family owned businesses in New Zealand. It supplies construction products and services across a range of sectors. The company has grown to employ roughly 8,500 staff across New Zealand and Australia, who work on a wide variety of infrastructure projects, everything from roads and bridges, port and airports to energy, water and communication.

To serve the rapidly-changing needs of a diverse customer base, Fulton Hogan employees and business partners need ready access to accurate, up-to-date information across hundreds of locations. The company must also control and protect sensitive data to manage large infrastructure construction and maintenance operations. This information being managed is also diverse: correspondence, contracts, invoices, forms, checklists, procedures, construction drawings, lab results, images and video, contact details, all mapped to complex metadata like individual asset IDs from our financial system.

Why M-Files?

  • Controlling information
  • Ease of integration with other systems
  • Single source of truth
  • Security
  • Flexible workflow and customization

Value to the Customer

  • Better management of valuable content and improved collaboration
  • Improved control of the M-Files platform
  • Support service leaves Regency resources to focus on core business

Value to the Customer

  • Better management of valuable content and improved collaboration
  • Improved control of the M-Files platform
  • Support service leaves Regency resources to focus on core business

DOWNLOAD THE M-FILES CASE STUDY 

“From the first time I saw M-Files, I was blown away. M-Files provides so much functionality and flexibility it was obvious that the platform would be suitable to achieve our Content / Records Management goals as well as help automate our Major Construction Project Management processes.

Implementing our key Construction Management processes in M-Files has been a rewarding and enjoyable experience.  TEAM IM understood our business and where able to provide solutions to meet our business requirements. The development, roll-out and transition from our historical EDRMS to M-Files was relatively seamless and we continue to improve the system to ensure our users love it too.

Working with Team IM and leveraging M-Files has been an extremely positive experience making us more efficient and delivering significant productivity savings.”

Jade Brown
National Records & Systems Manager – Construction, Fulton Hogan New Zealand

Problem: Information Sprawl

Like most growing companies with a long history of both organic growth and acquisitions, Fulton Hogan had information sprawl: Key corporate and operational information was siloed across multiple businesses in a patchwork of technology systems. Inadequate integration among those repositories had led to duplication and double-handling of records, not an ideal scenario for an enterprise that has thousands of off-site personnel at infrastructure projects many miles long and maintenance works covering hundreds of thousands of square miles.

“When you’re delivering very large construction projects for government clients, robust systems and controls over records, correspondence and process management are essential,” says Marcus Gibson, Group IMS Manager. “Add to that manufacturing the materials to strict client specifications. If you make a change to a procedure or specification, you need to be certain everyone is looking at the most recent version everywhere at the same time.”

Long a laggard in adopting new technologies, the infrastructure sector is embracing new tools to manage the growth of information and transfer it between stakeholders.

However, adopting new data-access and management technology posed a challenge for Fulton Hogan. The reason: Construction customers approve up-front the solutions that will handle this task on given projects. When Fulton Hogan wins work, it must deploy given information-management tools in specific parts of its business – and then is effectively locked into those systems for a number of years.

“We have some contracts that run for a decade or longer,” says Gibson. “It makes it hard to swap out across the whole (Fulton Hogan) organisation when you have different contracts with different starting and end points.”

Handling tough stuff up front

After hearing proposals from big-name vendors of information management systems from Europe, North America and Asia, an eight-person panel for each of Fulton Hogan’s businesses unanimously chose M-Files. “Part of the reason was that the other solutions all did some things well, but didn’t do everything,” explains Gibson. “It’s very hard to find a product that fits on major construction projects … but also works in a manufacturing or extractive industry as well as the corporate context. In addition, TEAM IM, has been a long standing supplier and partner to Fulton Hogan, and proved to be very strategic when it came to building a self-sustaining and self-funding, program of work.”

To test M-Files, Fulton Hogan asked a major customer to approve its use on a sizable construction project in Auckland. “That was a major turning point, where a key client saw the solution and agreed to go first. The product pretty much sold itself, which helped immensely. We now have 30 major projects running on M-Files, and many more to come.”

By handling the toughest challenges smoothly, TEAM IM gave Fulton Hogan confidence that M-Files would work well in the rest of the business. The information management system got another endorsement, albeit unexpectedly, from Fulton Hogan’s auditor on its management systems for ISO9001, ISO14001 and ISO45001 certification, which shows the company is measuring and improving its quality, health and safety, and environmental impacts. “We showed them M-Files, and they said they already use it as well.”

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"When you’re delivering very large construction projects for government clients, robust systems and controls over records, correspondence and process management are essential. Add to that manufacturing the materials to strict client specifications. If you make a change to a procedure, you need to be certain everyone is looking at the most recent version everywhere at the same time.”

Marcus Gibson
Group IMS Manager, Fulton Hogan

Harmonizing across platforms

Without minimal disturbance to existing systems or data, M-Files’ intelligent information management gave Fulton Hogan control over its records. That was partly by replacing folder systems with metadata, which makes documents easy to find no matter what repository it is in. Staff need only type in, say, “Show me all contracts from this week.”

“By having more control, (it) makes us more secure, reduces work, reduces double-handling,” says Gibson. “It helps give our clients confidence that we’ve got robust practices for controlling the records that ultimately belong to them. So it reduces a lot of commercial risk around major projects.”

M-Files integrates easily with applications like SharePoint and Salesforce, giving Fulton Hogan a single source of truth and eliminating issues with version control. It also stands up easily to new workflows and processes, providing new opportunities to improve access and management of information throughout the business. “We’ll keep finding new ways to use M-Files,” says Gibson. Leveraging the expertise of TEAM IM, Fulton Hogan has been able to functionally replace, migrate from and thus successfully decommission a number of systems, realising significant cost savings in the process. It’s not just clients and managers who have become M-Files fans. In a 2019 interview, Gibson said the company planned to have 450 employees using it, and possibly add another 300 atop that. Now they are projecting as many as 1,000. “A lot of our people were plodding along and suffering in silence and working with the tool that they were given. Now that they’ve seen M-Files and what it’s capable of, there’s no way we could go back without having a revolt.”

Next up: Working smarter by removing complexity

Making M-Files accessible to mobile workers will be a key focus going focus going forward. Fulton Hogan’s site engineers – who solve complex construction problems in the field – work more efficiently because they can copy key data they will need before they head to a work site. With the information securely in a cloud file-sharing solution, the engineers can more easily resolve issues between clients and Fulton Hogan’s subcontractors and suppliers.

“It frees the engineer to think about the actual problem they’re trying to solve,” says Gibson.

Another area of interest is leveraging M-Files as a platform to manage tenders and onsite quality. “What we’ve built now (with M-Files and M-Connect) works for delivery of construction projects and post-construction retention of records,” says Gibson. “There’s an opportunity within that pre-contract phase. Our legal and quality teams are very interested.”

M-Files also helps simplify information management by reducing the number of business tools that Fulton Hogan must run simultaneously. “When any other system comes to the end of life, we’ve got the option to say, ‘Let’s expand our use of M-Files to fill that gap as well.”.

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“That was a major turning point, where a (large) client saw the solution and agreed to go first.’ The product pretty much sold itself, which helped immensely.”

Marcus Gibson
Group IMS Manager, Fulton Hogan

About TEAM IM

TEAM IM is a premier M-Files partner and global enterprise solutions and technology company. Utilising best-in-class technologies to transform and automate business processes, TEAM IM has successfully implemented thousands of business solutions across a diverse spectrum of organizations of varying size and industry focus. TEAM IM’s offerings include expert professional services, managed services, custom development, and solutions in many areas, including Content Management, Records Management, Process Automation, Analytics, Field Services and Web or Mobile Apps.

About M-Files Corporation

M-Files provides a next-generation intelligent information management platform that improves business performance by helping people find and use information more effectively. Unlike traditional enterprise content management (ECM) systems or content services platforms, M-Files unifies systems, data and content across the organization without disturbing existing systems and processes or requiring data migration. Using artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in its unique Intelligent Metadata Layer, M-Files breaks down silos by delivering an in-context experience for accessing and leveraging information that resides in any system and repository, including network folders, SharePoint, file sharing services, ECM systems, CRM, ERP and other business systems and repositories. Thousands of organizations in more than 100 countries use M-Files for managing their business information and processes, including NBC Universal, OMV, Valmet, Rovio, SAS Institute and thyssenkrupp. For more information, visit www.m-files.com.

Website www.m-files.com

Email Contact@m-files.com

Australia phone number +61 431 300 772

Finland phone number +358 3 3138 7500

USA phone number +1 972.516.4210

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“That was a major turning point, where a (large) client saw the solution and agreed to go first.’ The product pretty much sold itself, which helped immensely.”

Marcus Gibson
Group IMS Manager, Fulton Hogan