Brown & Carroll London, a specialist in the highest specification fit-out joinery, is known for its exemplary 25-year record of on-time completion. Managing progress with laser like precision is regarded as key, for this high-quality joinery contractor. It is using Site Progress Mobile as a complement to its existing processes, and use of Powerproject Enterprise, to ensure that it manages fit-outs in the most time efficient and profitable way possible. The company places a high value on project management excellence. It has been using Powerproject since 2007, to help it prioritise and manage activities on some extremely large projects.
When Planner Matthew Kingston learned about its companion app, Site Progress Mobile, he recognised it could have a role to play in tightening up another aspect of assuring on-time completion. The company has purchased five licences of Site Progress Mobile for its project leads to use on their iPads when on site, and rapidly recognised a number of benefits. Matthew described:
“When we’re doing a residential tower fit-out, we will may put in some first-fix joinery before the walls go up. Then, once the decorators have been in and it is ready for all the electrical, plumbing and joinery, we’ll return. Ideally we would then work on one floor at a time – and once the team finished, we would progressively move down the building. Sometimes we have to do it two floors at a time – it’s dependent on time constraint that the client has given us. But we’re also affected by whether other works have been completed, such as all the dry lining and tiling in a bathroom. If we have to install door frames there, we may not be able to do them until other work is completed.”
In order to maximise profitability, it’s important not just to minimise time on site but ensure every piece of joinery that arrives from manufacturing is installed without delay. If there are such delays, the team needs to ensure it is immediately visible in the master programme, so the order of work can be rethought.
“The great thing about the Site Progress Mobile app is we can go to a location that is marked on the programme, and if we can’t start work take a picture of the area. That is automatically pulled into the programme with a photo reference, which demonstrates the reason for the delay.” said Matthew.
Stop doing one job – twice
The use of Site Progress Mobile has eliminated some of the steps involved in tracking so that it can be reflected in the main programme. Matthew explained how they used to work:
“Before we used Site Progress Mobile, we would print out the programme from Powerproject and send it over to the managers on site. They would walk around and handwrite all the completion percentages on the printout, add comments, and refer to pictures they had taken. It would all be sent back to me or a colleague, and we had to go through it line by line to input every comment and progress point. We were doing one job, but doing it twice. With the app, we can mark up the programme directly from site – and that’s it. It reduces the time I need to spend – instead of taking information and wading through it, now it’s done for me.”
The team finds the app easy to use and it makes the programme easy to navigate. Matthew went on:
“Site Progress Mobile comes up with a description of the bit of joinery, that they can easily identify. It has a very simple and clear interface which makes it so ideal for the guys on site. They just have to look at it and think: Is it done, or not? If not, why not? It’s nice and easy.”
Evolving the progress tracking process has several benefits to the business and its users. Matthew summarised it neatly:
“Site Progress Mobile acts as a progress report, a monthly valuation report, and backup for any delays scenarios that may occur. It significantly reduces the time that progress updates take. As long as the programme has been set up with clear first column subheadings, so you know the exact room and item you’re talking about, it’s almost like you have that piece of joinery in front of you, and are looking at it, so you can mark up its progress easily.”
Brown & Carroll will continue to hone its use of Powerproject, and find ways to implement Site Progress Mobile to secure gains across other projects. Matthew concluded:
“We’re on a lot of different projects, of different types, and we are looking for ways to use Site Progress Mobile more effectively around the business, as well as on site. It’s a work in progress but we’ve used it on two challenging large residential jobs. It’s simple, it’s easy to use, and it works.”
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