Wates aspires to be a completely paperless operation by 2003. So far, it's been making leaps and bounds, mainly owing to an inventive programme of collaboration, including an alliance with construction firms Carillion and EC Harris, accountant KPMG and e-commerce-provider Bidcom for a UK franchise on Bidcom's products. Wates now uses virtual project management on three contracts, allowing drawings and reports to be transmitted instantly between site and office, and permitting the client to directly monitor progress. This approach will be extended to all its jobs by the end of 2002. In order to move toward full e-procurement, the company has started a programme of supplier rationalisation and by the end of 2003, 80% of its spend – from order to payment – will be fully electronic. Overall, it demonstrates the imaginative, ambitious approach and vision needed to make e-construction a success.
Arup's approach has been to combine nimble decision-making with long-term planning. It has provided e-consultancy for such large contracts as the Eden Project and blue-chip clients such as Pricewaterhouse Coopers and was a pioneer in using its intranet to pass work around the globe, permitting 24-hour working. A global company, Arup has risen to the challenge of the internet wherever it operates around the world.
No matter how remote a Schal employee may be, they have access to the internet and the firm's intranet. Launching constantly updated company procedures on this intranet has saved £10,000 in printing costs and ensured that all staff have accurate information at their fingertips. All Schal procurement is now handled online, and all tender documents are issued electronically. Schal is one to watch in years to come.
Building Awards 2001
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