Contractor Multiplex has hired a fellow Australian firm to put its two biggest UK projects – Wembley national stadium and the White City retail scheme – on line.
Construction IT specialist Aconex will supply Multiplex with its project collaboration tool, the first time the IT system has been used in the UK. Aconex has also won a contract for all of McDonald’s UK fast-food outlets.
The project collaboration tool, which is an increasingly dynamic market in the UK, allows all aspects of often disparate projects to be logged on the same intranet site. This is then accessible to all companies involved in the project.
Robert Philpot, Aconex’s chief executive for Europe, said Multiplex had started on a worldwide search for a system provider more than three years ago.
He said: “They have used a number of systems from US, Australian and UK providers and decided Aconex gave them the functionality and support they needed. Just recently they have awarded us the global contract.”
Philpot said McDonald’s would use the system initially for the facilities management of its 1400 UK outlets and, in the long term, for the construction of new restaurants.
Winning both these clients gives us a strong foothold in both contracting and FM
Leigh Jasper, chief executive, Aconex Australia
He would not be drawn on the value of the two contracts, but said Aconex made a profit in Australia, where it has more than 60% of the project collaboration market. Philpot said he expected Aconex to make a profit in its UK market by Christmas this year.
Aconex has ambitious plans for winning a bigger sector of the UK project collaboration providers market.
“Winning both these clients is very significant for us,” said Leigh Jasper, chief executive for Australia. “It gives us a strong foothold in both the contracting and FM sectors. We see the whole market going global and we see ourselves as one of the leading providers in the next 10 years, and the UK obviously fits into that.”
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