When it comes to the UK’s biggest construction projects, Morgan Sindall is never far away. In 2011 alone, its new contracts included appointment to South Lanarkshire Council’s four-year, £150m primary school modernisation programme, a £136m joint venture contract to upgrade the M62 for the Highways Agency and the award of a place on Gatwick’s construction framework for its £1.2bn programme of upgrades and improvements.
Morgan Sindall is part of Morgan Sindall Group plc, a leading UK construction and regeneration group with revenue of over £2 billion and which operates through five divisions of construction and infrastructure, affordable housing, fit out, urban regeneration and investments.
The relationship between Morgan Sindall, which has its headquarters in Rugby, and Info Exchange dates back to 2004, when the company was looking for a health and safety reporting system. Martyn Warner, Performance Analyst at Morgan Sindall, explains: “We wanted a company-wide way to record health and safety information, with a centralised database that kept people informed of incidents, regardless of where in the business the information had originated from, and that could be used to pull off reports quickly and easily”.
By 2008, the Info Exchange system had been developed to centralise information on company procedures, including health and safety, quality, environmental issues and supply chain documentation.
It was also being used to collect a wide range of data to use in benchmarking, improving efficiency and sharing best practice across the company by collating information on everything from failure of materials – with the associated costs involved in re-ordering – or machinery, the findings of internal and external audits and training experiences and outcomes.
Martyn joined Morgan Sindall in 2008 and quickly saw the potential to make the system even more useful. Starting the process with a major push to raise awareness of Info Exchange and how it could help colleagues on site, it also involved simplifying the system to make it even more user-friendly.
He says: “We see it as a successful system because it delivers what it promises. Rather than keeping their own local records, people have visibility of information from across the company, so it has cut administration time considerably. In addition, because everything is held centrally, it is easy to produce meaningful reports for potential or existing customers.
“The system also allows us to adjust levels of access. For example, we can make some of the documents available electronically to our customers and supply chain which can be more convenient than having photocopies of all the paper files”.
Martyn has developed an excellent working relationship with Info Exchange. He says: “I am on the phone to them nearly every day and am constantly challenging them, but they are always very responsive”.
“As it is now, the system is integrated and robust, but we know that we can continue to develop it to reflect our need as our business grows. For instance we’ve recently undertaken a trial using a digital pen to further improve the data capture process”.