Engineering Firm Streamlines Internal Communication with Microsoft SharePoint

About Brierty

Brierty is a publicly listed Australian engineering company providing civil construction and mining services solutions to government and private industry. Located in Maddington Western Australia, Brierty deliver services to the Western and Northern regions of Australia, with extensive experience in mobilising to regional and remote locations.

Challenge

In the past 30 years Brierty has expanded from a family operated business to a publicly listed industry leader. Brierty continues to embrace new technology, but challenged by significant volumes of documents. The amount of correspondence and information that Brierty needs to track grows constantly. Email was the default means of sharing documents so critical information was being duplicated across locations.

Having teams in geographically diverse locations always creates communication difficulties. A solution was required in order for Brierty to continue expanding, whilst maintaining its commitment to safety and operational excellence.

Solution

Brierty looked at a number of document management solutions, eventually selecting Microsoft SharePoint. The decision was largely driven by the familiarity of Microsoft technologies in Brierty’s workplace, as well as the ease with which SharePoint can integrate with other systems in Brierty’s IT environment.

IT Manager, Martin Vestby said, “SharePoint’s (Windows) interface makes everything so easy”. Users interact with SharePoint through common Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel and Outlook.

Brierty initially launched a custom ASP based system but Martin quickly recognised the need for the broad feature set that a SharePoint solution could deliver.

Brierty engaged Ignia to advance their Intranet project beyond the basics of document storage. Growing demand for Brierty’s services increased time pressures on the internal IT team. The project quickly became mission critical.

By rapidly involving key stakeholders, understanding specific business drivers and then articulating a clear solution, Ignia were able to deliver quick wins then move on to more strategic objectives. Martin explained “Ignia understood what we needed and things happened quickly”. SharePoint became the central portal to control documents through version control, communicate corporate announcements and provide workflows for document control.

The SharePoint project was branded B-Online when it launched into production. Each team within Brierty now has its own central page. B-Online solves past remote communication issues, so no matter where Brierty staff are, B-Online is the first page they see when they log-on.

“SharePoint is a web-based system, so multisite access was immediate” commented Martin. Centralisation ensured IT costs were lowered and the previous burden on email systems was significantly reduced. B-SMART, the Brierty document library is just one example of how centralisation of policies and procedures eliminates the use of email to communicate with staff.

The Benefit of Engaging Ignia

Ignia recognised the urgency of Brierty’s situation and put a first-class solution in place in a short period of time. Ignia’s previous experience in the Engineering and Construction industry was obvious, the concepts they presented resonated with Brierty management from the outset. Ignia’s Software Development Life Cycle brought strong disciplines to a project that, previously, Brierty had struggled to grasp. This combination of industry knowledge and discipline, coupled with Ignia’s experience delivered a SharePoint Project which continues to deliver business value, through increased efficiency, retention of intellectual property and support for key business issues such as health, safety and environment.

“Our efficiency gains are almost unmeasurable; we just don’t know how we’d operate without SharePoint. Ignia delivered a solution that produced immediate benefits. SharePoint has already shown a return on investment and is a platform we’ll continue to use.”