Digital project delivery using online collaboration software has yielded a 60% increase in engineering consultancy Hilson Moran’s production efficiency in a side-by-side project comparison with paper-based project delivery.
As an international multidisciplinary design consultancy, Hilson Moran has significantly increased its investment in digital solutions in order to improve collaboration and co-ordination of design across offices in London, Farnborough and Manchester, UK, as well as in Qatar and Abu Dhabi.
A real change in philosophy has come recently with the successful implementation of Bluebeam Revu’s Studio Sessions. Revu users can add markups to the same PDF document together in real-time using Studio Sessions, or individually at any time while the “Session” is active. All markup activity is tracked and a built-in chat feature aids communication during the collaboration session.
This ability for multiple users to sign-in to the same drawing review sessions, offering simultaneous, real-time editing for users who can be located hundreds of miles apart has proved a real game-changer to teams who are geographically spread out.
“We are now entering the fourth industrial revolution, not just in our industry – it's everywhere. And of course, we want to keep ahead of the curve,” explains Hilson Moran director Vince Ugarow. “We have offices here in the UK in London, Farnborough, Cambridge and Manchester. We also have two offices in the Middle East: in Qatar and Abu Dhabi. We use two or three of our offices to coordinate the design, so Revu’s Studio feature is actually perfect for that.”
Hilson Moran’s focus on project efficiency played into the firm’s effort to measure the impact of incorporating Revu’s Studio Sessions feature into their process.
“It's very important to try and gain some metrics so you can measure the success of newly introduced technologies,” says Ugarow. He explains how Hilson Moran capitalised on having two projects very similar to one another for the same client. The first one, which was done a year earlier, was really designed using the traditional sort of methodologies. They drew and sketched their own systems and then merged them together, with workshops and discussions needed to coordinate those.
With Revu’s Studio features, and the second project, all that work was done in the collaboration environment – saving considerable amounts of time.
“What we found is that just the sheer number of hours we had recorded during the first version was a lot more compared to the hours spent using the Studio feature,” explains Ugarow. “We actually found that if you look at just the production process, [using Studio] was almost 60% more efficient, which was quite a positive surprise!”
Hilson Moran is now focused on embedding this approach across the business, empowering its employees to take advantage of the 60% increase in production efficiency so that they can focus on doing the work instead of on how they do the work. The firm is also keen to apply the workflow efficiency found in the Studio features of Revu to work done with specialist contractors and project stakeholders.
“There’s going to be some real benefits once we start engaging with external partners, whether it's architects, or structural engineers on the project, or even clients as well. We see huge benefit in that, and I think we're pretty much there to do that on projects now,” elaborates Ugarow.