ENSR is a leading global environmental firm serving industrial clients and government agencies with 450 employees
ENSR Australia provides comprehensive consulting, engineering, remediation, and environmental health and safety (EHS) management and sustainability solutions.
As their organisation continues to grow, ENSR Australia required a national management system and the implementation of a more strategic approach to dealing with available data and information held throughout organisational 'silos' nationally.
Business problem: No effective document management system
Information silos. As ENSR Australia's Manager of Knowledge and Performance, Lauren Allen, explains. "Initially when we started looking for a system, we were much smaller than we are now. We had a couple of offices acting as informational silos and we just didn't have any way of sharing information". As ENSR Australia grew, so too did the inability to share information across offices.
This issue was further highlighted by the fact that we started collating a national management system. Previously we had operated using electronic filing and there was no sharing of that file structure between offices. As we grew, just the basic sharing of that information and keeping it updated became quite cumbersome, says Ms Allen.
Without an effective central information portal and document management system, important knowledge was fragmented and out of the hands of the right people, reducing access to the organisation's 'collective wisdom'.
Previously information was locked into computers, email, individual offices and employees heads, say Ms Allen. This not only limited accessibility, but also wasted time and reduced efficiency across ENSR Australia offices.
We weren't able to share information about who was working on which clients very effectively, says Ms Allen.
The result was that we relied upon people actually talking to each other. But people didn't know what information was important to share, often resulting in the exchange of irrelevant or redundant documentation.
In the past I had even gone down the path of putting all relevant and updated information on one drive in the computer. Every month I would copy it and send it out on disc, informing all employees that this is the updated management system and to please use it.
But even so, people would still continue to save stuff to their own desktops. Unfortunately the useability of it just wasn't effective. People like to be able to type in a word to search for something rather than go through a windows directory list. Documents were hard to locate and the process too time consuming.
Intralogic has allowed us to grow at this rate and maintain consistency. I don't see how we could have reached this size and continued to function without something like Intralogic.
Manager of Knowledge and Performance
ENSR Australia spent several months evaluating servers. Without a technical person on the team, ENSR Australia experienced initial difficulties selecting a provider. After several months of evaluation and one failed arrangement with another provider, ENSR hired a contractor to evaluate the options that would best suit their needs. Weblogics was selected a month later upon the contractor's recommendation.
Ms Allen explains the situation;
It took a long time for everything to get started. Originally we invested money into another provider, but they failed to deliver the product. Eventually we hired a contractor to come in and make the decision. It was upon her professional recommendation that we went with Weblogics.
Document management and workflow automation. With a vision to automate their processes, the combination of IntraLogic's document management capacity, workflow processes and ability to store and control employee information, were key in ENSR Australia's decision to select Weblogics' IntraLogic.
We found the combination of these features very attractive, says Ms Allen.
Training and support. Without any internal technical assistance available, Ms Allen stressed the great benefit of Weblogics' training and ongoing technical assistance.
The initial training was great. We got a lot out of it. It was great to be able to ask questions and the Weblogics team gave us ideas on how we could do things and how best to implement the system.
It took a long time for everything to get started. Originally we invested money into another provider, but they failed to deliver the product. Eventually we hired a contractor to come in and make the decision. It was upon her professional recommendation that we went with Weblogics
Manager of Knowledge and Performance
Centralised information management. IntraLogic provides a more strategic approach to dealing with available data and information held throughout organisational 'silos'. With their organisational knowledge now more readily available, common mistakes are more easily avoided, staff time used more effectively and the burden on hardware greatly reduced.
It was always the vision that we would have one entry point into our work site. This way all employees could go to one place to get information and access their documents. They have the ability to find out who the people are and are able to share knowledge with them, says Ms Allen.
Consistency at a national level. With IntraLogic, ENSR Australia now has a consistent national updated set of business information. "Everybody has access to the way that we do business, which is really important and that's reduced a lot of confusion about how we are meant to do things", says Ms Allen, resulting in greater transparency on a national level.
Greater collaboration. With IntraLogic's communities feature and personalised homepages, ENSR Australia now has greater collaboration across its offices.
With offices all over the country, it is handy to have the ability to find out who the people are and what they look like. This closes the distance geographically. Knowing a little more about them and what they look like just makes it a little easier to relate to them and contact them. Now everyone can find out who everyone is and what they do, says Ms Allen.
Increased accessibility. The increased accessibility to documents ensures that all employees have access to the right information at the right time. Information is now shared between offices freely, resulting in more effective knowledge sharing, accuracy of information and overall quality of information. One example of how this has benefited ENSR Australia is by the placing all resumes on the portal.
This is extremely valuable for proposals and for when staff are putting bids together. We do a lot of projects that span offices, so everyone needs to have access to everyone's resumes. Clients need to see current versions of the resumes so as they know who is working on their projects and what their experience might be.
Historically every region would have someone in control of all the resumes. When putting together a proposal, you would have to ring them up and say, 'Can you send me through the resume of x'. This would take up a lot of time and often the resumes were not updated. But with the portal, everyone now has instant access to updated and relevant resumes nationally.
Information available to new employees. As ENSR continues to grow, IntraLogic will continue to benefit new employees. With IntraLogic, documents and files are automatically indexed allowing all new employees to locate the information needed instantly via a simple key word search. This results in quicker, more efficient retrieval of information and a smoother adjustment for new employees.
Controlled client access. With hundreds of clients, ENSR can now give selected 'defence alliance' clients access to specific projects relevant to them via IntraLogic. Clients can therefore monitor the progress of their project whilst under construction, providing further transparency of information between ENSR and their clients, as well as a faster information sharing and increased cohesion across projects.
Greater efficiency and environmental focus. As an environmental consultancy, ENSR Australia is committed to minimising the environmental impact of its business activities, by embedding sustainability best practice into all that they do.
IntraLogic is helping ENSR Australia continue with this focus as the management system reduces the need for voluminous paper records. Although they are yet to measure the quantifiable benefits, Ms Allen explains,
If we traditionally do what a lot of companies do and have a management system made up of folders and all the documents, it would result in a huge waste of time and resources. So none of our systems need paper, so yes that has definitely made an impact.
Access to upgrades. Although not a requirement at first, the availability of upgrades is a feature that Ms Allen feels will greatly benefit their organisation.
Having gone through several months of customization, we've raised a few things that we feel would add value to the product. These additions have been well received and will make their way into a future release.
Weblogics has developed enterprise-wide software solutions since 1991. Our mantra is to partner with businesses that recognise IT as a critical factor in achieving their competitive advantage. Weblogics has designed Web solutions since the late 1990s, creating product suites conceived from the beginning as web solutions. Each day, more than 30,000 users log on to a Weblogics intranet. Weblogics customers include banks, financial institutions, construction companies, not-for-profits, environmental companies, and project managers.
Call Weblogics on 02 9929 0777 or visit www.weblogics.com.au for more details.