Hansen Yuncken is one of Australia’s leading privately owned construction companies. Established in Victoria in 1918, the company has grown to more than 650 employees and has an annual turnover exceeding AU$1 billion. “Innovation is at the core of our business plan,” says Michael Parkes, project manager at Hansen Yuncken. “It’s definitely part of our business plan to investigate, adopt, or develop any tool that gives us an edge or helps us deliver our projects more efficiently.”
In 2010, that attitude led Hansen Yuncken to begin work on HYway—a sophisticated in-house collaboration and information management platform. This groundbreaking system was designed to integrate the company’s many disparate systems and provide intelligent reporting across the enterprise, especially on large projects involving geographically dispersed participants performing roles that were typically silos within the organization.
“BIM 360 Field and HYway not only have changed the way we operate on job sites, but have also made us more transparent and better informed across the enterprise.”
Joe Barr, CEO, Hansen Yuncken
Traditionally, Hansen Yuncken—like many construction companies—relied upon spreadsheets to connect disparate systems. “We recognized the need to move away from storing information in disconnected silos and into sharing information via linked databases and platforms that support increased efficiency in process, communication, and relationships,” says Parkes, who currently manages the HYway project.
The first step in the development of HYway was carefully analyzing every information management system operating within the company and deciding which to keep and which to phase out of operations. For each system the company decided to keep, the development team worked out how to bring it into a database with a front-end dashboard. “Initially, our goal was to help our employees efficiently capture the company’s in-house 2D data—which is generally less complex and contained in relatively small files—through electronic forms and processes, rather than paper-based systems,” says Parkes.
After completing the initial development and implementation, Hansen Yuncken sought a way to integrate more complex 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) content into the HYway. For help with this process, Hansen Yuncken relied upon Autodesk® BIM 360™ Field, which enabled the company to integrate data from the field into HYway dashboards via an Autodesk application programming interface (API). This integration, in turn, helped Hansen Yuncken convert its paper-based field processes into digital workflows.
This approach has changed the way field employees are able to work. “Tasks that used to require a few hours on-site, followed by several more doing paperwork in the office, can now be done completely onsite—paperwork included—with BIM 360 Field,” says Parkes. That allows the employees to spend more time doing what they are passionate about and less in the office.
"Areas that have seen particular improvement are the company’s jobsite quality, safety, and commissioning processes. “We are trying to develop HYway and BIM 360 Field to replace those systems with electronic systems onsite,” says Parkes. “BIM 360 Field and HYway allow our safety personnel to efficiently capture data on job sites using iPads, while eliminating lengthy back-and-forth commutes to and from the office to complete paperwork,” says Parkes.
“BIM 360 Field and HYway allow our safety personnel to efficiently capture data on job sites using iPads, while eliminating lengthy back-and-forth commutes to and from the office to complete paperwork.”
Michael Parkes, Project Manager, HYway, Hansen Yuncken
Hansen Yuncken has taken an enterprise approach to the rollout of BIM 360 and its mobile data-capture processes, with information and data flowing from the field up through the organization in a very structured and methodical way. “Our expectation is that our supply chain, our subcontractors, and their contractual obligations with us will all use this new electronic environment,” says Parkes.
Ultimately, the company believes that BIM 360 Field and the HYway portal will help connect every one of its external projects with its internal business units and give them the data they need to drill into every project site, more clearly understand the root causes of concerns, and make better-informed decisions.
Those benefits are experienced at every level of the company. “I can gain a view of our business development pipeline in two or three minutes via this portal, whereas previously it would have taken two or three days to get a number of reports generated and collated,” says Joe Barr, CEO of Hansen Yuncken.
“BIM 360 Field and HYway not only have changed the way we operate on job sites, but have also made us more transparent and better informed across the enterprise,” adds Barr. HYway and BIM 360 have also changed the way in which the company bids on new projects. “We anticipate a much better return as a result.”
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