Lakesmere switches to web-based information sharing system

Building contractor Lakesmere is saving £200,000 a year in paper document processing costs after switching to a web-based information...

Building contractor Lakesmere is saving £200,000 a year in paper document processing costs after switching to a web-based information sharing system.

This was prompted by a refurbishment of the company's Winchester headquarters, which resulted in the reallocation of over half the space previously used for archiving paper documents.

Lakesmere, which has to retain some construction documents for up to 12 years to comply with industry legislation, was forced to reassess its document handling processes, which involved generating 1.5 million paper records a year.

"We realised that there was an enormous cost associated with handling and processing paper documents, much of which could be eliminated if we held them electronically," said Geoff Dennis, finance director at Lakesmere. These costs included photocopying, paper, and labour.

The company discounted document management systems because they offered little more than the capability of storing paperwork electronically, opting instead to invest £175,000 in a web-based information sharing portal.

"The additional benefits and opportunities of Workspace from construction software company, Union Square, were clear. It made all project information, documentation, and company data available online, saving time and improving efficiency," said Dennis.

The system has been rolled out across Lakesmere's offices in Winchester, Warrington, Glasgow and Birmingham as well as up to 20 live construction sites to manage the flow of information.

"Workspace is used for as many of our everyday activities as we can think of," said Dennis. The system is used to track staff and equipment on building sites, record training needs and results for employees and sub-contractors, process quality assurance reports, and manage the delivery of goods to construction sites.

Dennis said the company was involved in beta testing a drawing management for Union Square as the first of many further developments Lakesmere has already planned for Workspace.

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