Document Locator solves HITT's intranet collaboration problem.
Established in 1937, HITT Contracting Inc. has been an innovator in the construction industry. Since its inception nearly 70 years ago, it has grown from a home-based business to five locations and 700 employees nation-wide. ENR lists HITT as one of the top 100 General Contracting firms, and 180th for global contractors.
Challenge: organizing a wide-spread workforce
With success came challenges. One challenge facing the company was organizing a workforce spread over the eastern United States. This dispersed workforce meant that getting the right information to the right people at the right time was paramount.
HITT wanted to leverage its existing technology in solving this organizational problem, and the company intranet seemed to offer a possible solution. On paper it looked like a good idea: just update the intranet site so that when people logged in they could access the information they needed right off the Web, no matter where they were. The catch was that with the ever-changing schedules and shuffling of resources, it was going to be difficult to keep the Web site current. HITT needed to find a way to continually update their intranet site as things changed.
The Cram Group suggests Document Locator
To keep the HITT Web site updated, the information would have to come from numerous managers, people who were already busy keeping up with the pace of work. The goal became to find a way to get the information from the managers to the intranet site without adding to the managers’ workloads. The Cram Group (www.thecramgroup.com), a consulting firm that advises companies on software and software implementation strategies, suggested Document Locator, an enterprise document management system, as a solution.
The Document Locator advantage
Document Locator offered several advantages over other similar products. First, its seamless integration with Microsoft Windows and Office meant that HITT’s department heads could continue to use the familiar desktop software they already had. Document Locator’s folder tree structure was identical to what they were seeing in Windows Explorer, which for basic functions eliminated the need for training. Familiar processes like dragging and dropping files were the same, so people didn’t need to adapt to a whole new process.
Anthony (Tony) Canella, Director of Network Administration, was in charge of the implementation. “We had no issues at all. Since Document Locator is a SQL-based application and we already use Meridian, JD Edwards, Prolog, and other SQL-based programs, there were no technical issues with adding Document Locator to the mix.”
Implementation was a matter of days, not months. “We see Document Locator as layered above the other programs. It acts as our overall document management tool, working with the other programs,” says Canella.
Updating is easy with WebTools
Now when HITT managers update project information, instead of files going to a folder somewhere on a network drive, they are saved into a Document Locator repository and made immediately available to authorized users via WebTools, Document Locator’s Web access module.
Says Canella, “Document Locator is now the backbone of our intranet. It keeps our internal site dynamic and current. It has empowered everyone to take ownership of the internal site.”
Secure remote access with no training required
WebTools incorporates Document Locator’s role-based security, ensuring that HITT can safely share its repositories with contractors outside the company. HITT can control which files contractors not only access, but which ones they can see in the repository. Contractors can exchange drawings and other files in a completely secure environment.
“Once I’ve granted a contractor access,” says Canella, “the rest is easy. If they have ever used Internet Explorer they can use Document Locator’s WebTools. I have never had a contractor call me back saying he didn’t know what to do. That’s important because these contractors are very busy. They don’t have time to train on new software. Document Locator is very easy and intuitive. No training has been needed.”
Managing RFIs, change orders, email, and more
Because Document Locator can be applied to many other business processes, HITT has begun rolling it out to other teams. Staying up to date with contractors is essential to controlling the construction process, and Document Locator has helped HITT manage the constant stream of documents that flow between it and its many contractors. HITT’s clients are using Document Locator to manage different document-related construction processes, such as change orders, RFIs, vender submittals, email, and more.
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