DMRC Consulting is a data and analytics consulting startup that strives to support the innovation of their clients using cutting-edge, bespoke digital solutions. They work with medium and large organisations throughout all stages of their innovation processes, from planning and strategizing to physically implementing their end-products. DMRC work in partnership with their clients to find the right solutions to achieve their goals.
We were invited to support the project of an important client of DMRC consulting; HS2 Ltd. This organization is a non-departmental public body, set up by the UK government to develop a high-speed railway.
DMRC were tasked with identifying and providing process optimization to support HS2 to manage project costs and staff work. Prior to working with DMRC, most data management was carried out manually. This led to inefficient processes which drained time, money and resources from their projects.
We were tasked with implementing a solution to track progress on construction sites. To achieve this we designed a system architecture that integrated several databases, each with different providers and structures. We were responsible for developing a user-friendly interface that would allow users to add, edit and update information quickly and easily. This would increase the efficiency of business processes and allow team members to focus on more demanding tasks.
As HS2 Ltd did not have a pre-existing in-house IT infrastructure, we strived to deliver the best technical and business support that we could provide, alongside a product that matched our client’s needs.
We focused on three priorities within our work for HS2
Firstly, we created an application prototype based on our client’s requirements. We established, adjusted and tested the system restraints, roles and flow processes. We built a web application based on this.
The project was organized into phases. In the first phase, we focused on building the web application. In the second phase, we focused on integrating all the necessary databases within the application.
Defining activities and human resources
Our system supports Supervisors to manage their operational teams and assign their workforce. It does this by collecting and sharing HR data within the application. Supervisors can use the system to access the personnel list, review the number of working hours available for each person, and assign the available personnel to ongoing or future activities.
Defining plant resources
Construction equipment and plant resources are integral elements of construction work. Team members need to know their availability to plan and perform their projects. Our application supports team members to do this by uploading lists of currently available plants. Administrators can review and update lists based on the resources available. Supervisors can also review the lists, identify the equipment needed for different activities, and assign them to relevant activities.
Project activities require supervision to ensure that goals are met successfully and within the project timeline. To facilitate this, Supervisors need to have access to the right data and tools.
The ‘Dashboard View’ of the status of each activity within a project helps team members to keep track of their progress. The Dashboard presents information about the Activity and Allocation sheets. It incorporates Outstanding Allocation sheets and Activity re-submission metrics to provide Supervisors with a thorough overview of tasks which might need extra support to ensure that project goals are met.
Receipts of commissioned works
Tasks and resource allocations need to be checked and validated to keep track of the project pace and identify potential roadblocks to meeting project goals. This information is also needed to generate payroll documents and calculate the cost of each project.
Once activities are completed, Allocation sheets are updated within our application and sent to the assigned Foreman. The Foreman can then check the details of each activity, the resources and the personnel used. If any changes are needed, the Foreman can reject the Allocation sheets and provide information to the supervisor about the required alterations. Our application sends a notification to supervisors if adjustments are needed.
Once the Foreman reviews and accepts the Allocation sheet, it is sent to the Project Administrator for a final check before it is accepted. If changes are needed at this stage, then they are relayed back to the Foreman.
We integrated databases relating to human resources, plant, construction sites and work schedules within our application to provide a central point of all relevant project information. In doing this, we automated all data gathering processes; making them more efficient, accurate and effective.
In the last phase of our project, we plan to send the accepted Allocation Sheets to the Payroll system. This system will use the allocation data to calculate and prepare the relevant payment documents. By automating payroll processes, we will support our client to decrease operational costs.
Our system provides full transparency of resources, personnel and costs used throughout our the project. This provides supervisors with a detailed and comprehensive overview of their team’s work and allows them to assign accountability.
Our platform has produced £50 million in cost savings. It automates multiple forms of data collection, sharing and processing. This increases efficiency and drives down administrative costs. Crucially, it allows our client to effectively plan and manage projects, track site activities in real-time, and swiftly adapt to changes when needed.