One of the country’s premier General Contractors, Georgia-based BatsonCook Construction has been growing and completing projects that span nearly every major industry including education, healthcare, hospitality, office, retail and manufacturing for over a century. With consistent growth and expanding operations, the contractor chose Viewpoint For Projects as a better solution for document management with security and standardized processes.
With Viewpoint For Projects, we can have all our project data in one place and everyone is seeing what they’re supposed to be seeing based on our security parameters.— Jason Waddell, Director of Construction Technology, Batson-Cook
“We were struggling with disjointed systems and not sure what data was where,” says Jason Waddell, Director of Construction Technology at Batson-Cook. “We used a network drive where we were storing documents, and used ShareFile if we wanted to share information with others. This meant someone often looked all over to find a file, and then after working on it, learned that it wasn’t the most current version. They then had to start the whole process again by finding the right file somewhere else - this wasted time and was really frustrating.”
The disjointed systems also raised access problems and cost issues, according to Waddell: “We ran out of ShareFile licenses and we didn’t want to buy more, so people started using Dropbox and OneDrive and we ended up with having data dispersed in even more places – a nightmare. We were also running out of data storage on our network, which would require us to buy a new SAN, new servers, everything. That would’ve been really expensive – thankfully we found Viewpoint For Projects instead.”
One Secure Location for All Project Data
It was essential that Batson-Cook had a solution for document management that was designed for construction. “We wanted one location for all project-related data so there was no confusion for anyone on where to find the data needed. We wanted a comprehensive solution where we could easily find what we needed, as well as see a project in its entirety,” says Waddell.
“Another reason to move to Viewpoint For Projects was we have a high priority on data security,” adds Waddell. “We’re owned by a global, publically traded organization and we are subject to extensive auditing. We need to be able to control security on our projects really well and Viewpoint For Projects gives me that control, and the audit trail is second to none.” Batson-Cook relies on the solution for both internal and external users. Waddell offers an example of this control: “With Viewpoint For Projects, we can have all our project data in one place and everyone is seeing only what they are supposed to, due to our selected security parameters. The security allows us to stay organized and have control to lock down administration with our preferences set for our folder tree. This helps ensure every project in our system looks identical, and we can set specific secure access to each folder; we set who can see what, and we have security groups assigned for architects, owners, trade partners who are added appropriately to the group and can see only what they’re supposed to see.”
Comparing that experience to what the company used to do, Waddell says, “When we did that in ShareFile, people just had access to anything and users didn’t know how to control the security; so everybody saw everything - it was all disjointed.”
Simplifying and Saving Time
The contractor also relies on the Viewpoint solution to have streamlined processes and standardized workflows. “Our process for submittal review is greatly improved, for example,” says Waddell. “Prior to using Viewpoint For Projects, we got the submittal from the subcontractor, emailed it to the architect, and also logged it into our Vista by Viewpoint solution to have a record of it. Now, we have workflows to solve the entire submittal process.”
Describing this common scenario among contractors, Waddell explains: “I’ve heard from our architects who say the submittals they get via email are often lost in the shuffle. They may get 20 emails about outstanding submittals, and then there’s a lot of back and forth to determine status and stay updated. With Viewpoint For Projects, they don’t have to do that; they access the solution on their own and know exactly the status of any project is at any point. Everything is available in their inbox and they can see what’s overdue and what’s outstanding. This is true for our other external users as well.”
Batson-Cook is also able to save time on housekeeping tasks and logs. “We run reports, of course, and with Viewpoint For Projects I don’t have to create separate spreadsheet logs for submittals, RFIs, drawings, and so on,” explains Waddell. “Instead, I can click a button and it searches and creates a log out of the actual live data. This is a really nice feature and we can cut down a lot on these tedious but necessary tasks.”