Eurovia Contracting reduces On-Site Paperwork close to Zero with Paperless
Eurovia Contracting, part of Eurovia UK, has been operating in the UK since 1976 delivering a broad spectrum of highway services and works. Eurovia manages schemes and projects over 50,000 kms across the largest, dedicated, highways portfolio within the UK, including the strategic and the local authority networks.
Eurovia designs, builds and maintains transport infrastructure to foster urban development and is focused on developing sustainable solutions that strengthen local communities …’rethinking highways’ by working with clients, stakeholders and partners, to shape future mobility and public places..
The Paperless Construction app had a critical role to play in supporting this ambition when Eurovia Contracting undertook the Basildon Town Centre Improvement Scheme project for their client Essex County Council
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When the Eurovia Contracting team began work on the Basildon Town Centre Improvement Scheme in May 2020, they did so amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a massive challenge for any organisation.
The project was planned for a 78-week duration and works comprised junction improvements, traffic signal installation, street lighting upgrade, one to two-way traffic flow, subway infill, carriageway resurfacing, and footway reconstruction.
It was evident that Eurovia Contracting needed an efficient digital solution that significantly reduced paperwork, helping avoid the virus's transmission via physical documents. But was such a solution available?
Sean Chapman, Eurovia's Site Supervisor on the Basildon Town Centre Improvement Scheme, initially voiced his scepticism:
"I know a few companies that claim to be paperless or have an electronic job pack, but you end up working with a manual system that doesn't collect data accurately."
Some of the COVID-19 specific challenges Eurovia had to address when considering a digital solution included:
- It had to support proper social distancing
- Contact tracing and keeping track of possible exposure during COVID-19
- With fewer people on-site, they needed to automate manual processes
- They had to stop passing pen and paper to complete statutory safety training and permits
- Improved audit trail as travel restrictions meant fewer people on-site, so it was much harder to audit compliance
- Contactless timekeeping and briefings – eliminate the need to touch a device with a Supervisor doing it all from a single device
Aside from the COVID-19 challenges faced by Eurovia, there were numerous other desired outcomes the chosen solution had to deliver, including:
- Improve efficiency by automating processes and eliminating manual collation of paper records associated with an often-transient workforce
- Standardise the onboarding process, including recording workforce competencies
- Easily record timekeeping and track who was on site on a particular day, storing the information centrally for instant access
- Avoid altogether the cost of printing and the prohibitive cost of securely destroying confidential paper-based information post project
- Eliminate wasted time picking up and returning physical documents to the office
- Abolish physical filing systems
- Provide comprehensive traceability via instant access to all user and project data
- Ensure HSE compliance with fully trained and competent personnel on site
- Avoid using multiple apps to achieve the desired digital solution
As Philip Reid, Eurovia's Digital Construction Manager put it;
"I've got a strategic objective to remove all unnecessary paper from the business by summer of next year, and COVID forced us to accelerate that rollout so that we could open projects without the need to use pen and paper.
We were looking to roll out Paperless Constructing as the environmental and efficiency benefits are really significant, but the current situation accelerated our rollout."
The solution chosen by Eurovia Contracting for the Basildon Town Centre Improvement Scheme was the Paperless Construction app which delivered on all the above criteria, by storing all user data centrally and securely in the cloud. The Paperless Construction App was already in use on one of Eurovia's projects in Coventry, so it was an obvious choice to use at Basildon.
The app was rolled out effortlessly during the first few weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic with all training and support undertaken remotely and via video conferencing.
In response to COVID, Paperless rolled out various features and added additional functionality to ensure contactless timekeeping and briefings, and a worker app so Eurovia's workforce could have training records and permits to hand on their phones.
With construction being heavily reliant on a transient workforce, Paperless also enables seamless movement of people between projects with all their competency and training records following them wherever they go.
Traceability is now a couple of "taps" away ensuring HSE compliance every time – achieved through the use of the single, fully integrated Paperless Construction app.
Using the Paperless Construction app, Eurovia experienced improved efficiency, almost eliminating paper records production entirely, and standardised processes across the board. Record keeping became more efficient and costs and time wasted associated with storing, retrieving, and destroying physical documents were eliminated entirely.
Even Sean Chapman's previous scepticism turned to praise as he commented:
"With Paperless, I know whom I've got on-site and who's briefed, it saves me carrying around a lot of paperwork and helps with social distancing. And, in fact, the closest you need to be to someone is about a metre away to scan their QR code – everything else is paperless.
Since Paperless, I haven't used a sheet of paper. I've not changed the way I do the job, Paperless has changed the way we do the job, and for the better.
The Paperless Construction app is by far the best solution I've tried, and it saves me about 2 hours a day. You've got all the records you need, stored on that little device and it makes perfect sense."
Since this success, a questionnaire was completed across all Eurovia Contracting projects echoing similar results; General implementation was described as "painless", with 98% of staff agreeing it reduced paperwork and 89% of respondents agreeing it reduced the risk of transmitting virus on site.
But perhaps the final word should be left to Sean Chapman who commented happily "we couldn't live without it now".
"With Paperless, I know whom I've got on-site and who's briefed, it saves me carrying around a lot of paperwork and helps with social distancing. And, in fact, the closest you need to be to someone is about a metre away to scan their QR code – everything else is paperless."
Sean Chapman - Supervisor