Consigli, a fourth generation family-owned business, established in 1905, is a full-service construction manager serving academic, healthcare, institutional, corporate, landmark restoration and federal clients throughout New England and New York. With offices in Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut and New York, Consigli has been recognized annually as one of the best places to work by The Boston Globe, Boston Business journal, Hartford Business journal, and Mainebiz. The company takes pride in its reputation as a local builder and always keeps an emphasis on local communities and reputable work.
SharePoint is where we keep files and SharePlus is how we access it."
Construction management is no small task. Each job site hosts a task force comprised of various Consigli construction experts, plus the job owner, architect, and so on. Multiply that by dozens of simultaneous projects, and there is a substantial risk of information slipping through the cracks. Knowing that good communication and documentation is vital throughout every stage of the construction process, Consigli implemented SharePoint, Microsoft’s collaboration software, in order to manage their “paper trail”: contracts, blueprints, site maps, project emails, and more. Using enterprise-issued iPads, Consigli’s craftsmen could store, sync, and share project documentation remotely. SharePoint is an outstanding knowledge management property, but accessing SharePoint from an iPad has its limitations. Chief Information Officer at Consigli, Anthony Chiaradonna, sought out an application that would give field employees a user experience with SharePoint more similar to the one they would have using a desktop. It would also be beneficial to find a product that would function when access to wireless networks was diminished; the depths of job sites have notoriously bad internet access. The app would have to be simple to use, with a clean, intuitive interface, to reduce the need for extensive training.
Infragistics designed SharePlus to overcome the challenges in SharePoint’s user experience so business users have uncompromised mobility and access to business intelligence. Chiaradonna took note. “SharePoint has been a boon to Consigli’s knowledge management, but making it work for us on job sites had its shortcomings. I was optimistic about SharePlus and its ability to help us mobilize SharePoint,”he said.
Chiaradonna spearheaded Consigli’s adoption of SharePlus, beginning first with his colleagues in the C-Suite. Infragistics’ team of mobile device experts configured SharePlus specifically to address their business needs and applied Consigli branding. Essentially, Consigli got a custom-designed tool without having to create it from scratch. After the beta launch, Consigli increased the number of SharePlus licenses to include Project Managers and other departments.
The Client's Benefit
As of September 2012, the roll-out was complete. Consigli conventionalized job management by setting up a SharePoint project portal for every construction site, a place where employees everywhere–at the office, on-site, on the road–can access all of the documents associated with the job. Construction workers in the field, for example, can take a picture of a job site and put it into the SharePoint environment for evaluation back at the headquarters. They can access designs and make annotations based on new information or urgent client requests.
SharePlus also liberates Consigli from “email jail”–no longer do employees have to email documents and drawings to colleagues and clients, which always carries security concerns. Finally, it’s helped Consigli conduct paperless meetings; with central access, SharePlus cuts down on the need to print documents.
With the success of their SharePoint/SharePlus implementation, Consigli has expanded the project to external contacts. Because many documents have to pass through owners, architects, inspectors, and so on, Consigli provides their partners a SharePlus license and issues them an iPad. All in all, SharePlus helped Consigli leverage the investment they made in SharePoint. The complementary duo allowed Consigli to standardize their knowledge management and access all project documentation from locations no matter how remote in today’s 24/7 information economy.
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