BW: Workplace Experts Automates Content Search, Upload and Contract Workflows
BW: Workplace Experts was founded in 2000 by a couple of innovation-minded individuals determined to shake up the fit out sector. Over two decades later, the company's unwavering commitment to challenging the status quo remains its guiding principle. They pride themselves on their ability to deliver flawlessly executed fit out and refurbishment projects, ensuring Defect Free practical completion (DF@PC) for all their clients. Their laser focus on customer feedback, automation, and employee training has led to referrals, repeat business, and a stellar reputation.
The Challenge: Sourcing Information in a Timely Manner
As BW’s business flourished and employee numbers grew, their workplace experts spent an immense amount of time chasing after relevant information. "This growth led us into unfamiliar territory where domain knowledge was severely dispersed," described Tomas Hollingsworth, Head of Technology. For Hollingsworth and the team, that meant building a technology foundation that could apply automation to their existing content in order to more efficiently process contracts, locate project information, and upload photos.
The Solution: Egnyte Plays Critical Role in BW’s Technology Foundation
BW: Workplace Experts has been using Egnyte as its cloud file server since 2020. But it wasn't until recently that the BW team realised how instrumental Egnyte could be in providing a content backbone. Egnyte’s embedded search engine, along with a rich integration with Microsoft Power Automate and Procore, has ensured users can always find critical project files.
"A project manager might be looking for information on how to build a custom helix staircase or get information about a particular type of glass we installed ten years ago. With Egnyte's advanced search capability, those users are presented with photos from past projects, suppliers, and unit rates," said Tomas. "It unlocks the domain knowledge from a single project manager to the rest of the company."
That same search capability propagated across the rest of the organisation. For contract managers, contract terms and past contracts become accessible through a simple search. "It enables us to use the commercial manager on more projects, which is great for us as a business but also for the employee's development and the client, as they pay less in preliminary fees. It is a win all around."
Estimators can search for keywords within a thousand-page tender pack in seconds instead of hours. This has ultimately resulted in more informed and accurate estimates along with happier teams. "Our estimators have a better work-life balance, and they are more productive. The clients reap the benefits of that too."
"We have an oracle — Egnyte makes all of our information available in one place," Hollingsworth said.
Benefits: Supercharged Productivity While Bolstering Work-Life Balance
With Egnyte as the single repository for vendor documents, commercial managers can be more effective in their role by quickly and securely signing contracts. Traditionally bulky documents can be uploaded into Egnyte, automatically routed for signature via DocuSign, then filed back into Egnyte’s repository – reducing order time from an afternoon to just a few minutes. Administrative time spent for each contract has gone from 2½ hours to ½ an hour. With 50 contracts per project and 50 projects per year, BW is now saving upwards of 5,000 hours per year.
Recently, the estimating team was evaluating different software solutions to enable them to quickly search tender packs for specific keywords without realising they already had that capability with Egnyte. “I ran a keyword search on a bid package in Egnyte and it brought back the exact same data as the estimating software,” said Hollingsworth. “The estimating team now uses Egnyte, and the company saved over £10,000.”
What’s Next? Automating-Away Manual Processes
The BW team continues to find new value from their investment in Egnyte instead of purchasing costly point solutions. Features like Egnytes’ BIM Search tool allow users to search for data within historical project models, unlocking a treasure trove of information. “We view innovation as a currency, and Egnyte buys us increments of time which we then pass back to our clients and staff,” said Hollingsworth. “They are more productive, and they have a better work-life balance. That helps us attract and retain top talent, resulting in building faster and better. It is not just about attracting clients through innovation, and it is the whole way that we will move forward as a business.”
"Our estimators have a better work-life balance, and they are more productive... We have an oracle — Egnyte makes all of our information available in one place."