CCL Stressing Systems is the manufacturing centre for the CCL Group of companies. Based in Leeds, UK, it produces post-tensioning and pre-tensioning systems and equipment for both the CCL Group and external clients. Backed by over 80 years of experience, and sites on five continents, their expertise has helped create iconic construction projects across the globe. CCL’s customers trust their experts to deliver innovation and quality, with attention to detail and an eye for the bigger picture.
CCL Stressing were looking to replace their paper-based site forms to embrace technology, reduce the paper trail, increase the speed of information back to the office and improve the accuracy of data capture and readability.
CCL Stressing utilised the CustomPoint 365 service from PointSolutions to utilise an agile approach to building a solution that provides forms input, automated enforcement of the business process and a consolidated PDF output (on demand).
The solution was built within SharePoint Online (within Office 365) and utilised:
- A user-friendly forms designer plug-in for SharePoint Online
- Custom developments through the building of client sided scripts for form and page enhancements whilst keeping within the Office 365 and SharePoint Online boundaries and being future proofed against updates
- Branding through style application (CSS)
- Workflow and Logic Apps (a Microsoft Azure service in line with Microsoft Flow) to automate the business process from the SharePoint data
The end solution provided the user with friendly, easy to use forms that they can access on their company tablets or via their desktop. The tablet entry allows the forms to be completed on site and removes the need for paper-based forms which can become soiled in the weather, ripped and be difficult to read when presented back to the head office. The workflow handles the sign-off of each form and at the appropriate time creates and pre-populates the next form to be completed in the process. Logic Apps are in place to enable signed-off forms to be automatically converted to a PDF from the SharePoint list record(s) and emailed to the end customer.
The final stage to the process and project is the consolidation of all forms into a PDF based manual. Before the process this was a cumbersome task which involved collating, organising and scanning all the manual, paper-based, site forms then merging them into one PDF file. Through further development services, this collation / consolidation of the forms is automated by retrieving forms which are tagged against the project combining them, in a given order, into one PDF file. This PDF file is then uploaded into a SharePoint Document Library and tagged back to the project by auto-completing metadata against it. This process is saving days of administration to generate the base of the final PDF that is required to hand over to the client at the end of the project.
From the development CCL Stressing have gained the following benefits within the process:
- Removal of paper-based forms on site
- Increase in speed of information being submitted from site to head office
- Reduction of manual errors on data submitted
- Automated sign-off process increasing speed of sign-off and reducing risk of lost or damaged forms before (or during) the sign-off phase
- Reduction of admin time for compiling large, end of project documents
- Saving of time and money overall in the process due to efficiencies and accuracies brought by technology
“The original idea to just replace the paper forms with electronic ones quickly developed as we could see how we could automate the process as we progressed through the project. Automating the flow of information from site through head office, engineers and eventually onto the client has saved so much time and sped up the process. Engineers can now confirm sign off of results within minutes rather than manually typing in data to perform checks and having a paper trail to be verified and signed-off. Although sceptical at first the site staff have embraced the technology and are seen on site as technical innovators which in turn has raised CCL’s status with our clients. PointSolutions’ training and agile development services have provided us with the agility to amend project forms and details quickly to benefit the users and business.”
Paul Stainrod, Group IT Manager