A digital site diary provides a commercial director with robust record-keeping and enhanced team communication
Torsion Group a main contractor, principally operating in the residential and purpose built student accommodation sectors. As a commercial director, Jon is responsible for overseeing the commercial management functions both for project delivery and the wider business operations. This includes contract agreements (client and supply chain), legal compliance, project controls and the management of valuation processes and their integration with the financial processes.
Site Diary is set up every one of their schemes. It uses varies from site to site and this is something they are looking to improve upon to have a more standard procedure across all sites.
Jon said that they found that there lacked consistency between their approaches to project controls, one example of which was that they either didn’t have adequate diary records at site level, or none at all. They needed to bring some order to how we approach this element and looked to explore the market.
Also, when analysing why our records were poor, one of the causes was the lack of consistency (amongst other factors) appeared to be because there was no toolkit that made life simple for the team.
Jon remarked that it’s difficult to ascertain a tangible prospective financial benefit. However, he did explain their business case in terms of financial risk mitigation as follows: – The business case for this to us as a company is was we lost a dispute proceeding because our records were inadequate. Even though our argument was correct, without records, we could not prove what we said. Therefore, we calculate this particular lack of records pre-Site Diary cost us several thousand pounds, hence why we needed to prevent that happening again. “It made the investment worthwhile.”
He continued by saying that it has certainly enhanced the frequency and standard of their record-keeping at site level. It has enhanced communication between team members and it has allowed them as board directors to take a look at site progress or specific examples of activity when working remotely.
Photos © Torsion Group Ltd
How the changes impacted the team
Implementing any new process in a team will be challenging. Jon explained that the app received mixed take-up, but largely positive. The failings they have encountered from time to time are due to people reasons, certainly not due to the Site Diary software or functionality itself.
He still would like to work on enhancing communication and ensure that the Site Diary records are used for valuation substantiation more frequently.
“The lesson learnt from implementing a system like Site Diary is that as a business, we need to ensure we make life simple for the staff, provide adequate training, then periodically remind staff of its use and remove any obstacles they may have encountered.”
Decision factor on choosing Site Diary
Jon stated that he didn’t really explore any other options with the exception FieldView by Viewpoint (for which we have an existing subscription). Once he had trialled the Site Diary app and reviewed it with other members of the board, it was a very easy decision to make to proceed.
By providing this tool, keeping it easy to use (intuitive) and easily available on their smartphones, it allowed us to provide more robust record-keeping and enhance communication between team members.
Available on iOS and Android devices as well as PC web browser version for the office.