“Working on projects in the UK and overseas was previously very complicated and time consuming. There was so much overlap and confusion about who had changed details, what was missing and due. When it came to tendering, our suppliers needed to see details that we couldn’t easily share.

Now, our system from Elecosoft means we know exactly what’s going on and so do our suppliers – no matter where in the world they are and what the time difference is.

By linking all our projects to our properties, we can find data we need really easily. We can also bring our suppliers into conversations and keep everyone up-to-speed with what’s going on. This is really important to us, especially considering how time sensitive and valuable the majority of our projects are.”

Steve Middleton – National Overseas & Shopfitting Manager

About the client

Next plc is a UK-based retailer offering clothing, footwear, accessories and home products. Next distributes through three main channels:.

Next Retail: a chain of more than 545 stores in the UK and Eire.

Next Directory: a home shopping catalogue and website with over 4 million active customers and international websites serving around 70 countries.

Next International: with almost 200 mainly franchised stores around the world.

The challenge

To communicate documents quickly and efficiently, as well as track and verify who is doing what, and when.

Next needed a system that gave them a full audit trail, which would remove uncertainty and enable them to manage the responsibilities of their suppliers more effectively.
In addition, Next required a mechanism to manage tender information so that they could control user permissions and grant users access only to appropriate information. The system needed to be able to manage large file types and images, as internal email systems block large files.

Our solution

With a far simpler and faster system than Next had before, the IconSystem enabled collaboration internally and externally for new build projects.  

The Projects & Property solution met not only the brief, it made it much easier for the Next team to search and track items related to any property. Because of the unique capability the IconSystem has to group and link projects to property records, it has been promptly embraced by Next and integrated into their work processes.

Since launch, the system has been well received and used for over 950 projects and 11 different project programmes. From this success, Next have explored and adopted the IconBIM solution too. By sharing their Revit library with external suppliers globally, Next now have full control and manage over 900 families in the system.