Elecosoft’s IconSystem wins ‘Digital Construction Award’ from Constructing Excellence in London and the South East 2017

Elecosoft is pleased to announce that its customer, McCarthy & Stone, the UK’s leading retirement housebuilder, won the ‘Digital Construction Award’ at the 2017 Constructing Excellence in London and the South East with the use of Elecosoft’s IconSystem building information management solution.

The Constructing Excellence Awards recognise and promote the very best behaviours and practices that drive positive change in the industry. They demonstrate why and how the industry can constructively and robustly challenge every element of the way it does business to deliver outstanding buildings and infrastructure safely, reliably, profitably and sustainably.

 “In this category, we look for examples of how the adoption of collaborative digital processes is set to improve the planning, design, fabrication, construction and operation of built facilities or infrastructure” explains Graeme Forbes, CEO, Clearbox; Head Judge and sponsor of the Digital Construction Award.  “McCarthy & Stone’s approach to digital construction (through the use of the IconSystem) is leading to real business transformation, allowing them to reap the business benefits from a whole life approach”.   

In partnership with Elecosoft, McCarthy & Stone have created ‘Datum’ a digital information system powered by the IconSystem that manages and distributes information as part of a single source of the truth. Utilising the Datum web application, building information models and digital cost tools they have knitted together a series of software and management systems to form one cohesive platform. Datum has been instrumental in driving increased product standardisation throughout the business. It helps to ensure a consistent and repeatable high-quality product whilst helping to increase profit margins. The process enables teams and partners to work more effectively together throughout a development’s life cycle. Confident that they will be able to demonstrate multi-million pound savings in the coming months and achieve a significant increase in offsite pre-fabrication, this new way of working could revolutionise the efficiency and quality of House Builders, Affordable and Student Housing Providers to name but a few. Potentially it could help to solve the current housing crisis.

John Ketteley, Executive Chairman commented: “We are proud to be such a major part of this success story. We are delighted that through their partnership with Elecosoft, McCarthy & Stone are being marked as industry leaders who are unlocking the benefits of BIM.  This is testament to the pioneering software developed by our forward-thinking and highly collaborative team.  We look forward to continuing to enable businesses to achieve improved lifecycle cost savings and margins through implementing the Elecosoft IconSystem”.

As a result of the IconSystem, McCarthy & Stone are unlocking the true potential of BIM. Throughout 2016 they made enormous strides to improve the quality and flow of information throughout their business and supply chain. Partnering with key suppliers and delivering sustainable change has introduced an information management system to a sector of the industry that has been slow to adopt digital construction innovation. This marks them out as an industry leader who has fully appreciated the benefits of technology and applied them in an innovative way to produce high quality products that their customers are proud to call home.

 

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ELECOSOFT’S ICONSYSTEM IS REVOLUTIONISING THE HOUSE BUILDING SECTOR

Over the past 14 months, Elecosoft’s IconSystem, referred to by McCarthy & Stone as ‘Datum’, has been tailored specifically  using our Specs & Standards and Projects & Properties solutions, and has been rolled out across almost every department in their business. After rigorous testing, all construction data is now housed in a single robust, trustworthy system that can be accessed by all employees and external consultants. Over 650 people, including McCarthy & Stone's board members, have been trained to use Datum across nine regions. To manage the change in processes, Ridgeline Consulting worked with the Elecosoft and McCarthy & Stone teams to ensure that every organisation involved bought into the IconSystem and fully understood the benefits to them individually as well as each organisation as a whole.

McCarthy & Stone has been a leading builder of outstanding retirement properties for the past 39 years, and attribute their success not only to the design and quality of their range of retirement homes but also to their policy of applying the latest technologies and software in the build process.

As a consequence, McCarthy & Stone is the only house builder in the UK to fully realise the potential of BIM (Building Information Modelling) and has developed a vital technical partnership with web solutions software developer Elecosoft. This has resulted in the installation of the web-based IconSystem to enable it keep up with the demand for consistent and accurate data. The system is fully integrated and introduces methodologies that enable McCarthy & Stone to bring together a mass of BIM-based construction data into one, easy-to-use platform. This allows the planning, implementation and delivery of a fully-integrated BIM-based build program, which ensures that McCarthy & Stone will benefit to the full from the comprehensive application of BIM methodologies in a project.

BIM has become a crucial turning point in the modernisation of the building and construction industry. However, ‘Modernise or die: The Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labour Model’, an independent review of the sector which focussed on the skills, pressures and other constraints that limit housebuilding and infrastructure development in the UK, found that currently there is a significant reality gap when it comes to the industry’s adoption strategy of BIM. The report specifically stresses that “…the industry’s route map to collaboration and high efficiency new delivery models can only be underpinned by BIM and the importance of its adoption cannot be overestimated.” McCarthy & Stone have gone a step further and recognised that what they are doing in not just about the information management of building, it is bigger than that. It is also about business processes, working methodologies and more. As a result, the IconSystem is their ‘go-to’ place for Information Management across the company.

McCarthy & Stone readily appreciate that the effectiveness of the application of BIM technologies in building projects is crucially dependent on the accuracy and scope of the BIM data to be applied in a construction project.

Speaking of Elecosoft’s partnership with McCarthy & Stone, Graham Clarkson of the South-East Construction Board of Excellence stated, “To date the UK house building sector has been slow to adopt BIM… To our knowledge McCarthy & Stone are one of the first within the housebuilding sector to realise how much the application of BIM technologies has the potential to increase margins.”

This new system introduced both process and technical innovation to increase the consistency of information from product development through to management services.  The information management system helps ensure a consistent and standardised, high-quality product and embedded processes enable their teams and partners to work more effectively together throughout the lifecycle of any of their property developments.

Having completed the primary initiative, McCarthy & Stone are now developing the information management system to further improve operational efficiency. Using an integrated 3D building model and supporting technologies, they are improving the accuracy of pre-build cost estimates as well as construction programs, and also the management of their built assets. This has in part been made possible by utilising some of Elecosoft’s other software offerings such as the fully BIM-enabled tool, Bidcon, developed by Elecosoft’s Swedish development team, gives a true 5D (a 3D model with time and costs added) environment for costing and estimating.

The system’s implementation has set McCarthy & Stone as a forerunner in its sector, further proving the potential of BIM for other house builders. McCarthy & Stone are already seeing a strong ROI from their partnership with Elecosoft and look forward to the system delivering further efficiencies within their business.

McCarthy & Stone have praised Elecosoft for their flexible and adaptable approach to helping them adopt BIM across their company. The partnership between the teams of both companies was not just a formal contract signing, but an in-depth collaboration where the two dedicated groups worked together to deliver the best possible solution for their unique working model. Elecosoft shares McCarthy & Stone’s commitment to being at the forefront of the Building and Construction industry, and continue their dedication to revolutionising the way data is managed. McCarthy & Stone now see this new working process as the future of the house building sector, and as a vital step towards tackling the problems the sector now faces, including lack of collaboration, inconsistent and inaccurate data, and outdated working methods.

With Elecosoft's IconSystem now in place, McCarthy & Stone are set to keep their place as the UK’s leading retirement property builder for years to come.

SEPTEMBER 2016: ELECOSOFT AT BCSC 2016

This September, we’ll be setting off to Manchester for BCSC, the UK’s biggest property retail networking event of the year. Taking place across three days from Tuesday 13th – Thursday 15th September, BCSC is guaranteed to be an event jam-packed with opportunities. Over 2,500 retail and property professionals, including owners, investors, developers, retailers, retail property agents, professional service consultants, public sector representatives and service providers are joined together all under one roof.

The event kicks off with an Afternoon Study Tour, where we’ll be shown around Bolton’s new Market Place, which is currently undergoing a major redevelopment to include food, beverage, leisure and retail spaces set in Bolton’s spectacular underground Victorian vaults.

That evening, we’re excited to be a part of the BCSC Welcome Party, where we’ll be treated to street food, drinks and a DJ to get us all warmed up. The party is taking place at Manchester’s London Road Fire Station – a previously derelict space that has been fantastically transformed just for BCSC!

Alongside all of these great networking opportunities, BCSC also hosts a number of inspiring and informative seminars about a whole range of subjects in the retail property sector.

On the Wednesday, we’re looking forward to attending:

  • Business with a social conscience. Creating community in retail’ – a talk led by designer and entrepreneur, Wayne Hemmingway MBE; Chief Executive at British Land, Chris Grigg and Bill Hughes from Legal and General
  • ‘Retail’s changing! Can logistics and store design keep up’ by Collect Plus CEO, Neil Ashworth; Regional Director for Park Royal and London, James Craddock and Portland Design Managing Partner, Ibrahim Ibrahim.
  • ‘Technology drives business opportunity. Can you afford to ignore what’s around the corner?’, with speakers to be announced soon.

We’ll also be attending more seminars on the Thursday:

  • ‘Unlocking development through infrastructure’ led by Richard Akers at Barratt Developments Plc and Emaar Malls Group PJSC; Head of Development & Finance at Capital Investment Group, Paul Marsh; Manchester Airports Group Divisional Chief Executive Office, Linda Shillaw and Richard Thrillfall at KPMG.
  • ‘Britain’s post-EU future. Where do we go from here’ with BCSC Chief Executive Edward Cooke and Co-Chair of Leave.eu, Richard Tice.
  • ‘The menu of opportunity.  Food, Beverage and Leisure – the next generation’, facilitated by Mark Wingett, editor at MCA.

As well as attending these enlightening seminars, the Elecosoft team will be over at Stand 68, ready to speak to anybody and everybody that’s interested about our revolutionary one-stop property information system perfect for retailers – which is why we work with 8 out of 10 of the UK’s top retailers.

If you’re attending BCSC this year, we’d love to meet up and have a chat. Just find Stand 68 and come and say hello!

The Power of Partnership

Linked in July 2016

HOW ELECOSOFT CAN GIVE YOUR BUSINESS THE COMPETITIVE EDGE

In today’s modern world, experts have suggested that leveraging one or more strategic partnership is essential to any business plan. Collaborating with another business helps to fill any gaps in expertise that your current offering may have.

No business, big or small, can achieve its fullest potential by working alone. Think of it as adding another string to your bow – another reason for clients and customers to choose your service.

Elecosoft are reaching out to partner with software and service providers across the UK. Could your company benefit from our revolutionary systems?

Our systems are ideal for the construction industry, as all your design, project and property information can be housed, updated and replicated in one easy-to-use platform. You can manage specifications and design standards, projects and properties, as well as surveys and registers all in one place. It’s a clever three-point solution that is now trusted by 8 of the top 10 retailers in the UK.

Solutions for Software Providers

If you are a software developer or solution provider involved in the planning, construction or management of buildings, a partnership with Elecosoft can give your business the upper hand.

With the IconSystem’s Application Programming Interface (API), you can directly access data held in our system. You can also create one-way or bi-directional data flows that can bring your clients convenience and easy access to their own data.

By upgrading your offering to utilise our API, you can show clients value for money with an integrated development for property data management.

Solutions for Service Providers

If you’re in the property or construction serving industries, such as architecture, design, planning, quantity surveying, shopfitting, etc., now there’s no need to overload your email or network system with every piece of client data. Instead, the IconSystem offers total information collaboration, so you can access your client data stored on our web-based solution.

By partnering with Elecosoft, you can expand your services and launch a new revenue stream for your business. Our short course gets you up to speed quickly, so you can focus on creating your new solution.

To find out exactly how your business could benefit from a partnership with Elecosoft, contact us today on 01858 468345.

January 2016: RETAIL WEEK AWARDS ISG STORE DESIGN OF THE YEAR

Each year the Oracle Retail Week Awards plays host to the biggest and brightest names in the UK retail sector. The largest and most prestigious event for the retail industry, it’s an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the most outstanding achievements in retail for the past year.

One of the most highly regarded categories, the ISG Store Design of the Year Award 2015 saw LloydsPharmacy’s Betterlife store in Leeds take away the coveted title, facing stiff competition from the likes of Argos, John Lewis, Debenhams and Waitrose.

All of the shortlisted candidates were worthy contenders for the crown. But what set Betterlife apart was its innovative store concept and engaging interactive customer shopping experience.

Innovative store concept

Betterlife from LloydsPharmacy is a new, innovative concept store, which specialises in helping people live independently by providing products that help them with everyday tasks. Customers have the opportunity to try out these products in what can only be described as a truly engaging retail experience.

The 3,229 sq. ft. store in Leeds features a fully furnished bathroom and bedroom, allowing customers to try before they buy in a real-life environment. The store is even equipped with a multi-surface track to test drive mobility scooters and similar products.

Commenting on the award, Grant Abrahams, Head of Betterlife from LloydsPharmacy said:

“The store is much more than just a large retail space – it’s an interactive experience designed with customers’ needs and concerns in mind. For many people, admitting that they need some help with their mobility can be an overwhelming chapter in their lives, so our plans have always focused on how we can make the experience not only easy but also relaxing, enjoyable and informative.”

The future of high street shopping

There’s something rather exciting about the Betterlife brand and the future of high street shopping. The company started out selling its products online and in catalogues, before demand led to the opening of their first high street bricks and mortar store in Leeds.

Their success goes against the recent trend of high street retailers moving into online shopping. Unlike most online retailers, high street shops have an opportunity to provide customers with a try before you buy experience. And that by embracing innovative new ways of thinking and interactive design concepts, the high street shopping experience still has a vital role to play.

Inspirational shopping experiences

Like LloydsPharmacy’s Betterlife, The White Company has also embraced a unique lifestyle-led concept to provide customers with an inspirational shopping experience. Their store in Norwich came Highly Commended in Retail Week’s ISG Store Design of the Year category.

The 4,000 sq. ft. store features a series of “rooms” spread over two floors, which have been designed to take the customer on a journey through the home. Lighting that changes automatically, depending on the time of day, was introduced to enhance the customer’s overall shopping experience.

2016 will be the 21st anniversary of the Retail Week Awards with Oracle. Attracting over 1,600 attendees, the awards ceremony takes place every March. You can read more about the Retail Week Awards here: https://awards.retail-week.com

At Elecosoft we’re award winning innovators in our own right too. Our retail property data management software has helped large retailers like ASDA, Boots, Sainsbury’s, Next and John Lewis manage their property data. In fact, 7 of the UK’s top 10 retailers are using our system. They know that managing their data is just as important to their success as managing retail space and customer experience.

Find out more about how we help the UK’s best retailers here: http://iconsystem.co.uk/case-studies/

Further reading:

http://www.retailtimes.co.uk/lloydspharmacy-opens-first-dedicated-independent-living-store-betterlife/

http://www.betterlifehealthcare.com/retail-week-award.php

http://www.chainstoreage.com/article/white-company-debuts-stylish-new-store-concept#

November 2015: Integrated Computing & Office Networking Limited Turns 20

We’re proud to be celebrating two decades saving our clients time and money – with a retail property data management solution that’s light years ahead.

Turning 20 means more to us than the chance to celebrate with cake (although we did enjoy it). Our success and longevity in business is a result of sticking to our original promise to ourselves. Right from the start, we committed to deliver difference, innovation and solutions.

The idea was born

Our founder Chris was working for an architectural firm when he began playing with the concept of a totally unique way of managing design specifications. Because it was previously so difficult to manage and update specifications, he was motivated to draft and create designs of what is now the IconSystem.

As an innovation that removed the hassle, inconvenience and cost of data entry and replication, retailers like ASDA and Sainsbury’s soon saw how much easier it would be to communicate, update and store retail property information.

Icon timeline final


20 years on

Now, with three innovative solutions as well as mobile and digital applications, we’re still delivering the difference. Recently we hosted our Industry Forum which offered our clients the opportunity to share breakthrough thinking and best practice.

The country’s top retailers collaborated to discuss the latest in data control, cost modelling and overcoming challenges in property information management.

Elecosoft works for the UK’s best

Practices shared at the Industry Forum demonstrated how integrated the IconSystem is with retailers’ needs – and how collaborative the process and service is.

“We’re only a small team, so Elecosoft assisting us in our internal processes and being slick and efficient and helping us in our internal processes is really, really key,” said Kevin Brewster, of Waitrose.”

How ASDA uses it

ASDA’s Senior Manager – Directs Model and Specification, Anne Stubley-Black, knows the value of a structured method of managing all fixture and fitting specifications.

As one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains, operating over 500 stores with around 150,000 staff, they required a system that gave them one version of the truth, while keeping an audit trail of all changes externally and internally. At the Industry Forum, we asked Anne to share her observations of the change it introduced.

“The way that the system is set up has allowed us to create these links to other systems, and allowed us to have this one version of the truth, which I’ve always been absolutely keen on.

“It means that all our schemes land accurately, they all land to cost, the number of queries is really low. We’re giving it to the implementation managers and shop fitters on a plate. It makes it so simple for them, and we don’t send any extra information out at all.

“That’s really why there’s just two of us that can do everything in-house. We get people come in from other companies who are amazed that it’s run on one and a half people.”

What’s in a number?

7 of the UK’s top 10 retailers are using our system

20 years on…
6 million+ files
12,000 properties
275,000 projects
6,000+ active users

For more information on why 6,000 retail experts currently use the IconSystem, contact us at hello@iconuk.net