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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Is Retail Leading The Way With BIM?

April 2017 marked the first anniversary of The UK Government’s BIM Level 2 mandate that set out to change how the UK’s construction industry embraced the digitisation of Building Information Management, ensuring that a certain level of compliancy was followed across the whole public sector.

This mandate was formulated during tumultuous times in the UK. Facing a post-financial collapse economy, the construction industry had no option but to modernise methods of information management, with some sectors showing a damaging reluctance to follow contemporary methods of digitisation. Collaboration, accuracy and security are areas that are specifically targeted by the BIM Level 2 mandate, to ensure the industry adopts best-practice in terms of sharing and communicating crucial construction data.

The spotlight has been on the construction industry since the BIM mandate was put in place, but the retail sector in particular has been working well ahead of its time in terms of BIM compliancy thanks to revolutionary property information software like Elecosoft’s IconSystem. The IconSystem is a web-based building information management system which is used from concept design stage, through construction, fit-out and then for on-going property management. It enables users to save time and money by storing all specifications, design standards, surveys, registers and portfolios in one easy-to-use, easy-to-access and easy-to-share platform. The system is intelligently designed to ensure only the most accurate data is available to be viewed, shared and communicated with the correct people, in one secure environment. It doesn’t just help its users achieve BIM Level 2 - it goes above and beyond to provide a completely streamlined, efficient and pioneering solution at every level.

Where the BIM mandate only calls for a 3D model of a property, retailers are benefiting from the IconSystem’s ability to deliver 6D information where they can incorporate Time Management (4D) by linking the IconSystem with Elecosoft Powerproject) Cost Management (5D) by linking the IconSystem with Elecosoft Bidcon, and end-to-end Product Lifecycle Information Management, including ‘as built’ component information (6D) via the IconSystem.

The IconSystem has been used by top retailers for the past 20 years, with 7 of the top 10 retailers in the UK now relying on the system. Sainsbury’s, one of Elecosoft’s valued clients, first started using the IconSystem in 2004, well before any BIM mandate was put in place - but the key guiding principles that the IconSystem was originally built upon, remain integral to their service and delivery to this day. With the IconSystem Specs & Standards Solution, Sainsbury’s have successfully managed their new store specifications for over 12 years, with the system now holding over 10,000 live and 13,500 historical specifications. Speaking of the system’s benefits, Clive Proctor, Specifications Manager at Sainsbury’s commented “Before the introduction of the Specs & Standards application our information was spread around various contractors and internal databases with no clear ownership. Without the system, it would be impossible to accurately track changes and the associated costs which these can incur.

With retail far ahead of other sectors in the construction industry, pressure has been placed on the public sector to catch up. Studies such as ‘The Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labour Model’ (Farmer, 2016) show that currently there is a significant reality gap when it comes to the industry’s adoption strategies for BIM. The report states that: “...investment in and adoption of BIM is being stymied, with some notable exceptions, by all of the issues highlighted already around lack of willingness to invest, collaborate and the inability to see the bigger picture business case.” There is significant evidence that the potential of BIM is often underestimated, and misunderstood. However, Elecosoft’s IconSystem has already been leading the way to help sectors other than retail revolutionise how their data is managed and shared. 

As an example, leading retirement property builder, McCarthy & Stone recently became the first house builder in the UK to fully realise the potential of BIM following their partnership with Elecosoft. The IconSystem introduced both process and technical innovation to increase the consistency of information from product development through to management services. 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 are looking forward to the system delivering further efficiencies within their business.

One year on from the BIM mandate, figures look promising, with more and more professionals applying best practice to improve data management. Commenting on the anniversary for Building.co.uk (2017), PCSG Chairman Mark Bew said “The mandated use of BIM Level 2 was central to starting this ball rolling, we are now the envy of the world and the UK has the biggest cohort of skilled data-aware engineers, designers and suppliers which places us at the front of the queue to capitalise on the next stage.

The IconSystem is specifically designed to increase efficiency across a number of different sectors, including education, healthcare, transport, leisure, hospitality and foodservice, not just for retail. Elecosoft are looking for more innovative companies to realise the full potential of BIM, and to continue the success of this turning point in the industry. With retail so technologically far ahead, there is much for others to learn about property and building information management, and Elecosoft are leading the way in making this possible for sectors across the construction industry.

 

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.

AN EVENTFUL TIME FOR ELECOSOFT

On the 8th November, the UK’s top retailers and property builders will be gathering at Harborough Innovation Centre for Elecosoft’s annual Property Information Management Forum.

The team at Elecosoft are dedicated to making property information management simple for professionals around the world, with one easy-to-use platform that houses, updates and replicates all property data.  By hosting the forum, we are giving the industry an opportunity to share best practice and gain an insight into how other leading organisations effectively manage their property data.

At the event, delegates will be invited to a number of enlightening talks delivered by professionals from leading retailers including Sainsbury’s, Boots; property builders McCarthy & Stone and the Elecosoft team.   

Highlights of the day’s agenda include:

  • McCarthy & Stone, Retirement property builders, present how Elecosoft's solutions have put them at the forefront of property information management.
  • The IconBIM Toolkit, a special feature showcasing the benefits of this award-winning suite of BIM solutions.
  • Sainsbury’s will lead an insightful talk about delivering intelligence into 20 years' worth of legacy store CAD plans
  • Boots and Ridge & Partners LLP will share their experiences with the IconSystem Projects & Properties solution in the real world.

This is a particularly important time for the company following our recent merger with Elecosoft plc. Elecosoft® is a market leading provider of software and related services to the international architectural, engineering, construction, retail and digital marketing industries.  Elecosoft® deliver a strong portfolio of digital construction and BIM products that are used by the many participants in construction projects covering all stages of the property lifecycle, including project management, site management, estimating, engineering, 3D design and visualisation, and cloud based digital marketing solutions.

Are you interested in finding out how you can be at the forefront of property information management?

For more information about the event and why Elecosoft works with 7 out of the UK’s top 10 retailers, contact us on 01858 468345 or email hello@iconuk.net.  Tickets are on a limited basis.

OCTOBER 2016 – Rethinking Retail – Evolving Retail Spaces Across the Globe

This September, the Elecosoft team attended the BCSC Event in Manchester, where 2,500 retail professionals met to learn, connect and share ideas. Of the many fantastic and insightful seminars we attended during the event, we were particularly inspired by a talk by Wayne Hemmingway, member of the Design Council Trustee board and all-round design guru. He spoke about his ideas on how we think about retail spaces, and what they mean to us as social beings.

Hemmingway argues that life is not about shopping – it’s about interacting with each other and creating memories. So retail spaces should be about more than shopping too. The new generation is focusing on communities and creating spaces people want to be in, merging big brands with promising newcomers to create interesting new retail spaces.

Hemmingway went on to mention five up-and-coming retail spaces around the world that are leading the way in placemaking. Here is what we discovered:

New uses for space

Hackney

Hackney town centre has seen a complete overhaul: widened pavements, pedestrian crossings, and removal of guard railings. The result? Streets that are easier to walk down, and experience greater pedestrian traffic. These streets are now easier on the eye too: the 2014 Shopfront Scheme rejuvenated 30 stores on Narrow Road, Clarence Street and Mare street, financed by the London Regeneration fund.

The area has seen a 21% growth in business since 2004. Take Shoreditch, home to London’s greatest number of startups. No stone is being left unturned: Morning Lane houses 12 railway arches, previously unused, however this is now changing.  One is now home to family startup Square Root London, a small batch soda company. Fast forward to 2016, and a designer fashion hub, housing brands such as Nike and Joseph, can now be found beneath the railway. The new generation are finding innovative ways of using space in retail, and it’s working for both household names and up-and-coming brands.

hackney-london

Manhattan:

New York is a pioneer of the place making movement: and with good reason. In a concrete jungle that never sleeps, an urban oasis is a much needed area to catch up with friends and to relax. Take the infamous New York High Line: crowds flock every day to the 2.33 km long retreat. Situated in the cities infamous meatpacking district, the disused rail line faced threat of demolition in 1999. Fought for by Friends of the High Line, it now features planting, water features and seating, leading to its new identity as the “New Yorker’s back garden”. And this just so happens to coincide with 3.5 miles of prime shopping space. Create a space that the community can enjoy, and the businesses in the area are sure to flourish.

new-york-skyline

Rejuvenation and rebranding

Liverpool

Liverpool’s cultural quarter boasts an eclectic mix of galleries, digital agencies, bars and restaurants, juxtaposing the new with the old. Add in the recent development of the Liverpool One shopping centre and it seems to be working: the city centre is now a permeable space, with easy access to other districts and even the water front. 30 individual buildings make up the area, each with its own identity and unique character. A pedestrian “fast lane” is also being trialed, after slow walkers were identified as key annoyance to shoppers. Factor in Chavasse Park, an oasis of green with picnic areas and sheltered seating, and you’ve got a multi-functional space that the community can truly enjoy.  And clearly it’s working: in just 7 years Liverpool has moved from the 15th most visited UK city to the 5th.

Margate

Heading further south, Margate provides another excellent example of placemaking. The total rebranding of the UK’s oldest amusement park, Dreamland, by none other than Hemingway himself has seen a massive influx of tourism and new investment in the area. Since the £10 million refurb of Dreamland into a vintage themed park, the local community has embodied a somewhat “hipster” vibe, with old, unused buildings breathing new life as quirky coffee shops and galleries. Hemingway accredits the renewal of what was once a rundown sea side town to the growing local creative community, who are turning space into place by taking on boarded up buildings, molding the history and spirit of the town into new business.  The eclectic mix of established brands and independent businesses are part of the much wider community, one that will only continue to grow in the future.

Independent boutiques and big name brands

Mitte Distict- Berlin

Translating to “middle”, Mitte embodies the heart and soul of Berlin. Home to iconic landmarks, museums, shopping districts and much more, Mitte is a hub for locals and tourists alike. But it hasn’t always been that way. Following the fall of the Berlin wall in 1992, a complete refurbishment was needed to breathe life back into the area, and the result is a now eclectic mix of galleries, outlets, restaurants- the list goes on. Local designers and farmer’s markets are rife, particularly around Alte and Neue Schonhauser Strasse, making Mitte one of the hippest areas in town. Factor in big name brands including Lee and Pepe Jeans, and the result is a colourful mix of independent boutiques and big name brands. And it works!

The new generation are merging the old with the new, and the industrial with the green, and it’s creating interesting retail spaces that are only going to increase in popularity. Here at Elecosoft, we love to work with pioneering retailers and property professionals, and are always on the lookout for new trends in retail space. Our revolutionary systems have helped 8 of the top 10 retailers in the UK organise their property data, so they can focus on moving with the times in this fast-paced world of retail, where shopping is becoming so much more than just an exchange of money and services. The next thing on our list: visit all of these fantastic locations to keep that inspiration on a high.

For more information about our revolutionary IconSystem call 01858 468345, email us at hello@iconuk.net or visit our website http://iconsystem.co.uk

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

October 2015: How to implement BIM methodologies quickly and easily

Managers of property data who are looking for ways to implement building information modelling (BIM) methodologies in their working practices are likely to know there is an important deadline looming. Next year, the government mandate that all public sector building work will be using Level 2 BIM arrives.

In addition, in highly competitive industries such as retail and construction, the trend for advancement and fast-paced progress is an added pressure. These two reasons alone make it easy to see why it is so important to implement the next level BIM quickly and seamlessly.

Because Level 2 BIM involves collaborative working, mostly with how information is exchanged, it has been noticeable that developments in 3D software modelling have been slow to keep up with demand. From as few as four years ago, there has been a heightened awareness of the need to advance technology and process in the building and construction industries.

In May 2011, the UK Cabinet Office published a Construction Strategy that cemented the future of BIM compliance for good. In addition to stating plans to implement 3D BIM in all projects by 2016, the government’s report set a target of 20% reduction in capital cost and carbon burden from the construction and operation of built environments.

If this new public-sector requirement inadvertently highlighted a need for progress and technological development in a fast moving and growing industry, how can those behind in the commercial world catch up?

Given there is less than four months to meet with government standards, property managers in any industry need to move quickly.

A recent innovation can address implementation concerns. Developed as part of the Autodesk programme in San Francisco, Elecosoft launched a new online 3D model viewer that gives a complete view of over 50 different CAD file formats. In the final stages of beta testing, the innovation called IconOrbit allows users to fly around, explore and interrogate CAD files without fussing over new system or software implementation, and gives instant access.

The software innovation received praise from Autodesk’s Chief Software Architect, Jim Awe, “For far too long, designers have been forced to sync associated data back into the original 3D model where it doesn’t really belong. What Elecosoft has done is an awesome demonstration of the principle of Internet-enabled design data: the data can reside and be managed in the appropriate place, but is still visible and accessible in the context of the model.”

With IconOrbit, there is no need for plug-ins, add-ins or specific device-installed software. Designs of 3D models can be shared without sharing the original model, and users can view live data instead of old information. In short, Orbit means users can implement BIM and meet the government mandate easily, without interruption to existing systems or processes.

IconOrbit is available online now and can be trialled by visiting http://orbit.vision/