“Banyards setting the pace in construction projects”
Banyards describes itself as a building services and engineering and commissioning consultancy but that underplays the levels at which it adds value to infrastructure projects and the depth of expertise that comes with that.
There are three divisions to the business:
Before engaging with Information EXP, Banyards had been using SharePoint for several years, working with the software to manage projects, store company documents and publish news to employees. However, as the company grew, and the technology evolved, they found it increasingly difficult to share the right resources, templates and policies with their staff and their project solution was reaching capacity.
Previously the company had been working with another cloud supplier to deliver SharePoint implementation but, according to Banyards managing director, Nick Till, there was a need to look further to take Banyards to a new level. “Another Microsoft partner built a SharePoint platform for us and did a good job, connecting most of our software products. We used SharePoint where possible with some exceptions including Autodesk, but everything worked.”
This wasn’t enough, however. “They were a good team, but I was looking for SharePoint specialists who could work with us to develop further. I didn’t feel they were pushing that agenda,” added Till.
This coincided with Microsoft making investments in SharePoint with the Modern Framework and the new workflow engine, Power Automate. These developments suited Banyards as it would give the company new opportunities for further operational efficiencies.
“As our business grew in size and our clients demanded more access to our data, our existing system wasn’t able to support both our needs and theirs.”
“We had a recommendation to look at Information EXP as a new SharePoint partner to work with and they did a review of our system as part of their Explore Workshops. These workshops also allowed us to understand what they would be like to work with.
We found that the company would be a good fit. Our staff liked their team and believed that they could help us deliver better ways of working with the SharePoint platform we already had” Till said. Information EXP developed a three-phase roadmap to address the challenges that Banyards were facing. By breaking the delivery into phases, they were able to manage the impact of change on the employees.
He pointed out that the new approach would greatly improve the way that the company worked.
“We get paid for solutions not sitting around. What the Project Portal will do is pull together all the information we have on a client that’s held in disparate places. When there’s a new project, there will be drawing specifications and planned layouts, all of which are stored in SharePoint. But that can be coupled with all the emails related to the project, and all the relevant financial information, giving us a complete picture.”
Ultimately, what the company was looking for was a scalable way to share data securely. The company is growing, and this factor has become more important. As Till said: “The more you work, the more you share data.” And they needed a comprehensive solution. “Google Docs may work in other sectors but it’s not for us.”
We’ve just completed Phase 3, which will see our Project workspaces improved to match the level of the rest of our investment. These are major data repositories with more than 1000 customer projects that can all be linked back using Banyards’ CRM system. The company is now well-placed to continue its growth journey and cope with future complex projects. “We’re now looking further ahead and other use cases that might be a good fit for SharePoint to solve – the value of using a common platform is now well understood across the business”.