About Carillion telent– The Challenge
When the Carillion telent joint venture signed a seven-year £1 billion support service contract to roll out BT’s Openreach in 2009, it faced a huge challenge when it came to managing the hundreds of subcontractors that would be carrying out the work.
Small workforces or ‘gangs’ of one to four people were subcontracted to deliver nationwide civil engineering support, such as the trenching for and installation of ducts, erecting and maintaining telegraph poles, heavy cable recovery, as well as jointing and cabling to supplement Openreach’s own workforce and emergency response to deal with eventualities like road accidents, storm damage and flooding.
Although the work was coordinated through the Service Control Centre in Basildon, Carillion telent faced a lot of pressure when dealing with hundreds of small companies that all had different processes. They also had the added complication of legislation around the Road Traffic Act, which was leading to annual fines in excess of £1.5m when they couldn’t provide evidence about the state of the site before, during and after their work.
In order to mitigate the risk of heavy fines imposed on sub-contractors by local authorities, they needed a robust solution to help them manage up to 200 gangs whilst providing an audit trail of evidence to demonstrate all works were being carried out in a compliant fashion.
Following a nine month tender process, Carillion telent opted for a WorkMobile based solution. The software company was chosen from an initial shortlist of 12 companies due to its flexibility and ability to work in partnership with Carillion telent. It developed an “on premise”, branded solution that went live in the field to 1,000 users less than two months later complete with field-based training and accompanying online training resources such as video tutorials and user guides. This has since expanded to 2,000 users.
Supporting a mobile workforce
Carillion telent needed a mobile solution that would work across all of their major mobile platforms and could be easily implemented into the gangs who were more familiar with a manual paper based process. Carillion telent explained: “Because we’re using subcontractors, we can’t dictate the technology they need to use. As a result, we needed a solution that was flexible and scalable and something that wasn’t bespoke to a certain process as Openreach develop and update their processes regularly. We also wanted something that we could easily deploy and manage in- house, rather than working with software developers on a regular basis. We were looking for a solution in which these changes could be managed and deployed in-house whilst we focused on developing a partnership with WorkMobile to incorporate the new features we required over the lifetime of the contract.