So IBM has a huge technology portfolio and as we learn through the development and deployment of the design process controller software, we will expect to start to exploit more IBM products as we integrate those into that solution

Stephan Jones, Digital Transformation Software Director, AECOM

Business challenge

As an engineering and professional services firm, AECOM constantly aims to deliver the best possible solutions to its customers in the construction industry. However, many of its processes and methods hindered its efficiency. The company thus looked for new construction technologies to help reduce design cycle times. It needed to be able to analyze and pin-point issues in its designs, understand its products and deliver valid, high-quality solutions. AECOM also sought the ability to calculate a program of work from design models to help it identify project timeframes, which are a major cost factor in design decisions. Finally, the firm needed a solution that would reduce rework and improve the quality of its designs.

Transformation

At AECOM, the design process is intrinsically complicated. If one pictures a building in one’s mind, changing any one component will affect all other components. Design tasks must be done in a careful sequence and without making changes that invalidate the design. Previously, to address variations requested by its customers, the firm used to have to cascade the change back through the entire process, which was time-consuming and expensive. AECOM thus engaged IBM Business Partner BP3 GLOBAL INC. U.S. to develop and implement a design process control system based on IBM Business Automation Workflow software.  

The Business Automation Workflow software standardized the design process across the AECOM offices, helping create a familiarity that allowed it to transfer people from one project to another more flexibly than ever before. Consequently, the firm can better control the delivery of its design processes. The automation also reduced the amount of time and effort that the client spent on its processes.

Benefits

The Business Automation Workflow software has standardized design processes across AECOM offices, helping create a familiarity that allows the transfer of people from one project to another more flexibly than ever before. Consequently, the firm now has better control on the delivery of its design processes. The automation provided by the solution also reduced the amount of time and effort that the client spent on its processes. Using the Business Automation Workflow software, AECOM can take a two-week task and turn it into a two-second task. AECOM's engineers can now put more effort into looking at different solution options to deliver the best possible solution for its customers.

Further, the solution helped the firm increase the efficiency of its design delivery processes while minimizing rework. The client anticipated that as it built automation into different design processes, it can create systematic interactions with third-party design applications and thus perform the design activity in lieu of a design engineer. It expects to accelerate design processes by 99 percent, causing a direct shift in its business and business model, enabling AECOM to sharpen its competitive edge while improving its ability to support its customers.

Satisfied with the solution, the firm also hopes to tap into the IBM Robotic Process Automation solution to predict and plan in more detail the scope of work that might be related to one project and the variances between one project and another.

Solution Category

  • Cloud