A Taff’s Well-based civil and structural engineering company has grown by 300% and employed six new members of staff since it started using cloud technology to integrate its systems and streamline its processes
It isn’t typical to adopt modern technology in an industry often associated with more traditional methods. But Intrado Consulting Engineers is convinced it’s transformed the way the company operates.
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“It’s given us an edge in a very competitive industry”
“As part of our strategy for growth, we wanted a way to make people know Intrado projects run smoothly and quickly. We’re not saying digital is the only reason for this but it has simplified our internal processes and it’s given us an edge in a very competitive industry,” said Darren Sparkes, one of three directors at the business.
The company was set up in 2006 and decided to embrace digital in 2015 when it introduced Building Information Modelling software to offer clients digital visualisation models, real time project updates, and better supply chain management. It also introduced an online accountancy package to manage cash flow, reduce admin, and to plan projects effectively.
There is no doubting the move to digital has brought dividends. The company works on a range of commercial projects across the public and private sector; from schools and care home builds, new housing and infrastructure schemes, and domestic services such as property surveys. And though it has a particularly strong base in South Wales, Intrado clients span the whole of the UK and the Channel Islands.
“Switching to the cloud means we can plan projects more effectively”
Business is doing so well partly because of the company’s investment in building information modelling (BIM) which is top of the range. It has far more capability than CAD and is able to bridge the gap between 2-D drawings and 3-D models, using data to generate a digital model of a whole project. It also allows the firm to coordinate detailed project information, provide clients with real-time project updates, and to collaborate more effectively up and down the construction supply chain.
There are also other reasons the company is able to offer such competitive service. Its staff of course, and QuickBooks, a cloud based accountancy package. “Switching to the cloud means we can plan projects more effectively and spend less time on admin,” says Sparkes. “QuickBooks is really secure and it does much more than simply managing client accounts. One thing we use it for is to extract reports on how we are performing across various industry sectors so we can plan. And we also use it target resources effectively when we tender for new projects.”
“We’re really confident we can expand our customer base using digital”
Having seen such a transformation with digital, Sparkes sought the expertise of Superfast Business Wales. The service offered Sparkes a place on a social media workshop so he could learn how to make the best of platforms and kick-start a digital marketing strategy. And also gave him one-to-one advice around a range of other digital enhancements that could help growth and support streamlined processes.
“We want to increase our presence on social media and use the right channels well to market ourselves to wider geographies, and using Twitter and LinkedIn means we can do that. The website review and recommendations from Superfast Business Wales, is the final step in making sure web visitors turn into customers. We’re really confident we can expand our customer base using digital because we’ve seen first-hand how it changes everything for the better,” says Sparkes.
“Communication - both internally and externally - has improved, as has our engineering capability. It makes for a much smoother way of working and technology will certainly play a substantial role in helping us grow the business going forward.”
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