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Connecting Documents for Amec Foster Wheeler

Challenge: Company wanted its clients and employees to be able to easily and quickly navigate through plans sets and O&M manuals.

Solution: Used ARC’s Facilities Information Management to centralize and link Amec Foster Wheeler’s documents.

Results: Streamlined Amec Foster Wheeler’s workflow, erased printing costs, and eliminated many of the hassles associated with paper.


Through a longstanding relationship that goes back decades, ARC Document Solutions developed into a trusted vendor for Foster Wheeler, which recently became Amec Foster Wheeler. For much of that long relationship, ARC provided mostly printing equipment and supplies to the UK-based engineering and project management firm. But since last year, Amec Foster Wheeler’s Fired Heater division has changed the way they do business using ARC’s Facilities Information Management (FIM).

When ARC reps met with Amec Foster Wheeler for an informational meeting late last year, they found that Amec Foster Wheeler needed help linking plan sets to their operations and maintenance manuals. The company wanted its clients to be able to easily navigate through all of these documents that they routinely get from the Fired Heater division. Though these documents were in hard copy and electronic format already, they were not organized well as electronic files, and were cumbersome as hard copy files.

After that first meeting on FIM with Amec Foster Wheeler, ARC reps asked: “What if we could put all of that information in your hand, and make it easily obtainable through a mobile device?”

The company was very interested in the proposition and worked with ARC’s experts to devise a plan for howAmec Foster Wheeler wanted their facilities information laid out. Amec Foster Wheeler’s needs assessment was well served by their longtime business relationship with ARC.

“Amec Foster Wheeler has a longstanding professional relationship with ARC Document Solutions” says Stephen Gilberti, manager of computer operations for the Fired Heater Division of Amec Foster Wheeler. “Over the past twenty years ARC has become a preferred, trusted vendor to our Fired Heater Division.”

This process of transferring documents to a more easily navigable system involved scanning a dozen binders filled with hundreds of documents. This information was then transferred from pdf files to a self-contained format wherein all the documents are linked together in an understandable, easy to navigate system.

The work was smoothed by the fact that Jeffrey Young, an ARC account executive for the firm’s Kenilworth, NJ branch, had previously worked for a decade as an employee in Foster Wheeler’s reprographics department. Amec Foster Wheeler’s Fired Heater division is based in Hampton, NJ, and designs and builds fired heaters for industrial use.

To prove that ARC’s FIM would work well for the Fired Heater division, some of Amec Foster Wheeler’s drawings and manuals were used as a pilot project to show how it all worked.

“They got to see their own documents hyperlinked, and they were floored with the result,” Young says. “They said, ‘This is just what we need.’”

Amec Foster Wheeler’s employees were thrilled with ARC’s FIM solution because it enabled Amec Foster Wheeler’s clients to click once on a Bill of Materials, and that click would take the client to the exact location on the document to find the information they need.

“The finished product is a seamless, easy to navigate collection of digital documents,” Young says.

After the initial pilot, Amec Foster Wheeler employees demonstrated the solution to officials in the company. Ron Myszka led the demonstration of the pilot, putting it on the big screen for those assembled at the meeting, and leading his co-workers through the table of contents, practically as if he was a member of ARC’s team.

“It was almost like the customer helped sell it themselves—the hyperlinking plan was adopted at that meeting,” Young says.

Following the plan’s approval, Amec Foster Wheeler tapped ARC to hyperlink documents for one particular project. While for most FIM projects ARC uses a host such as its own cloud-based SKYSITE, Amec Foster Wheeler didn’t need such an option. They wanted to deliver the info to the client so that it would be a self-contained hyperlinked drawings set, all of it on a DVD. The plan was a success.

“The normal amount of paper produced at the end of a project is costly, cumbersome and far from ecofriendly. But FIM’s hyperlinked documents provide a mobile, sustainable solution,” Gilberti says. “Searches and references to and from other documents are instantaneous. Instead of carrying reams of paper to a job site or client facility, our people are now able to travel with nothing more than a tablet computer.”

In addition to streamlining Amec Foster Wheeler’s workflows, the new process erased printing costs which would have been incurred from printing 12 sets of binders containing more than 500 pages of information. Since that first successful project,Amec Foster Wheeler has approved ARC working on a second project, which will begin in late November. This newly adopted process has become the standard deliverable for all of Amec Foster Wheeler Fired Heater’s clients. It is expected to provide more savings for Amec Foster Wheeler in the future, too.

“Since we have only used the product on legacy projects, I believe we’ve only scratched the surface of the potential savings,” Gilberti says. “We immediately realized man-hour gains by utilizing the enhanced search capabilities and portability of the data. By publishing legacy projects via our Electronic Document Management System, our staff now has hyperlinked documents at their fingertips.”

 

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