By developing a longstanding relationship, ARC Document Solutions became a trusted vendor for Foster Wheeler, which recently became Amec Foster Wheeler. For much of that long relationship, ARC mostly provided 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—documents they routinely get from the Fired Heater division. Amec Foster Wheeler wanted its clients to be able to easily navigate through all of these essential documents, which were already in hard copy and electronic format. Unfortunately, these documents were hard to work with in both formats: as electronic files, there were poorly organized and as hard copy files, they were quite cumbersome.
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 easy to access with a mobile device?”
The company was very interested in the proposition and worked with ARC’s experts to devise a plan for how Amec Foster Wheeler wanted their facilities information laid out. Amec Foster Wheeler 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 documents were linked together in an understandable, easy to navigate system.
The work was completed in a smooth, easy transition thanks to 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.
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 the service all worked.
“They got to see their own documents hyperlinked, and they were floored with the result,” Young explained. “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 then that click would immediately take the client to the exact location in the document to find the information they needed.
“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 coworkers through the table of contents, 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 ARC uses a host—such as its own cloud-based SKYSITE, Amec Foster Wheeler didn’t need such an option. Instead, they wanted to deliver the info to the client so it would be a self-contained hyperlinked drawings set that was stored on a single DVD. The plan was a success.
“The normal amount of paper produced at the end of a project is costly, unwieldy, and far from eco friendly. 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 that would have been incurred from printing 12 sets of binders, each containing more than 500 pages of information. Since that first successful project, Amec Foster Wheeler has approved ARC to work 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, and it is expected to provide more savings for Amec Foster Wheeler in the future, too.
“Since we have only used FIM 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.”