Real-Time Commercial Assurance Across the £1.2billion A12 Project

Gather isn't just software, it's a game-changer. It unlocked hours, boosted productivity, and gave us the confidence through real-time commercial assurance. Now, we're not just working hard, we're working smart and Gather is the key.

Richard Myers

Commercial Manager

Real-Time Commercial Assurance Across the £1.2billion A12 Project
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Costain, a leading construction firm on high-profile UK Infrastructure projects, tackled commercial assurance challenges head-on. Their secret weapon? Ditching archaic paper and embracing Gather, a cloud-based platform tailored for construction allocation reporting.

The Challenge

Prior to Gather, data, the key to efficient collaboration, remained locked away within individual teams, hindering transparency across the supply chain.

Friction and inefficiency flourished amidst the challenges of traditional paper-based processes, impacting everything from communication with subcontractors to the often slow and cumbersome contract administration processes. 

This reliance on the ‘status quo' approach to site record keeping often created errors, hindering collaboration and proactive problem-solving.

Real-Time Commercial Assurance Across the £1.2billion A12 Project
"Historically we've had a problem in the industry where we use a lot of paper documents... paper time sheets and paper allocation sheets. It was taking a lot of time, there were a lot of mistakes... when there was something going on on site that needed to be improved... you couldn't get the information you needed when you needed it." Katie Francis - Senior LEAN Engineer

The Solution

Building upon the successes of the A14 project, Costain faced the challenge of ensuring commercial assurance on the high-profile A12. Replacing outdated paper allocation sheets was crucial, and they found their answer in Gather, a cutting-edge cloud platform specifically designed for construction site reporting and allocation.

Gather's intuitive interface has revolutionised data capture and management for supervisors on site. Gone were the days of cumbersome paper forms and manual entry. Effortlessly recording labour hours and assigning them directly to activities within the platform saved valuable time and eliminated the risk of errors. With over 50 users seamlessly onboarded in just three weeks, the transition away from archaic reporting methods was swift and efficient.

However, the true game-changer was Gather's ability to provide real-time data insights. As supervisors updated data, the entire project team gained immediate visibility into resource utilisation across all areas. This transparency empowered proactive identification and correction of inefficiencies before they impacted cost or schedule. Timely adjustments to resource allocation strategies ensured optimal resource utilisation, maximising both effectiveness and efficiency.

Overall, Costain’s adoption of Gather transformed resource management on the A12 Advanced Works. It eliminated the paper-based administration burden, streamlined data capture, and delivered real-time insights that empowered proactive decision-making. 

This not only contributed to improved commercial assurance but also optimised resource usage and ultimately contributed to project success.

Real-Time Commercial Assurance Across the £1.2billion A12 Project
“What the Gather data does for a commercial team is whilst we're saving on the time to input, we're actually becoming proactive as the data gives us leading indicators of where potential opportunities may be or risks may lie. So we're looking at leading indicators that allow us to manage the process and our decisions so that we're now looking at prevention rather than cure which is just a much better way to manage projects.” Richard Myers - Senior Commercial Manager

Real-Time Commercial Visibility

On a high-profile project like the A12 Advanced Works, where every pound counts and delays can bring hefty consequences, relying on outdated methods for cost and resource monitoring was a significant project risk. That's where Costain's adoption of Gather truly shines, delivering real-time commercial visibility that transformed how they managed resources and maintained financial control.

Gather delivers a dynamic, instantaneous view of resource allocation, with every logged labour hour instantly updating the platform. This live snapshot empowers proactive problem-solving. If an activity starts exceeding allocated hours, swift investigation and resource adjustments can be made before impacting the budget.

Gather fosters collaboration like never before. Stakeholders across teams have a shared view of project commercial data, enabling proactive discussions and swift action whenever potential cost risks arise. This transparency and accountability built trust, aligning teams towards shared goals.

The impact is clear. Real-time visibility tightens cost control, minimising overruns and ensuring budget adherence. Proactive identification of inefficiencies optimises resource allocation, maximizing team productivity and eliminating wasted resources. Beyond numbers, Gather fosters a collaborative environment crucial for navigating the complexities of a major construction project.

“All of the subcontractors are using Gather to populate their allocation sheets as well. So it allows us, with their buy-in, to make sure that their allocation sheets and information that they're filling in is to the required standard that we need it to be. So it's really good because it allows both parties to be sharing information and nothing's hidden away. It allows the agreement and management of change to be a lot more open and honest, which is one of the key things to having a good relationship with our supply chain.” Matt Holding - Commercial Manager

Improved forecasting

Traditionally, forecasting relied on static reports, leading to lagging data and reactive decision-making. Gather flipped the script:

  • Real-time Insights: Every logged labour hour instantly updated the platform, providing a live view of resource utilisation and costs. This enabled proactive identification of potential inefficiencies before they ballooned into costly surprises.
  • Data-Driven Predictions: Historical data from Gather allowed Costain to build dynamic resource models. These models factored in project progress, weather fluctuations, and subcontractor performance, generating more accurate forecasts and anticipating future resource needs.
  • Collaborative Planning: The platform served as a central hub for communication and data sharing. Project managers and teams could access the same real-time insights, fostering collaborative planning and adjustments based on the latest data.

The impact? Improved forecasting accuracy, minimising resource overallocation and under allocation. This translated to greater cost control, optimised team productivity, and reduced project delays.

“Gather gives us the information about how we're performing against the forecast, whether we're on track with our spending or whether there are issues. If we're overspending or underspending, it gives us the ability to identify that information and be able to act on it.” Matt Holding - Commercial Manager

Subcontractor Management

Managing numerous subcontractors was crucial and at its peak projects can have over 100 different parties working at any one time. Traditionally, paper-based forms, manual data entry, and siloed communication created a logistical nightmare. Gather transformed this in six key areas:

  1. Centralised communication: A central platform eliminated paper trails and streamlined information flow.
  2. Real-time data sharing: Subcontractors directly uploaded progress reports and site documents, eliminating manual entry and ensuring real-time data availability.
  3. Increased visibility: Project managers gained instant insights into subcontractor performance, enabling proactive issue identification and timely intervention.
  4. Support contractual change requests: With accurate, real-time data readily available, Costain could objectively assess change requests from subcontractors, leading to faster approvals and more equitable negotiations.
  5. Strengthen applications for payment: Subcontractors easily submit invoices and supporting documentation directly through Gather, reducing administrative burden and ensuring timely payments based on verifiable performance data.
  6. Optimise subcontractor selection and performance management: By analysing historical data and identifying high-performing partners, Costain could make informed decisions about future subcontractor selection and optimise overall project performance.

By transforming subcontractor management from a paper-heavy burden to a data-driven, collaborative process, Gather empowered Costain to not only achieve project goals efficiently but also cultivate stronger partnerships and build enduring trust with its subcontractor network.

Costain's adoption of Gather on the A12 Advanced Works revolutionised resource management, delivering real-time commercial visibility and streamlining collaboration. Paper-based burdens were eliminated, data capture became swift, and proactive decision-making was empowered. 

This resulted in improved cost control, optimised resource utilisation, and ultimately, project success.

Gather's impact transcended resource management, enhancing subcontractor collaboration and driving forecasting accuracy. The platform fostered trust and transparency, empowering Costain to achieve project goals efficiently and cultivate strong partnerships

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