NG Bailey Make the Move to the Cloud
NG Bailey, the UK's leading independent engineering and services business have chosen COINS as a partner to support with the business’s five year technology transformation plan. This forward-thinking approach will support their business needs and the work undertaken on prestigious infrastructure and services projects.
NG Bailey work across a variety of sectors within the building and infrastructure services industry, and their aim is to transform their existing processes and systems, and adopt new construction solutions and mobile technologies to increase efficiency and support business growth.
The first stage of this ambitious transformation project has been to replace their existing on-premise systems and processes with COINS cloud-based construction technology. Migrating their on-premise database to the cloud-based system was a large scale project, but the potential benefits were a key driver for the business.
NG Bailey’s Head of ICT, Neil Florence, who has worked for the business for over 20 years, had a vision and strategic objective to transform the business’s use of technology.
With his current role focussing on the applications NG Bailey use, the infrastructure they sit on and the level of in-house development required to enhance capabilities and functionality, he was perfectly placed to support this transformation.
NG Bailey’s existing database was running on costly hardware, due for replacement. A move to a cloud-based engineering solution, rather than replacing it with another premise-based solution, offered an innovative and cost-efficient approach to delivering business growth and increasing efficiency into the future.
The traditional on-site system was identified as a large risk for NG Bailey, a potential ‘Single Point of Failure’ as the in-house team had minimal skills to support this at an underlying operating software and database level.
NG Bailey have been a long-term customer of COINS construction ERP and have seen the construction technology develop in a direction that they believe will benefit their engineering division for many years to come.
NG Bailey’s ICT function aims to provide our colleagues with the tools and technology to help them be more productive, work together more effectively and stay connected.
Ian Birdsey, Group Director ICT, NG Bailey
Minimal Implementation Disruption
NG Bailey use COINS to manage costs across their ‘Engineering business and Central Functions’, supporting major projects such as the transformation of London Bridge Station and the development of University of Manchester’s Engineering Campus Development.
The move to a cloud-based solution raised various challenges such as:
- the size of NG Bailey’s database and the amount of time it would take to upload to the cloud
- replacing existing bespoke scripts with new compatible processes
- thorough testing and sign-off of all new processes before the go-live date
- upgrading of their on-premise system was required before the migration could take place
A ‘big bang approach’ was adopted for NG Bailey’s move to the cloud - with all users being transferred simultaneously. It was therefore essential that any downtime needed to be avoided, so migration was scheduled to take place over a weekend.
This project was planned to a tight timescale and importantly the scope was clearly identified. Whilst the size of the database and the transition to a different operating system was a challenge for a weekend migration so as not to incur any Monday/Friday downtime, the bigger challenge was to address the various interfaces that NG Bailey had built over time to support key business processes on their on-premise architecture.
Steve Lount, Project Manager, COINS.
This approach proved successful, with minimal disruption. The entire process, including upgrading the on-premise system, definition and testing of new processes as well as database migration, took just under four months: starting in September 2019 this was completed mid-December 2019.
One of the main outcomes of the project was to ensure minimal disruption to the NG Bailey user base and this was clearly achieved as from the Monday after the LIVE migration week-end, we encountered very few issues.
Steve Lount, COINS Project Manager
Just a few months following implementation NG Bailey have already seen efficiency increasing as a result of greater accessibility. Users ranging from central finance to plant departments, site based commercial managers and procurement teams are able to access cloud-based information wherever they are based and whenever they need it.
Stress free updates
Stress-free upgrades are another benefit. The move to a cloud-based system from on-premise hardware is set to have a huge impact on NG Bailey’s system upgrade process. Upgrades are now the responsibility of COINS, saving NG Bailey 15-20 days of resource per year which are normally required to oversee this annual process.
Perhaps the most impressive benefit so far can be seen in performance, particularly around reporting. For example, the time taken to run their complex monthly ‘Costed Invoices’ report has been reduced from 15 hours to 3 hours – 5 times faster!
There has been a big improvement in the responsiveness of the COINS OA interface and in particular around reporting. The move to cloud-hosting of COINS is enabling NG Bailey to start focussing on wider adoption of COINS OA and making more use of mobile technology.
Neil Florence, Head of ICT, NG Bailey
The next step for NG Bailey is to migrate fully to COINS Construction Cloud; this will enable users to log into COINS directly, rather than via the NG Bailey network. Once this is complete NG Bailey will be in a perfect position to embrace the full functionality of cloud based and mobile technology.
Our multi-year transformation programme encompasses the modernisation of our PCs, phones and tablets, and the software tools and applications that our colleagues use in their work every day. The move to the Cloud with COINS is a key step on that journey, freeing us up from the constraints of the legacy on-premise solution and positioning us to be able to take advantage of new functionality in the future, particularly for our mobile workforce.
Ian Birdsey, Group Director ICT, NG Bailey
Reporting: complex reports can now be produced 5x faster.
Improved Performance: a variety of users are able to access cloud-based information whenever they need it.
Time Savings: with COINS taking over the responsibility for planning and delivering system upgrades, NG Bailey no longer needs to resource these.