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18 April 2016

Costain’s expertise in the Business Collaborator document management system has won it a contract with Highways England.

Familiar to most Costain staff as a single repository for all a project’s drawings, background materials and documents, Business Collaborator ensures that everyone is working from the same set of information and that everything is in one place for ease of access.

“It’s been used by Costain for at least 12 years,” said Cathy Owen, Systems Support Manager in the Highways Sector. “When I joined the Company nine years ago I initially picked up bits here and there, gradually expanded my knowledge and ended up as a specialist for Business Collaborator within Costain.”

Last year, Highways England bought Business Collaborator and Cathy learned that it needed somebody to be its administrator for the system.

“I’m now a consultant with Highways England and all my time is taken up working with it. Effectively, I’m seconded to it, although I’m still a Costain employee. I’m based in Maidenhead one or two days a week, with the rest of my time in Birmingham.”

Highways England is piloting the system on its Smart Motorways programme and will use the knowledge and experience gained to compile its own system requirements, which will inform the other programmes across Highways England in due course. Cathy is working on the project for an indefinite period, as it beds in.

“I’m configuring it, rolling out training and putting in place workflows so they can send out documents,” said Cathy. “We’ve trained people on each Smart Motorways scheme, so they should then be able to train others. If they need any more support, they come to me.

“It is going well so far. We have people using it and documents are being uploaded and shared.”

Her efforts on the project have not gone unnoticed. “Cathy has made a massive difference to the effectiveness of Business Collaborator in Highways England,” said Alex Bywaters, Head of BIM for Highways England. “It is great to have good software, but it only becomes valuable to the business when you have someone like Cathy to help us realise the benefits.”



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